Today I ran my 3rd 1/2 marathon, and my son, Ryan ran his 1st. The morning started out waking at 4:30, to leave the house by 5, and get to our race by 6, for a 7 am start. The kicker was that of course, today happened to be the change to daylight savings, so technically we were up at 3:30 to get ready for our race. Anybody who knows me knows I am not a morning person, so this was very difficult for me. Luckily, I have a great hubby that didn't care that I was asleep by like 8:30 last night, and probably will be again tonight :)
The entire ride down it poured. I was very discouraged - I do not like running in the rain. It was looking like it was going to be a miserable race. Traffic was light, so we were at the race within 40 mins, and thanks to a friend, I had an inside scoop to a better route, and I was able to avoid all the race parking traffic and pulled right into the parking lot. Now was the wait time. We got ourselves ready, did our last minute pit stops and made our way up to the start line by 6:50. Well, I guess not everyone headed the warnings that the race planners gave about arriving early, because parking traffic was still backed up, and the race was delayed by like 25 minutes. Oh, and did I mention, it was still raining????? And it was all Ryan's fault - he kept saying how we would love to have a light drizzle while he ran.
7:20 came with the beautiful singing of the Star Spangled Banner. I'm not sure who sang it, but they did an awesome job. Then we were off. This route wasn't an up and back like I was used to, it was a full loop which was really nice, because you don't get stuck seeing the same sights. Oh, and the rain had stopped for the moment, but that was very short lived. It went from no rain, to light drizzle, to a pretty steady rain quite a few times throughout the race. It wasn't miserable, but I definitely would've preferred just an overcast day. The route wasn't too bad, a bit of a residential area, to a major road, another residential area, back to the major road, and then a back road back up to the end. Saw a bit of everything today - houses, businesses, dams, and cows :)
I didn't go into this race looking for a PR, mainly I wanted run this race for my son. We have been training together for over 8 weeks for this, and I was excited. The plan was that my sister in law Kerri, Ryan and I would run it together, but I was okay if any of us decided to run on their own. Well my son decided that he wanted to run on his own, which left Kerri and I to run together. She is definitely a faster runner than me, so I tried to encourage her to go ahead and go, but she wanted to run with me. It was great, because we talked and encouraged each other (ok, she mainly encouraged me, LOL) as we ran, just like our very first 5k we ran together in 2009.
Like I said I wasn't looking for a PR, I wanted a strong, fun, enjoyable race. That was my goal. And honestly, towards the end of the race, I thought I maybe, if I was lucky, finished with the same time as my last - around 2:30, and I was okay with that. But as we neared the finish line, I looked at the time clock and it said 2:28. Holy crap, I was going to PR. I looked at Kerri and said I'm going to PR - both us pushed on faster, and finished with the time clock saying 2:29:05. I was ecstatic . Chip time was 2:28:34, about 2 mins faster than my last 1/2, and a full 15 mins faster than my first.
Next, I was off to find Ryan and see how he did, since I never did see him again after we started. I truly thought that he what start off fast, and then end up slowing down to run with us. Imagine my surprise to find he finished in 2:12:15, 3rd overall for his age group. I was very impressed and proud of him.
The after party wasn't too bad, we all were given 2 free beers, and bagels, water, bananas and apples. The Mayor joined the party, and was very appreciative of all the runners. All in all, this was a great run. It had a few glitches, but it was an inaugural race of West Volusia Runners club and I'm sure next year it will be even better.