Monday, July 12, 2010

Oscar's First Half Marathon

This past May, Oscar took on his first half marathon. Here he is driving in the car the night before on our way to Olympia, Washington's capital city. Oscar's comments in italics. I was thinking about the terrible traffic we had on the way more than I was thinking about the race.

On the morning of the run, we saw this line and assumed it was the check in line for the racers. It turned out it was actually the bathroom line! I guess you need to empty the tank before the race. I knew this was the line for the bathroom and I timed it a little early. I would have liked to use the restroom 3 minutes before the race began rather than 20 minutes before.

These were some of the decorations they had up along with a live band. I enjoyed being in the main square while we waited for the race to start. I didn't even notice this stand.

I took this shot of Oscar right before the race began. I was wearing a heart-rate monitor and was going to use it to gauge my maximum sustainable intensity. My goal was 2:00 hours and my "I'll be happy with" was 2:10.

And the front of the line. Oscar was hanging out somewhere about halfway back. This is the only time I was nervous.

I went to the 6 mile point to cheer him on. This was at about 58 minutes, which put me a few minutes behind where I wanted to be. I blamed this on the scarcity of water which was provided at miles 1, 2, 4, 6.5, 9, 11, and 12. Nearly all my training I had water whenever I felt like it, so I was not ready for rationing. All I could think about was "got to go faster."

I tried to find him at the 8 and 10 mile points, but unfortunately, I barely missed him at both of them. I was unfamiliar with the city, and the GPS kept leading me back to the closed roads that the race was being held at. I waited for him at the 10 mile since I saw people who'd been ahead of him at the 6, but apparently he'd passed them by that point. As I mentioned, my only thoughts were "must go faster" and by mile 8 I had completely abandoned my adherence to the heart rate monitor. My original plan kept me near 165 bpm, but by mile 8 and 9 I was passing people going up hills I didn't know were there. 175 bpm became the normal by mile 9.

By the time I got back to the finish line, Oscar had crossed it about a minute before I got there. He sprinted to the finish line, they announced him "sprinting to the finish" over the megaphone, and he nearly ran into the guy ahead of him since he couldn't slow down fast enough at the end. I waited for him at the finish line, and he actually came up behind me in a big, sweaty embrace. I snapped this shot of him. He sweat so much it looks like he peed his pants. Fortunately I did not pee my pants. I did however receive a kiddie cup full of beer at mile 11 which I thought was water until it was half way down my throat. For 5 minutes I didn't think about running- instead I thought of all the horrible things that beer would do to me during the race. Fortunately I did not feel any physical effects. With a quarter mile left I sprinted with all my remaining energy and my heart rate peaked at 198 bpm- higher than I thought possible. I finished in 2:03:52, right on target and much faster than I thought I would finish when I has half way.

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