Oshkosh 1/2 marathon 2012 race recap and cute dogs :)

It was a beautiful, slightly chilly day for a race. Brian and I woke up at 5 am, got dressed and ate breakfast (yogurt, bananas, chia, agave), then headed off to Oshkosh. We got there around 6, and I stopped at the race HQ to pick up my bib. I was so happy to see Nancy, Thomas, Kim, and Kim’s awesome grandma there. Thomas ran the 5K this morning and took 1st in his age group and 3rd overall! Way to go, Thomas! πŸ™‚

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Brian and I continued our race tradition in Oshkosh and walked over to a little coffee shop, where we got coffee, kept warm, and hung out.

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Brian is the best spectator and race support system. πŸ™‚

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At 6:50, we left the coffee shop and walked the block to the starting line.

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I started the race with a track jacket and thin gloves, since it was chilly. It was about 40 degrees. The first few miles were good- I went out at about a 9:00 pace. I took a few Gu Chomps at mile 3, but got a little sick to my stomach; I tried to ignore that feeling. I ran with the 2:00 pace group for a while, but I knew that I couldn’t keep that up, so I let myself stay back when they pulled ahead around mile 4. I played a lot of mind games with myself in miles 4-6. I kept looking at the people in front of me and wondered who might be competing with me in Athena. I intentionally slowed my pace to about 9:15 and thought if I hung in there at that pace, I could make my goal of 2:02. Brian was waiting for me at mile 6 and took my jacket and coat, encouraged me, and blew me a kiss.

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I continued along for three miles until I saw him again. During that time, I tried to eat a few more Gu Chomps, but thought I might just yak them up, so I decided to forgo solid-ish fuels for the rest of the race and stick with Gatorade on the course.
Miles 9-12 are kind of rough in this race. We run through a business area and there aren’t many spectators. The best part of that section was when a 65-ish year old woman cheered me on and said, “What is this? A fashion show? You look great!” It was the cutest thing ever. I was wearing a new purple running skirt, so I was pretty cute, haha.
I started thinking about TK and Rachael around mile 10. A few tears escaped my eyes, but with all the salt from sweating, the crying hurt. 😦
The last few miles, my baby cows calves were cramping. I was afraid that would happen- but I pressed on. As a result, I had to take more walk breaks than I wanted to. 😦
I still knew that a PR was in my future, so I was able to will myself in through the finish line chute…

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…with a final time of 2:03:30. That’s two minutes faster than my previous 1/2 PR, so yay for that. Second race for Rachael in the books. πŸ™‚

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On to the not-as-fun part.
So, I mentioned in this post that I signed up to run this race as an Athena. I thought I’d have a chance of getting a good placement in this division. Even with running a new PR, I placed 9th out of 17. I would be lying to you if I said I wasn’t disappointed in myself. I’d be lying if I said that a part of me didn’t feel really defeated. If I can’t even compete realistically against the other big girls, then why bother competing at all? I’m still sort of struggling with that concept. It might have been a mistake to mentally give myself permission to compete for real- I might have been setting myself up for failure.
I may just go back to trying to compete against myself for a while. :-/
Anyway, I stopped at the stretching tent for a little help with recovery. They had a chiropractor there who was VERY helpful for my sore calves and hips.

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And of course, I had to have a cup of Drop Dead Blonde. Thanks, Point Beer, for being an sponsor! It was like a little taste of home πŸ™‚

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Brian drove me back to New London and I immediately hopped in the shower. I was one salty, sweaty, cold runner girl. After my shower, we went outside to play with our pups. Brace yourself for some shameless pictures of my cute pups. πŸ™‚

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Abbie got a “war wound” on her nose from a branch in the woods.

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That didn’t stop her from helping with shucking the corn!

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Poor cute thing. She also entirely covered herself in mud. I rested my legs a bit, I was feeling pretty tired after that run.

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We had a great lunch of turkey burgers, roasted veggies, and sweet corn (thanks, Jean!), then packed up and headed home.

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That’s all for now. Sorry to be a downer, but the bottom line is that I’m proud of my PR, and I hope there are more to come. I’m still as strong as ever!

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Miles this year: 210.3

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Oshkosh 1/2 marathon 2012 race recap and cute dogs :)

  1. I’m an average runner too and I sometimes I get caught up in the “I’ll never be at the top, why bother” thoughts that you had. But, then I remind myself that I do this for me. I do it so that I can feel good. It is all about racing yourself. You won with a PR!

  2. Nancy

    Hey Heidi; I think you learned a very valuable lesson in this race! Only race the person in your shoes! We use those around us to challenge us and make us possibly run better, but utimately we have to run our own race. The place you are at the end is only an indication of who was there on that day and how your time is in relation to them. Every race is different, so having a place as a goal can be a very disappointing experience. If you put it all out there and ran your best race…be very proud! If you had a PR, what more can you ask? You did better than you have ever done! You can always walk away and be proud about that. Keep up the good work and learning along the way. That is part of the reason we run, right? Congratulations!

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