Tuesday, December 7, 2010

gobbler grind. somewhere between a snake and a mongoose. and a panther.

Oh my, I never said I wasn't a procrastinator. So two weeks after the fact, here is my Gobbler Grind Half Marathon report. Per usual, I'm just going to list it out. But first the good stuff. PR secured.

Official Results:
AG 15/121
Overall Place 284/1323

*Indi and I pre-race, as you can see I fully embrace my northern European roots and keep it pasty white, year round. I love how it's especially noticeable next to Indi and her beautiful tan skin.... jerk*

*The girls pre-GG ready to go, Indi, Me, Shelley and Erin*

The race:
- It was a warmish, very windy morning in Overland Park, so I woke up dreading the race. I wasn't well rested, and was feeling worn down. Plus wind and I, historically, do not get along. I went ahead and got all typically dramatic. Oh there was drama oozing every direction. I got over it after I had a latte of course. I'm somewhat like a hungry infant before coffee...

- I headed to the race with Indi, who also ran the half, and our faithful spectators Edder and the Sherpa. Once at the race we found Shelley, and I felt instantly better, she's like my binky. I need her at races. Yes, I'm quite needy, I'm fine with that. And so is she. So once I saw her I was just ready to go. Screw the wind. And hills. And humidity. IN NOVEMBER. I was determined to get a PR.

- After a warbly set of announcements and a questionable rendition of our nations anthem we were off. My legs were suffering the first two miles. I sucked it up and braced myself, but after mile two my body started to cooperate and I got in a groove and started to feel much, much better. By mile three I was starting to pick up the pace and loosen up. I passed the next three miles by picking a person to pass, and doing just that. Not a bad method to occupy my mind, it worked pretty well.

- I made the last minute decision to try a new method of hydration, instead of fannying about with the water stops, I decided to carry hydration for the first time in any race. This was an excellent decision. I got two fuel belt bottles and a holder. I had one that I started with (filled with water) and I had finished that off by mile six, where Edder was waiting with my second bottle of Gatorade. I was worried I would drop the bottle he had for me, but managed to snag it seamlessly. This is a credit to the Edder, because anyone who knows me well knows that I am inept at anything involving depth perception. And balls (stop giggling) or grabbing things while moving (okay, giggle), or catching anything. ANYTHING. I duck when Edder tosses me house keys for goodness sake. But it was perfect. And I plan to do that at future races when Edder is there to be my pack mule.

- Miles 7 - 9ish were the hilliest I have ever done in a race. This is the part of the race that was a total mind screw (except insert grownup term that rhymes with truck here, keeping it friendly here people). We had to run uphill for nearly two miles, but it was also into the wind. And you couldn't see all that glorious hill waiting for you. Oh no. You would get to the top of one, turn the corner and HEYOOO, there's another one. That went on three times. It. Was. Awesome. Or made me want to cry. Either way.

- I always semi-believed in taking Cliff shots during my races, but after GG I am a firm believer it can make all the difference in the world. I was bombing at mile 9 (right after the hills), so I took a Cliff Shot (and here is where i don't recommend trying a new flavor for the caffeine factor, although the caffeine worked it's magic, it tasted horrid) and I got my stride and energy back. It was a total relief.

- I had fantastic splits for miles 10 and 11 (8:13 and 8:07 respectively), but by mile 12 the hills and the exhaustion caught up. And I was getting angry as I was slowing down. The fact that my iPod was seriously screwed up (skipping and scrubbing songs for the last four miles) didn't help the angry factor. I got angrier as the time kept getting higher and higher and my pace kept slipping (that mile ended up being 8:36-ouch), and my iPod kept messing up. Even though at that point I knew I would finish in around 1:54. Amazing how irrational I can get during a race. However, finishing with a PR always feels fantastic. No matter what. And that it did when I crossed the line.

- I watched and waited with the boys as Shelley, Erin and Indi crossed the finish line. Shelley's finish line story is quite exciting and I'll just say for now she is an amazing person, I'll tell that story in another post.

-Overall it was a good race, it was hard, but not as hard as I assumed it would be. We were sheltered from a lot of wind, and the uphills weren't as horrific as I prepared myself for them to be. But it still sapped my flatlander energy and knocked me on my ass by the end. Clearly. All in all? I was quite satisfied, who wouldn't be with a nine minute PR?

*post GG PR smiles*
I'm really bad at letting myself be satisfied with a PR, but I've been trying really hard to enjoy this one, seeing how I've had to wait quite a few years to get it. I am of course already planning my next 1/2 PR. March. Oh you know you do it too. I'm already excited to do this race again next year. I really liked it, and glad I finally got to do it! And take my PR 1/2 revenge out on the good old Gobbler Grind.

One more race to go on Sunday to meet that 2010 PR goal. And I hope I get another Pee-My-Pants PR at that 5K!


Marlene said...

Solid race! That is a MASSIVE half PR. Seriously. You freaking rock.

RunToTheFinish said...

yes do enjoy that PR!!! You worked hard for it and man am I amazed you were in shorts, Gobbler must have been warmer than when I was there!

J said...

Congrats on the PR! That is awesome! March will be here before you know it!

Aron said...

yahhhh congrats on the awesome PR!!

i keep my legs pasty white too ;)

Mark said...

Awesome, pants-pee-worthy PR! You know I'm going to have to test this poor depth perception claim the next time I see you at a race. I'm sure you could catch something that's headed straight for your face! Just be ready for it.

2 Slow 4 Boston said...

Sounds like you picked a hard race to PR on. Just think how fast you would run without hills or wind!

Lindsay said...

Whoa! I was gonna say Congrats on the PR but then a 9-min PR on hills, whew!! Extra awesome

chris mcpeake said...

Great job, congrats on such a big PR

spyder ski said...

nice shots. congrats on the PR!

Continuing Education for MFT said...

Very inspiring blog. Congrats!