You must do the things you think you cannot do.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Sunday, June 13, 2010

1/2 Sauer 1/2 Kraut Half Marathon Recap

This morning was the inaugural 1/2 Sauer 1/2 Kraut Marathon and Half in Wyomissing, PA near Reading. My FIRST half marathon!!

I drove the kids to DeeDee's on Saturday so we could celebrate Hank and Mark's birthdays. Thankfully, they were spending the night with her since we knew Sunday was going to be a long day.

We got home from the Eastern Shore around 11, and I was snoring by 11:30. When the alarm went off at 3, I seriously considered rolling over and going back to sleep. But I knew I'd completely regret it so I dragged myself out of bed.

We were on the road by 4:15 and found our way to the race by 6:45. Parking was a breeze. Got my packet in no time flat, and then we saw they were letting people park on the grassy area even closer to the start so Bill moved the car. I walked through the wet grass to get stuff from the car and then again to cross the field to use the potty.  My socks were wet before I even started the race. I should have changed them but figured I'd be ok.  Big mistake because I'm sporting some big ol' blisters on both feet now. Lesson learned!

Me about to head up to the starting area

The start was very congested. It took me about a minute to cross the starting line. No chip timing either so we were all eager to get started! We walked and ran very slowly for the first 200 yards or so.

750 people don't fit very well on a park path

The course was on a tow path- an out and back in one direction, then we ran under the bridge that led to the finish and did and out and back in the other direction. The half marathoners turned around at mile 11 while the folks running the full kept on for a few more miles before they turned around.

It was billed as flat and shaded. While there weren't any monster hills - except for the scramble from the path up to the bridge at the finish - it wasn't exactly flat.  Then there were the 2 miles without a drop of shade which wouldn't have been too bad, but the water stop at the end of that stretch was out of water. I wasn't running last or even close to last at that point so they definitely miscalculated the need for that stop.

I felt the blisters starting around mile 7 but there wasn't anything I could do about them so I just kept on going. They didn't start hurting too badly until I stopped running at the end. And then my feet felt like they were on fire.

I had already decided to just run nice and easy because of the heat and humidity, and I'm so glad I did. There was little crowd support because the crowd would have had to run along the tow path to get to a place to cheer. A few folks did that which was really nice. There was a small crowd towards the end of mile 8, and it made such a difference to have some encouragement. The area we ran through was really pretty so I spent a lot of time just checking out the scenery.

Making us run under the bridge that led to the finish for the second leg was borderline cruelty. Especially as I could see runners sprinting to the finish when I still had ~4 miles to go. Mile 11 was the longest mile by far. I seriously wanted to hide under a rock I was so tired. By then my feet were a mess and I was soaked with sweat and water that I had poured on my neck and back to cool down. Since I didn't feel pressured to meet a specific time, I just took more walk breaks and talked with other runners.

Lately it seems my long runs aren't complete without some sort of newbie mistake and equipment failure, and that was true today. I borrowed a fuel belt from a friend, and did a little test run on the treadmill with it. Everything was hunky dory except that I did my test run wearing shorts with a drawstring at the waist.  My skirt tends to get loose at the waist as I run and the bottles on the belt kept pushing it down so I had to keep hiking it up. Not so easy to do when I'm a sweaty mess; I hope I didn't flash anyone!

Less than a quarter mile to go. I spotted Bill in the crowd on the bridge and started waving so he could take my picture.  He said he wasn't sure which direction I'd be coming from since runners were still coming from the other way. I was right at the 2:30 mark which was the fastest I hoped to finish.

I rounded the corner to get up on the bridge, and I almost had to climb up using my hands. The path was really steep and my legs were so tired.

I can smell the barn!

Losing my skirt again. No complaints though. I would have been toast without my own water!

Standing in front of the misting fan. That felt SO good!

Now for my Academy Awards speech.
This was a great accomplishment, and I'm so proud of myself. I stuck with my training through injury and disappointment, but I didn't do it by myself by any means.

I'm grateful to God that my ankle sprain in late January wasn't more serious and that I haven't had any lingering issues. I'm grateful for a healthy body and legs that can run. And I'm grateful I see myself as that instead of wishing I, but especially my legs, was thinner, more toned, more tanned, or more or less of anything other than what I am.

Bill was incredibly patient with the disruptions caused by my training schedule. He even came with me for an early morning run. He rode his bike towing Shane in the trailer so I wouldn't be by myself. He doesn't understand running, but I think he now understands that it's something that I enjoy tremendously. He has even offered to ride along on my early runs more often.

Jake was such a good sport getting up many a morning before the sun was up to ride along with me, carrying my water and telling corny jokes to pass the time.

My three little monkeys are my biggest cheerleaders. It's always a joy to come in the house after my morning run a sweaty, tired mess to hear a chorus of 'good morning!' and 'how far did you go this time!?'

I don't see any full marathons in my near (or far!) future, but I loved the Half and can't wait to do it again!


Teamarcia said...

Congrats that's a huge accomplishment and sounds like some tough conditions too! Sorry about the blister!

Tracy said...

Thank you Marcia!
I put duct tape on the blisters and ran just fine this morning. I've come to love my ugly feet because I've worked hard for them to look that way. :)


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