Thursday, August 26, 2010

Parkersburg News and Sentinel Half Marathon

Well guys, I ran a half marathon this past Saturday.  It was kind of a last minute plan.  I had thought about running it a long time ago when I was planning out my training plan for the distance run.  Well, then I forgot about it.  I really was unsure if I would have my mileage built up enough to run it, and I didn't want to plan on running it and then get injured along the way and have to lose my registration money.  So, the Sunday before last, I ran 10.4 miles in 1:50.  Thursday I decided, what the heck, it's just a few more miles, so I registered.  It was pretty last second, and my husband had other plans, so I had to make the trip by myself.  That kind of stunk because I had to work out of town, come home, pack up everything, then drive over an hour to Parkersburg.  I didn't end up getting there till 11:30PM, and didn't get to bed till about 12:30.  I had to get up early in the morning to get my race packet before the race. 

Let me just tell you about this hotel I stayed in.  Because of the race and my lack of planning, there were only 2 rooms left when I got there.  One was a smoking room and the other didn't have a key.  No key??  What do you mean??  The hotel guy told me that he could let me in, but I couldn't come and go.  Lol, no problem I'm just going to bed and leaving in the morning anyways.  This place was so gross.  It was the smallest hotel room I have ever stayed in, and the carpet was nasty.  I was so creeped out by this place and excited about the race that I could barely sleep.  Luckily, I survived through the night.

So, on to the race.  I had heard this race was a little hilly.  Nothing like the Charleston Distance Run, but still hilly.  I figured it would be a great training run for the CDR.  I also heard about a monster hill at mile 11.  I didn't think much of it.  Boy was it ridiculous.  Just at the moment you can't take one more step, you get to a giant hill.  Terrific!!

My plan was to run this as a long slow run, in place of my usual long Sunday run.  I told myself I would run it between 10:30-10:45 min/mile pace and pick it up at the end if I had anything left.  Well, I made it through the first couple of miles holding back a little, and then I couldn't hold back any longer.  I felt so good, and my competiveness got to me.  I settled in at a 10:00 min/mile pace and felt amazing.  The hills didn't phase me a bit.  My breathing was very controlled and I felt great.  I got water at every water stop, not losing a beat.  Then, around mile 8 my race bib decides to rip half off.  Great.  I'm trying to keep it from falling off, and I finally ask another runner if she could spare one of her safety pins.  She was nice enough to do so, so I pinned it back on and kept running.  I felt good till about mile 10.  I had to take a walk break.  Not necessarily because I was pooped at this point, but my stupid feet were killing me.   Seriously, my feet never hurt, so I don't know what was going on.  So, I started running again, then came to a bridge at about 10.5 miles.  Haha, yep I'm walking this one.  At this point, I'm really tired, and I'm had to start doing the running/walking thing.  Then, I got to mile 11.4.  The monster hill.  And man, they weren't kidding.  It was the steepest hill, but luckily not too long.  I laughed, as I wasn't even going to attempt to run up this thing.  I walked to the top, then saw the big downhill and started running again.  I was 1.5 miles away.  I stopped to walk a couple more times, then with about a 1/2 mile left, I could see the finish line.  This motivated me enough to keep running to the finish and to finish strong.  Boy, that last stretch of street seemed to go on forever!  I crossed under 2:19.  It averaged out to be about a 10:35 pace.  Even though I had managed about a 10:05 pace through the first 10 miles, those last 3 miles kicked my ass!

I'm actually very pleased with the race.  I mean, I have only been back training from my injury for 8 weeks.  So, I am actually very happy with how I did.  I believe had it not been for the hills, I could've maintained my 10:00 min pace.  I'm not disappointed at all that I tired the last few miles.  Considering my last long run up to that was 1:50, I think I did pretty good.  The Distance Run is in 10 days.  It's 15 miles, so I will have to push myself, especially with the 5 miles of hills in the beginning-middle, but I know I can finish.  I'm probably not going to finish in under 2:30 like last year, but I will finish nonetheless.

I will say that the Parkersburg Half was a very well put together race.  There were tons of spectators all lining the course, which was very encouraging and motivating.  They had groups of people strategically placed when you needed it, lol.  It was very cool how supportive the city was.  Also, there was a nice pizza party afterwards with Papa Johns Pizza, cookies, and ice cream.  And, the local YMCA opened its doors to allow the runners to take showers.  By the time I got there, there was no hot water, but I was thankful to take a shower and change into dry clothes.  The sucky part was having to drive home tired and feeling like I just got hit by a bus, lol.

Overall, a great experience and I will definitely run it again!

race info:
My race pic:


  1. Yikes on that hotel... LOL. At least they had a room? How the heck do you not have a key, that is rather odd.

    Sounds like the race went well and I'm glad you are pleased with yourself. I think I know the foot pains you are talking about - when I first start running longer my feet can get achy. Anyway congrats on the half!

  2. very cool race photo and it sounds like you had a good race. congrats on the half and congrats on surviving the night in a sketchy hotel! =)