{December 21, 2010}   Jacksonville Bank 1/2 Marathon Race Report

  Sunday. 12.19.10

  Up at 4:30 am.  Actually, I woke up each hour that night in anticipation.  Still, by 4:30 I was ready to start moving.  Left the hotel about 5:40, got to race about 6am.  Right now I’d like to mention that it was INSANELY COLD.  And by that I mean 40 degrees which is mild for many, not for my thin blood.  And this is Florida, after all, so I feel jipped on that front.

  The race start and finish was at a local high school.  Seeking refuge from the chill, I followed the crowd into a small gym.  And smiled.  Runners congregated, stretching, chatting, laughing.  I love runners.  Maybe I’m biased but aside from the occassional premadonna, runners are the happiest, most cheerful and good-natured group of people out there.  Ok, so I am biased.  Still, I enjoy being among this mass.  It occurred to me then that I have never, until now, been to a race that included a full marathon on the event list.  This brought out a slightly different breed of runners than I was used to.  Sure, I know marathoners, but all bunched up under one roof?  The land of zero body fat.  Lean, serious endurance athletes.  It seemed the seasoned 26.2 racers outnumbered the rookies.  And me being just a 1/2 mary contender, and a casual runner at that, you might think I felt out of place, but I didn’t.  We might not be equally talented, but we are like-minded.

6:45am.  15 minutes till start.  Everyone filed out of the gym toward the start.  Passed the endless row of portapotties I was surprised by the long lines.  Did they not hear the time? Good luck with that.  I quickly tried to discern where my expected pace would fit in with the line-up and picked a spot between the 4:15 and 4:30.  The guy on the other end of the bull horn seemed stressed, as he bellowed to one lady “get that stroller to the back!”  This woman, who I chatted with after the race, was pushing her five year old daughter in sed stroller.  She was sent to the back of the pack, but still passed me early on.  Clearly this was not one of those women that toe the line and then walk the whole distance.

7:00am.  Its a small race, but still took a few minutes to cross the line when the canon shot.  I smiled.  Love the energy, and the single movement of thousands of feet propelling in one direction.  Heads bobbing, hearts pounding, Garmin’s beeping.  The first three miles were a loop back to and through the start.  The whole race was residential.   Those first 30 minutes my mind and body protested, “Um, Jes, I don’t think we’re really up for this.  Its an awful long ways and we’re tired and cold.  Not sure you thought this through.”  That passed and I kept on.  Or, rather, I kept on, and then it passed.  I had no goals going into this because of my lack of training.  I hadn’t had a run longer than 8 miles since my last half in March.  Running in general, I only have half the mileage this year that I had in 2009.  So I just wanted to finish without injury. 

It was about mile 6 or 7 when it clicked that my pace was just under 10 min/mile.  And it occurred to me that my best time was 2:11:something.  It might seem odd that I had to think about what my best time was.  Shouldn’t that be at the forefront of a runner’s memory at all times?  Have you figured out yet that I’m not that competitive and perhaps a little bit blonder than I pay to be?  Anyways, it then it occurred to me that if I kept this pace I could actually PR.  And then I talked myself out of it.  Too ambitious a goal for someone who hadn’t even been training.  So I compromised and told myself to run as strong as possible now, and see how far I get. 

Mile 8: normally my “wall.”  Whether running 8 miles or 18, this is always my toughest stretch.  Didn’t hit the wall this time.  The wall was nowhere to be found.

Mile 10.  Warm-up finished.  5k to go.  Saw my family which gave me an added boost. 

Mile 13.  Turned into the school.  Last tenth was on a track around the football field.  I love tracks.  I love football fields.  I love races and hearing my name and hometown announced and knowing I’m 200 yards from the finish line.  Euphoric.  Smiled up at the camera at the very last second.  There was chili, and smoothies, and bagels, and oranges, and warm water.  All I wanted was a banana and to stretch.

The rundown.

Time: 2’07’43 PR!!!!

Pace: 9’46” (better pace than the 10k I did a few weeks ago!)

Temp: It was around 45 degrees at the start, and colder at the finish!  Weather was gray and misty.

Race itself: Simple. No flashyness.  No pomp and circumstance.  There weren’t even very many people in costumes which surprised me a week from Christmas.  It was a low key race, easy to get lost in thought and just run.  Much different than the Disney Princess 1/2 and Rock’N’Roll Virginia Beach!  My kids have gotten nicer medals doing kiddie runs.  The shirt-ugh! Horrible.  I have yet to get a tech tee that fits right. I’d take a cheap cotton t-shirt over these any day.   The volunteers- not the southern charm I’m used to.  I know it sounds negative but I did enjoy the race, and considering the entry fee was $35, I don’t mind the lack of flare at all.  Not many spectators, but thats a given, since it was a smaller race.  Ideal for qualifying for Boston.  And it was close to home for me, so I would consider doing it again.

Will edit soon with pics. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

et cetera
%d bloggers like this: