Friday Nicole and I went to Providence to pick up our bibs. What a cool number! I was a little less indifferent.
Saturday Nicole had a pasta dinner for three of us running, she and I the half and Sarah, running the full, and families. Talking about past races, the good the bad and the ugly, over dinner. I was kind of looking forward to it, a little iffy about the weather and the slight possibility of rain and not so keen on the predicted wind gusts (in the 30MPH) coming towards us the last 3 miles of the race course. My indifference was starting to wan a bit more.
Nicole doesn't like to drive past Warwick and I was completely content to drive. I also made sure I didn't over sleep like I did for the last race Nicole and I were supposed to meet up for and car pool. A bit of redemption for me in that aspect too.
Ok so enough of the blather already Beth tell us about the race. This is the view from the middle of the pack, a different view for those of you used to being in the front of the pack.
The last time I ran this I was 2:18 ('11), my 1/2 PR is 2:09 (Newport '12). This is the first time Nicole ran this course and her 1/2 PR is 2:27 (Newport '13) I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to better her PR just a little bit. She asked I emphatically denied having any plans of such a thing. She is a strong runner and accepts being pushed way more than I do. We went into this with a 2:30 race in mind, I went in with a 2:20. A nice training run for me and a good pace for Nicole.
We were able to see Sarah cross the start line for her Marathon. Very exciting!! It is different seeing people cross the start line. At this point I was significantly less indifferent about this race.
Miles 1 - 3 - the fun miles!
Once we were off, I saw a familiar face standing on the traffic island, the quickly mentally trying to put it all in context. CHRIS! Hi!
Phil runs up, always so over dressed, how do you NOT melt! We ran together a bit, introduced Nicole. Apparently he drafted us for about half the race, a FB post noted the wheels fell off about 1/2, insufficient training and he would be better trained for Surftown. I thought he sped off!
Then I see Amy (of the pointy elbows) and her guy Joe trotting along. Took me a minute to get her attention. "Hey Blondie" I yelled and eventually had to slug her in the shoulder. We wished each other well exchanged introductions and they also sped off. We caught up again about mile 8. Still waiting on her finish line story!
This was getting fun, I knew people! People knew me! It truly is the simple things.
We went out a bit fast. I knew we were, I was so caught up in the vibe and the beautiful running weather, it was hard to back off.
The first hill was a bit of a struggle, and they became something for Nicole to bust my chops about! swear this is the last hill!!!
Miles 4 - 11 - the not so fun miles
The middle chunk of the race always plays mind games with me. Mostly, why am I doing this. It wasn't as bad this time, but there were moments and the distractions helped quell the voices.
A gal approaches us saying, you two are running about a 10:30 can I run with you? I'm just not feeling this race. Sure, no problem, doubtful we will hold a 10:30, probably closer to an 11. Nancy was fine with that and we exchanged stories. It really is helpful to have someone to talk to when running, or for me listen to. I seriously lack in topics of conversation unless you want to talk about dogs, knitting, or what ever book I'm reading about the holocaust and/or WWII (or running). The mommies talked about kids and I learn SO much about parenthood and motherhood, I'd never pass on the chance to listen in on these conversations, so thank you ladies!
This part of the course is also very beautiful running up and down Blackstone Boulevard, beautiful homes and lawns. There are parts more city, I think the pretty parts make up for the iffy ones.
Hills 2 - 6. Every time we'd see a hill I'd say, "I think this is the last one" By the 4th hill Nicole said, "Are you sure? I'm thinking I need to stop believing you."
We settled in to a nice respectable pace, walking water stops and enjoying ourselves. I was really enjoying this run, oh wait, race. The weather was perfect even the wind came around at the right times. Just a beautiful day to enjoy a nice run. Have I said enjoy enough?
Once we got past mile 7 I really started to feel in a grove, looking forward to that down hill after mile 9 and then the long flat (seriously I THOUGHT it was flat) until the end.
The down hill took everyone but me by surprise. Didn't I emphasize it was steep? Perhaps not... no one fell so that was a good thing.
Miles 11 - 13.1 - the fun miles!
Nancy sped off as we climbed the last hill (#7) at mile 11, we never did see her again. Nicole had pretty much had it at mile 10 so I was gently tugging her along, and SWORE that was THE LAST hill, but there maybe one more bump! HA HA HA
My usually full repertoire of dog stories completely left me and I couldn't even think of a story to tell to get her mind off of the pain and frustration. I'll have to remember the Diesel locking himself in the UHaul. That one usually gets a laugh.
We were also running into the wind, the gusty wonderful wind, it was tough and it felt so good. Usually the wind feels awful and brutal running into it, this wind didn't feel that bad. I felt good and really wanted to go a little faster. I wasn't going to leave Nicole behind.
At the 13 mile sign, Nicole said, "Go just go." I wasn't going to be told twice and upped it up a few gears and ran like a bear was chasing me (Chris, thanks for the comments, I felt great, glad I didn't look like a hot mess) to the finish line (hoping Nicole would find another gear - and she did, she said "Once you took off I thought, no don't leave me."). I backed off a little bit so I didn't totally chick a guy over the finish mat. I could have just kept running many more blocks, I felt so good and so freaking comfortable with what I've accomplished in my training and how I feel, I uber positive for the Ice Age 50 50K on the 10th. I absolutely needed this boost to my confidence. Thank you Nicole for not letting me wimp out and not run it.
2:24:46 for me and 2:24:58 for Nicole. Sarah 4:33:03 - this was a vendetta race for her, her first full (Hartford '13) was a disaster, this race restored her faith in herself and her training - ALWAYS a good thing!! Full results here. You can see the run on my Strava feed on the right. I can't get the HTML to load the picture.
All in all a good race, the roads in parts are a disaster, on the positive you aren't shoulder to shoulder with other runners! 2,000 1/2 marathon finishers and 1,333 marathon finishers, not a teeny tiny race, small though and very well done.
We hung around for a little bit after our finish and saw Monica finish and we were getting chilled and it was just time to go home, so we did. Hoping Nicole enjoyed her beer in the shower and a nice nap in the afternoon! I took Giz and Gus for a walk, seriously I'm going to go bazonkers with all this energy stored up...
Beth, ready for the 50K on the 10th! Eternally grateful for everyone's support and encouragement!! Thank you!!!!