Finally getting around to writing my race report for the Palio Half Marathon that was on 9/18/11. Sorry for the delay! I have been so off my blogging game here! Geez! Anyway….
The day began at 5:15 AM in order to get up, get ready and rally the troops (C-man) and to get us successfully out the door on time. C-man looked at me as we headed out at 6:00 and said, “Mom, why is it still dark?” I think I shook my head and said “that’s a good question buddy.” Of course I know why it was dark, but I was thinking more about why we were heading to another event in the dark! Nature of the beast I suppose.
We headed up to A-Sizzle’s new digs so that C-man could play with the other kids while her and I ran the race together. When I initially signed up for this race I had a time goal and it was going to be A-Sizzle’s job to pace me. However! That time goal was derailed by triathlon training and some other unexpected life situations. So heading into this race I knew two things 1-I’d be happy to finish as I really hadn’t trained for the distance and 2- If I could PR a half that would be super too. But I had also heard that the last couple of miles of this race are hilly so if no PR happened, oh well.
No matter what I had goals even if there were no longer that big! We arrived at the race with about 30 minutes to spare so we hung around and ran into so many of our good friends from BeRunning and various other running peeps. I love the fun chatter before races and all the energy that is circling the crowd. It’s infectious! After waiting around for a bit and hitting up the porta-potties a couple of times it was time to line up for the race start. And before you knew it we were off.
The race starts on Broadway in Saratoga. It takes you through the Spa State Park, out into the surrounding flats, back through town out through Skidmore college and then back to Broadway for the finish. You can view a map and video of the course here. As stated previously, I’m bad in writing race reports in that I don’t remember what happened at each mile along the way. So instead I’ll sum up the experience via the good, the not so good and the ugly……………
The Good ~
*I was running with A-Sizzle. Races are always better when run with company. Especially longer races!
*It was a cool morning. Temps were in the 40’s to start which is perfect racing weather!
*The race course was beautiful. I’m not sure what I expected but it was really nice.
*The hills weren’t that bad. I was definitely expecting worse. I powered through all of them with the encouragement of A-Sizzle.
*I finished. And I did so with a new PR of 2:08:35. While not my original goal, it’s still a PR and I’ll take it.
*My race outfit. While I don’t have a picture of the whole ensemble, I can tell you that I wore my new I Heart Sweat T-shirt from Ali at Run for the Rabbit. I paired it with some awesome socks from LittleMissMatched. It’s all about the outfit people. I had fans giving me props for the shirt or the socks all along the course. Totally worth it!
* I was under trained for a half marathon. While I’ve done a ton of training this summer, I have done very few long runs over the 8 mile mark and I definitely felt that out on the course.
* I was wearing brand new sneakers. I trashed my others while running on the still extremely muddy Watervliet section of the bike path the two days before the race so I didn’t have much option. They weren’t too bad but my feet were ready to be free of them after 13.1 miles.
The Ugly ~
* I was under trained for the distance. See above. I was really feeling pretty good for the first 10 miles, but the last three were tough and I really had to stay out of my own head in order to keep running and defeating myself.
*Gu and Gatorade. I know from past experience that the combination of these two things does not work wonders for me. Why I failed to remember this on the course is beyond me. But I can say that for the last two miles I was sincerely wishing that I could just puke and be done with it.
The race was great! I’m so glad that I signed up and did it with A-Sizzle. As we were running the last few miles, I kept thinking about how lucky I am to be a part of this awesome community. And I constantly marvel at the relationships and friendships I have built with some of these people. As people along the course cheered, I couldn’t help but be cheering inside because in fact we are awesome. It made my heart smile a little. As of now I plan to keep this race on my list of things to do each year.