Anyway...back to the weekend. I had the pleasure of running the Brooksie Way Half Marathon with Megan (her blog HERE) - her first one!! I told her I would run it with her and help her pace however she felt comfortable.
We headed up to Rochester, about a 45 minute drive, early yesterday and it was 40 degrees outside. Yowch! We arrived, made a quick pit stop and then parked. It was either a shuttle ride, or about a 1 mile walk (although seemed a bit further to me!) to the start. Due to the long-ass line for the shuttle, we opted to walk to get our legs moving and try to warm up. Here we are at the car - the picture is fuzzy because Meg's brother was shaking he was so cold while taking the pic!
thanks, Megan for the picture!
We got to the start and they announced that it was going to be delayed by 15 minutes due to traffic on the course - which was fine because it gave me a chance to use the facilities again! It started to warm up too which was nice.
The race started and they did a great job with keeping the streets wide open so it wasn't too crowded at the start. Our first few miles were WAY too fast - like a minute per mile+ too fast! I tried to reign Megan back in and have her slow down a bit! I made a deal with her that if she went at the pace I was setting for the next couple of miles and still felt good, we could slowly speed back up. We did keep that speed and then...we hit the hills (insert scary music here) They were a be-otch to say the least. As soon as we got up one, another one was waiting. It seemed like we never went DOWN hill! I'm not sure how that is possible!
Here we are around mile 7 - thanks to Jeff at Detroit Runner for taking this!
The course, albeit one of the hilliest I've ever done, was great and filled with spectators all over - kudos to the residents of Rochester! And there was a group giving away BEER around mile 8. Yes, beer. It was hilarious and made us laugh - Megan took a cup and had a few sips - I opted not to but wish I had! Love those people for the creativity and cheering so loudly.
I told Megan at this point that all she had to do was get through the next 2 miles and then it was just a 5k after that. The key to this type of race is to look at it in small, easier to handle segments, especially towards the end. We got through the next 4 miles with a few walk breaks here and there but kept powering through the hills.
With less than a mile to go, I knew we were going to be close to Megan's goal of under 2 hours. I started to try and encourage her to keep her going, telling her to take deep breaths and focus. I also threw in some bribes like getting Slurpees and FroYo after! Hey, desperate times...
The last 1/2 mile was tough - Megan was hurting and I just tried to tell her we were so close and to just push through. I told her it was supposed to hurt and that we were almost done. She
may or may not have totally screamed a few F-bombs my way - but that's ok - nothing personal at all!
As we turned on the last street, I pointed to the finish line and told her we were going to get sub-2 if she just kept pushing. As we headed up the finish chute, I told her to kick it more and was just yelling "Go, Megan, Go!!" over and over. We crossed the finish line and although the clock read 2:00:12, I knew our chip time would be sub-2. Turns out we were at about 1:59:30!!
She did it!
Here are a few pictures Megan's family took of us:
I look so mean here, but actually I had to talk extra loud so she could hear me through her headphones!
This is right after we finished I think!
YAY! She made her goal!
Jeff, Fritz, Megan, her brother and me - finishers!
As I mentioned last week, not only was I running to help Megan, but also running on behalf of First Descents. Thanks to the generosity of my friends, I was able to raise almost $350 to support this great cuase and help fund camps for young adults with cancer. My 2 Team Awesome teammates, Adam and Brad, came to watch and support me yesterday too! They found me at the finish in the sea of 5,000 runners thanks to our Team FD shirts! Thank you SO MUCH, Adam and Brad, for coming to watch! It was a pleasure to meet them and really made me smile. Adam is a cancer survivor and an absolute inspiration to me!!
Thanks, Adam, for taking this!
Overall it was a beautiful day for running and it was fun to run another race with Megan!! Although there were times when I felt like she was going to kill me, hopefully I helped her a bit to ensure she met her goal! She's running another one in 2 weeks and I know she'll rock that one too!
Have a great week!
1) How do you handle hills during races?
2) Have you ever had beer during a race??
3) How was your weekend?
4) If you'd still like to donate to First Descents, please visit HERE!