Sunday, April 6, 2014

ORRRC Half Marathon Race recap

What a day.   No, really,  I'm not exaggerating when I say that today truly was the best race ever.  What made it so awesome, you might ask?  Well, settle down my friends... Marcie's gonna tell a story.

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who loved to swim.  She joined a team and quickly became one of the top swimmers in her age group in the state.  The little girl loved to compete, and to get faster.  She continued swimming for many years, right up through her first year of college.  She never grew tired of racing.  The little girl eventually had to stop swimming as she by now was married with children of her own.  She missed the competitive atmosphere of the pool, and missed pushing her body to the limit.  There just wasn't time for her sport anymore now that she was a mother and wife and a teacher, and just too busy, and it made her sad.  

Well, after her fourth and fifth children (twins!) were around 2 years old, the mother decided that she needed to do something for herself, as she was tired of being out of shape.  She bought some running shoes, and she started to run.  The mother quickly fell in love with the sport of running, and competed in a couple of shorter races before trying her first half marathon.  She found an even greater love for longer distances, and soon after started to meet other mother runners like herself.  Still, her reasons for running were more selfish than anything--it was her "me time" away from her kids, and she also loved racing and beating others, as well as her own times.

As she ran with her new friends more and more, however, the mother runner grew to love the companionship that running was now giving to her.  She started waking up at ungodly hours to run with her friends.  Now, not all of her friends ran at the same pace as the mother runner did.  She learned that running didn't always have to be fast, that there was something to be gained from running at a different pace sometimes.  The mother runner decided to train for her first marathon, and her friends trained right along with her, motivating her along the way.   A few weeks before her first marathon, though, she had signed up for a half-marathon race.  She wasn't sure that she really wanted to race the distance for a PR (personal record), as she was worried about expending too much emotion and energy too close to her marathon race.  When the mother runner found out that one of her friends was looking to run a PR, and that her pace was comparable to what the mother runner wanted to run at during the race, the mother runner asked her friend if she wanted a pacer.  And this is exactly what the two friends ended up doing.  During the race, the mother runner discovered that running with a friend to help her PR was the most amazing thing ever.  She loved every single second of the race.  She learned something about herself, too: that running a race didn't have to always be about PRing.  It could be about patience, and persistence, and friendship, and most of all, the joy of running. 

OK so that maybe was a bit corny, but it is all true, every bit of it.  What a fantastic race!  Jamie (my friend) and I had discussed in detail how this race would go.  A couple of days before, she decided she wouldn't wear her Garmin watch, and thus wouldn't know our pace. This was so she wouldn't stress about how fast (or slow) she was running.  This ended up being the perfect plan for Jamie.  I let her guide us... when she wanted to pull back, we pulled back.  When she sped up, I followed her.  I kept a steady stream of conversation going, especially when I could tell Jamie was getting tired.  At 10 miles, I looked down at my watch and I knew at that point that we were going to go sub-2:00 (Jamie's ultimate goal, but one she really didn't think she could make).  I was so so excited, and I just wanted to sprint for the finish!  But of course, I didn't.  This wasn't about me at all... it was about running with Jamie and keeping her going even when she felt she couldn't do it. 

Running through the finish line, watching Jamie's face as she realized how truly fast we'd gone... well, I'm getting goosebumps right now just typing about it.  Just amazing... no other words can describe it.  Here are our splits:

Mile 1: 9:03
Mile 2: 9:11
Mile 3: 9:06
Mile 4: 9:03
Mile 5: 8:59
Mile 6: 9:11
Mile 7: 8:57
Mile 8: 9:05
Mile 9: 8:57
Mile 10: 8:59
Mile 11: 8:43
Mile 12: 8:47
Mile 13: 8:33
                                                                       0.15:      1:10
                               Garmin time: 13.15 miles in 1:57:44.   Official time = 1:57:47
 Here are Christine, Robyn, me, Tamara and Jamie after the race!

We collected our bling and I headed back out onto the course.  I had a planned training run of 17 miles today, and was going to run another 2 miles out-and-back to get in the last 4 miles.  That was the plan... well, after a mile I ran into my friend Tamara, and decided to finish her race with her.  So I did get in 2 extra miles.   We finished up our morning with some delicious soup and yummy cookies at the YMCA, and headed back home.  I rode with Christine, Robyn and Tamara, so the trip back to Columbus went by quickly. 

And here I am... feeling extremely excited about my full marathon in 3 weeks. I felt so wonderful on today's run!   Seriously, like I could have ran for many more miles.  I cannot wait to see what I can do when I get to run 26.2 miles on April 27!


  1. Awesome, awesome, awesome.
    Thank you so much, Marcie. I know, without a doubt, that this wouldn't have happened had I been on my own. Thank you for believing in me and thank you for making me show you how big my brave is.
    You are going to rock your race in 3 weeks.

  2. Great job Marcie! It is super fun to pace someone to a PR!