Monday, October 04, 2010

Lewis and Clark Half Marathon 2010

This weekend I went to St. Louis to run the Lewis and Clark half marathon. I sighed up for it about three weeks ago. Last year we ran it and had a blast, and this year Julie and I decided to run it together again. Before we started, we were soooo laid back about the race. We both said that we would have to walk at least half of it, that we did not care what time we got, and we joked that we just did not want to have a shuttle pick us up at the end because we were too slow.

We got up wayyyyyyy early (4:45) and headed to the race site, which is in St. Charles. We both hung around, went to the port-o-potty (this is quite an ordeal---you have to wait in line for a very long time), got some water, and dropped off our race bags (the race lets you drop off your bags and pick them up at the finish).

Here we are before the race:
The race was so crowded that the start was at 7:15 but we did not actually cross the starting line until 7:30. We began with the 12-minute milers because we knew that we would take it slow and we did not want to overexert ourselves.

We ran the first few miles and I remember thinking, "I hope that Julie does not say she wants to walk until mile 6." We stopped and went to the bathroom on the course and got some water, and pretty soon we hit mile 6. We were still going strong and were very excited. The weather was simply gorgeous and perfect for race day.

Then, we hit Mile 8. At this point I realized how far we had gone, how good I still felt, and how little was actually remaining in the race. If you remember my race last year, I had to stop at around Mile 9-10 and walk because I did not feel good. This year was my redemption race because at Mile 8 I realized that I felt 100% better than last year at that point in the race and that I could possibly complete the entire thing running. I thought to myself at this point that if Julie wanted to stop and walk, I would tell her that I wanted to try to finish the entire race running and would leave her. This is a big decision when you are racing with a buddy: your buddy not only provides conversation but also gives you a reason to keep running. Last year I felt SO sad that I broke away from Julie and walked part of the race. I did not want to abandon her, but I knew that she would understand.

During Mile 7, we crossed the bridge over the Missouri river:

I love this part of the race because it provides for gorgeous views and distracts the runners. By the time I looked up again it was mile 9. During this entire race I had a smile on my face because I was so excited to finally finish a half while running the entire race. I kept thinking, "This is my race day, my day to finally finish! I am going to do it! Yay!!" I could not believe the amount of emotions that surfaced about last year. During miles 9-11 I kept feeling disappointment and sadness about last year coupled with happiness about the race I was actually running.

By mile 10 we were still going strong and Julie said, "We only have a 5k left!" At that point I knew that she wanted to finish running as well. I got really excited. Mile 10 was my wall point, though. As we passed walkers I thought, "Man, I really want to walk. I want to walk SO much." However, I had Julie with me and I kept saying, "You have GOT to stay with Julie. Do NOT do this to yourself again this year."

I stayed with her and we hit Mile 11, and for me it was smooth sailing until the end. Julie and I both finished strong and I still cannot believe that I ran the entire race. I am so proud of both of us for doing it--and for me, I could not have finished if it were not for Julie's being there. Having someone pushing me to finish was an immense help!!!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

RORO SAID WAY TO GO! ABBIE & JULIE !

Kathy said...

That is so cool and impressive! Even though I have never been a runner, and never intend to be, I think it is neat that we have, and have had, so many runners in our family.

Katie said...

Great work Abbie! I'm so proud of you! :) Mom & I have run the Louis & Clark half marathon a couple of times, and I thought the coolest part of the route was over the 370 bridge.

Good job on surviving 5 minutes in the ice bath too...i think my record might be 3 minutes. After running so long, being in water that cold is EXCRUCIATING!! But like you said, it's worth it to shorten your recovery time.

High five! :)