Thursday, May 11, 2006

This One's for Dori!

I'm breaking one of my "rules" right now and actually posting while at work. Well, it's sort of "work" as it is after 5:00 pm and I'm only hanging around here because Hubby, who works for the same company, is on a teleconference and, since we carpooled today, I'm stuck here waiting for him to finish before we can head home.

I've owed a post for a while. My good friend Dori and I ran the Wells Fargo 1/2 marathon together last Sunday. She has posted a well written, thoughtful, detailed account of our 13.1 mile journey on her blog. I, on the other hand, have been sort of slug-like with my postings. Not because I'm not interested in running, but more because time seems to be just FLYING by...

Anyway, here are my unremarkable remarks about the race: I really wasn't so sure I was even going to run the dang thing. I have not really been putting much heart, soul or mileage in. But, I decided to give it a try.

Dori and I have trained together but have not run a race together. She has always been a very methodical, disciplined runner. She may not agree, but anyone who knows her or reads her blog can tell you. It takes a lot of discipline to put in miles BEFORE you meet up with your training group for your LSD run!

The day was really beautiful -- clear, cool, sunny and breezy. I've run the race twice before and was familiar with the somewhat hilly course. I also knew from experience that the field of 1,000 runners is typically very fast. I remember the first year I ran Wells, I was with some other marathon friends who were slow-pokes like me. We got to the startline and I looked around at the crowd. Pretty much the entire field -- less about 25 of us -- were all lean, lithe runner-types. That year, like every other year, I got dusted in less then the first mile. (sigh).

The good news is that I sort of like it when the field quiets down. Less pressure; more room on the road to see the pavement, run the tangents and see the scenery. Dori and I were doing a run/walk split of 9/1 and that worked out great. We bumped in to a few other runners at the start doing a variation of the run/walk thing. Chatted with them a bit, but mostly we just talked with each other.

The course is very pretty. You can see water (lake and marshes); country fields; HUGE McMansion type houses; tiny cottage-houses from years past, and more.

The miles came "quickly" -- our conversation helped move the miles along.

About mile 10, I took a gel and then had to walk a bit more. My last long run before the race had been a 8-miler and that was several weeks before race day. The mileage was starting to take its toll on me.

Dori went on her way -- looking strong and happy to to be out there. I pulled back a bit and then about mile 11 or so, a running group of three women and one man were gaining on me. One woman in particular was quite peppy and coaching on her running mates. "You can do this. Looking awesome".

Then she said the magic words: "Okay, now we're going to run for three minutes and walk for two".

BINGO. "That," I thought to myself, "sounds like a mighty fine plan". I asked them if I could join them and they said "Why not!", so off we went.

Turns out the "Coach" was a sister to both one of the women in the group and the man. She had run a number of marathons, but the rest of her group were participating in their first 1/2. They were GREAT to run with and really helped keep me going those last couple of miles.

I got to that last 400 meter stretch -- I could see Dori at the finish, cheering me on, and I just kept moving forward till I crossed the line. Not my best "time" (clock-wise)but certainly one of my very best times (fun-wise.

Dori and I had a much appreciated coffee together afterwards, which was the perfect way to end that event.

I owe her a big THANKS for helping pull me through and giving me a kick in the training pants.

1 comment:

Dori said...

Awww, thanks! You were amazing, especially considering your longest run was 8 miles. Shows what great shape you're in. Half-Ms are challenging, aren't they? Phew! I was so tired afterwards that when I got home I realized I never thanked you for buying my coffee. How rude of me--thanks for the coffee and for taking the time to sit and drink it. And for running--that was one of my favorite races and you helped make it so.