We were blessed with unseasonably mild weather—temperatures in the mid-40s, cloudy skies and raindrops and wind that held off until the last half mile—and a relatively small crowd of almost 750 runners and walkers.
We arrived early, pinned on our bibs and affixed our shoe tags and stretched a bit. We headed to the starting line, smiled for the race photographers a few times and found a place in the middle of the pack.
We set off and stuck together for about 1 mile until Mindy and I pulled ahead and Andi dropped behind because of a cramp in her leg.
The course wound around the lake, through scenic, secluded neighborhoods. It jogged past big houses and through wooded areas. It was mostly flat but included a few short, but steep hills.
Mindy and I ran side by side or one in front of the other through the whole race. We both were plagued with side cramps after about 2 miles, and we just could not shake them. We took a couple of short walking breaks (mostly at the crests of the big hills) to catch our breath and try to kick the side stitches.
I felt pretty good through most of the race, except for the cramp, but I tried really hard to concentrate on breathing deeply and slowing down a little, and I think that helped me lose it after about 3 miles.
We chugged along through the last mile, ascending a hill, taking a short break and riding the downhill, and we started to feel raindrops and a moderate wind. We decided Mother Nature is an evil woman and definitely not a runner. But we ignored it because we didn’t have much farther to go.
Mindy and I kicked it into high gear with about 300 meters to go, the finish line in sight and a few spectators dotting the course. We high-tailed it across the finish line, and we crossed at around 46 minutes. We both were stoked at how well we ran and how fast we finished, especially given the farthest either of us had run recently was 2 miles.
We waited for Andi and cheered her across the finish line, and the three of us headed back to the high school gym to grab some water and fruit. We soon ventured a block or two to Olga’s Kitchen for pita sandwiches and smoothies to fill our bellies and rest our weary legs.
All in all, I was really pleased with the race. I went into it not with a goal of crossing the finish in a certain amount of time but with a plan to test myself and start half-marathon training on the right foot. I found the course beautiful (even in the
dead of winter spring) but challenging (hills and puddles), and I was glad to run with someone again.
However, I was disappointed at the disorganization of the race. I figured because it was managed by a race company, it would be a clean, organized race. But I felt like the company or the organizers could make some improvements, such as making a course map (or at the very least, a detailed description) available on the race website, posting mile markers along the course and offering a water station at the halfway point.
Now, without further ado, here are my statistics:
Distance: 4 miles
Duration: 45:57 chip time (46:19 clock time, 46:05 Nike+ time)
Average pace: 11:29 per mile
Mile 1: 10:43
Mile 2: 11:07
Mile 3: 12:10 (side cramp and hill!)
Mile 4: 11:21
And, since this is my first race and first race recap since starting the blog, here is my (brief) race history:
I drove home, hopped into a hot bath filled with salts that were supposed to ease aching muscles and got into my pajamas. *sigh*
I’m now blogging, hacking my Nike+ account to get mile splits and listening to Christopher broadcast the Muskegon Lumberjacks game (from Sioux Falls, S.D.). I know how to celebrate New Year’s Eve, don’t I?
I’ve spent the last couple hours trying to figure out how to obtain my mile splits from the XML file my Nike+ produces… Argh. But I just figured it out, and I’m posting!
I’ll be back tomorrow to post my goals for 2011.
Happy New Year!