Cass, Me & Jen
Girlfriends Half Marathon 10.16.11
It has taken me a couple of days to let all of the excitement of this last weekend settle in. I have had a hard time finding the best way to summarize my new favorite race. I am going to attempt to make this as short, but sweet as possible.
Race day started off with a very sleepy Tasha. We had stayed up later than I was anticipating the night before because Jen, Cass and I were watching Bridesmaids (FYI- HILARIOUS!). After munching on a bagel thin w/peanut butter and some coffee we were off to Vancouver. We had decided against getting our race bibs on Saturday and decided to wait and get them Sunday morning. It didn't make sense to have two separate trips from Beaverton to Vancouver. We were hoping the race would be easy to locate and that we would be able to get our bibs quickly. We got to Vancouver a little before 7:30 and had no problems finding the race or a parking spot. It was very chilly (thank goodness for my arm warmers!)
I figured that race day would be good, considering my fortune I had received at PF Changs on Saturday....
We were pleasantly surprised to see that our names were on our bibs and we got a super cool drawstring bag with our t-shirt and additional swag.They had the street closed down with vendors giving away goodies and fun merchandise to purchase and drawings to enter. After shopping and getting some goodies we headed back to the car to get warm.
Me, Cassie & Jen
Before I started my warm up we decided to find a restroom. I was pleasantly surprised to run into and receive a hug from Amanda from Runninghood. I was really looking forward to meeting her- with the sea of beautiful women I wasn't expecting to find her so quickly. We located the restrooms just in the nick of time. After we got there a very long line formed. After I finished my short little warm up I met back up with Cass & Jen to head to the start line. At this point it was about 8:50 and the weather had not warmed up. I worked my way to the front of the start and saw Amanda again. I always feel weird starting in the front of a race (like people are thinking why is she in the front????) so it was great to have somebody there to talk too. I was getting antsy for the race to start so that I could warm up.
I love how Amanda and I are both standing there, staring off into space holding our Garmins. Runners are funny peeps!
The race was a great course mostly along the Columbia river. It was fairly flat and had gorgeous views and lots of areas for spectators to watch their friends/family. We had a slight downhill in the beginning so I kept a careful watch on my Garmin. I already knew that I wanted to be slightly more aggressive for the first 1/2 of the race, but I thought a sub 7:00 first mile would not end pretty for me at mile 13. I kept a fairly even pace, averaging below 7:20/miles (usually I average 7:30/miles for the first 1/2).
Course photo courtesy of Kim
It was fun to see all of the people who came out to watch and support the race. I even saw Julie cheering along the course. I saw Cass and Jen on an out & back portion of the course. They informed me that I was currently 12th OA- I knew that I had some business to take care of because I really wanted to place in the top 10. I could see Amanda ahead of me so I focused on her pink arm sleeves.
About halfway through the race I averted what could have been a huge disaster. I had a lady that was running so freaking close behind me that she clipped my shoe and about pulled it off of my foot! I started to lose my balance and almost fell. I don't know how I managed to keep myself upright. In the meantime my shoelace loosened to the point I was freaking out that it would come all the way untied. This also happened to be my shoe that I had attached my timing chip to. I was praying to the running Gods that my shoelace wouldn't become anymore loose than it already was and that my timing chip would stay in place. I had to run the last half of the race with my heel slipping out of my shoe with every step I took. I know, I could have just stopped and tied my stupid shoe lace, but I really felt if I would have stopped even for 30 seconds that my pace would crack and mentally I could potentially fall apart. I was already feeling that my legs were heavy from my marathon training and for cracking out a PR at the Spokane Half 7 days prior.
Amanda is right in front of me
The last 2 miles I passed a couple more women so I knew that I was at least in the top 10 when I crossed the finish line. I just wasn't sure if I was 9th or 8th overall. It was a very nice treat to have a very handsome firefighter give me my super cool finisher's necklace. It was also a super neat and personal touch to get a water bottle at the finish line filled with ice cold water. It was a gazillion times better than a dixie cup. The absolute best surprise at the finish line was to have my Aunt Carol there. I was so surprised to see her! She has been such an inspiration to me and she is the reason why I started running.
Finishing strong...8th OA
Talking to my wonderful AC!
Amanda and I after a great race. She is so cool!
Me, AC & Amanda
Once I congratulated Amanda on her awesome finish (She was 10th OA) and caught my breath my Aunt Carol and I walked back out on the course to find Cass & Jen. I had a hunch that that they would get a PR, but they had told me no way were they getting a PR. It wasn't too long before we spotted Cass & Jen so we cheered them on and then walked back to the start to meet up with them. They had a HUGE PR and ran 2:07. I am so incredibly proud of both of them- they did AWESOME! We celebrated with some tasty chocolate samples and then waited for the the awards ceremony. I was curious to see if I placed in my AG. I was excited to hear my name being called out for 1st in AG. I was a little shocked, really 1st?! I got a super cool trophy too!
Here are the top 10 results from Girlfriends:
After the awards ceremony, all three of us were freezing to death and starving. We went to Lapellah for some good food and conversation with some very amazing women.
(photo hijacked from Kim!)
I am already excited for next year and will definitely be running Girlfriends again. I am hoping my Aunt Carol will run it too!
I love running with these beautiful ladies