The One in Which I Took No Pictures…

Good morning and Happy Monday to ya!  I survived the Modesto Marathon and I liked it.  But I took no pictures at all.  How every unblogger like of me but whatever.  I managed to get up at 4am on Sunday, shower, dress, eat and be in my car at 5am.  I did have to detour back to the house once because I forgot my water bottle.  I don’t usually drink that much water but I need the bottle to wash down the Gu.  So I U-turned about 2 blocks from the house to get it.

I got the bottle and left again.  2 blocks later, I had to stop again because the gps on my phone quit working.  Pulled over, got it fixed and got back on the road again.  I made it down to Modesto in less than an hour and found a primo place to park only 2 blocks from the starting line.  I paid to park and then headed out to find the porta potties.  I used the bathroom, wandered around a little bit and then staked out a place at the 11 minute/mile marker at the start.  At 6:45 I ate my Gu and enjoyed the people watching.  It’s always a premium at races.  I can’t decided who’s my favorite, the girls in full on make up like it’s the Oscars or the super serious 5k’ers with the full fuel belts.  No, it’s the people in full costumes.  Yep, gotta be the costumes.

The race was scheduled to start at 7am and at about 7:10 we were off after a very amazing rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.  I’m a big softy and get choked up every time.  But I wasn’t the only on wiping tears. The music was thumping and we were all pretty pumped.  Due to the congestion at the start and the fact that they were only using half of the street for the start we walked across the start line before the field could spread out to run.  It was the slowest start I’ve ever seen.

The first 2 or 3 miles were through some really lovely neighborhoods and the crowd support was really great.  People were up early and some were handing out champagne to the runners.  I skipped the champagne.

Once we left the neighborhoods, we went into an industrial area which is fine but the roads were a little worse for wear and you had to watch your footing.  Then it was up and over “Mt. Modesto.”  Mt. Modesto is a very steep overpass that takes you up and over some railroad tracks and Highway 99.  There was a lot of walking going on here but I powered up and over.  I was feeling really grateful that I had done the “steep” over pass here in town during my training.  I didn’t do it on purpose but it was the only was to get to the other side of town on my long runs so it became part of my training plan.

After you went up and over Mt. Modesto, you looped around to a frontage road and then we were sent off into the country on farm roads.  They were fairly narrow but the field had really thinned out at this point so it wasn’t a problem. But again, you needed to watch your footing.  About this time I took my first package of Gu.  The scenery was really nice with lots of orchards.  Thankfully most everything except for the walnuts had already bloomed and didn’t affect my horrible allergies.

About 7.5 miles in the Half Marathon split off and we were headed back toward the finish while the Marathoners headed further out into the farmland.  Before we split I did see the first wheelchair racer to participate in the race but wasn’t able to catch him to congratulate him.  It was very impressive to see especially since I new that he’d had to climb Mt. Modesto too.  It was hard on two legs.

At mile 8, I Gu’ed again.  After we split off, I had started wondering how we were going to get back to the otherside of the free way again…um, hello again Mt. Modesto.  It was like a cruel joke.  At cuel joke at mile 10.  So mean.  I’d say that 90% of the field walked it.  I slowed way down but I didn’t walk it.  I just kept the legs moving.  The joy in the up hill was the down hill.  I just let my body carry me.

Everything was going well until mile 12.  Bonk.  Smash.  Ouch.  I hit the wall so hard that I’m pretty sure I left parts of me behind.  I started taking very small walk breaks.  I know I had juice in the tank but mentally I was ready to be done.  I had to pull out my ear phones becuase I just couldn’t deal with the noise anymore.  It was making me feel manic instead of energized.  I managed to pull it together enough to run the last half mile in without stopping and even pick up the pace for the final sprint in.

As I was running down the chute all alone, the photographer yelled, “hands up” to me and I managed to get them up and even woohoo’ed a bit.  I hit the stop on my Garmin, grabbed some water, received my medal and made my way through the madness grabbing some food (why I don’t know, I didn’t eat it until hours after I got home).  I checked out the pictures that were up, none were of me, and checked the results.  My results weren’t up yet so I wandered around and then decided I was ready to head to my car.  Thankfully I only walked about 4 blocks and I was there.  I stretched out some, grabbed my jacket & started drinking my Nuun that I’d left in my car with extra ice.  The ice was gone but it was still good.

My lower back was killing me so I did some stretches as best I could to get the knots out and then remembered I hadn’t looked at my Garmin.  Let me tell you guys, when I saw the time, I totally choked up and got all teary eyed.

2014 Modesto Half Marthon Garmin Reading

2:18:58!!!  I planned to treat the race like a training run.  Run what felt good, keep it around the 11 min mark for my pace.  I didn’t really pay much attention to time except to know when to fuel.  So seeing that 2:18 was a shock.  I couldn’t believe it and I still kinda can’t.

2014 Modesto Half Marathon Medal

My splits look like this:

2014 Modesto Marathon Splits

At mile 9 is when I started to tire based upon the splits and the fact that was about the time I started to feel physically hungry.  I need to rethink my fueling plan.  Instead of fueling every 45 minutes, maybe every 40 minutes.  Not sure but I’ll be working on this over the next two weeks before the Running of the Elks.

My offical finish time was 2:18:47.  In the next couple of days the race photos will be up and I’ll be sure to share them…provided they aren’t horible…cough.  What?  I’m not pretty when I run, not that I care since I don’t have to look at me!  😉

Pro’s and con’s of the race:

Pros:
Early start time
Nice course, Flat
Good scenry
Plenty of aid stations with medical care
Closed course, no vehicle traffic except for emergancy vehicles
Good weather, 45 degrees at the start
Good swag including a light weight jacket, tech shirt and assorted goodies
Expo in an easy to get to location
Plenty of parking at the race within a few blocks
Course entertainment from a vartiy of different bands (one band started playing Sweet Home Alabama as I went by. It was like a nod from the running/music gods that I was doing good.)
Amazing volunteers & course support

Cons:
Mt. Modesto…twice – Not a deal breaker for me but was pretty brutal around mile 10
The staff didn’t seem to know what was happening. I enquired about changing the size of my shirt and was told I could do it at the expo. But at the expo they said you could only exchange them after the race. Never did try to exchange it for a wearable size.

So just two cons. One of which would have been a non issue if I’d registerd for the correct size shirt to begin with.  It was a good race with a very fun atmasphere and I would run it again.

Did you race this week?

How’d you do?

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4 thoughts on “The One in Which I Took No Pictures…

    1. Thanks! It was a lot of fun. I’m super proud of my finish. But it leaves me wondering what’s going to happen in two weeks at my next half. I’d love to PR again but I’m trying to be realistic.

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