Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Stomp the Grapes Half Marathon

Saturday morning I woke up early to make the drive down to Navarre, the last long race in the Hermes Road Race Series. I figured at the very least, I could pick up some nice participation points, but as usual I had my own goal set a little higher than that.

Carol, an ole running friend of mine, rode down with me and we arrived to this cute lil winery out in the country. It was a bit cool as I shed my jacket but I knew I would be fine in my tank top before long. My stomach was feeling a bit off as it had the entire evening before.

As I started off, I was feeling pretty good and staying with the lead group of women for the first couple miles.

Mile 1, 6:35 (Downhill)
Mile 2 & 3, 14:29

It did not take long before I started to feel like I was working harder than I wanted to be. I let the lead women go. I had my headphones just cranking but I was already sort of bored and ready to be done, even on this beautiful morning.

Mile 4, 7:37 I drank some gatorade...so thirsty already!
Mile 5, 7:32
Mile 6, 7:57

As we made the turn on to the towpath, I thought I was upping the pace but when I looked at my watch I found it must have just felt like it!

Mile 7, 7:47

At this point people started to pass me and I was losing the battle in my head.

Mile 8, 8:11
Mile 9, 8:12
Mile 10, 8:43

I think mentally I started to give up. The hill after 10 seemed so long and all into a stiff wind. I walked a couple times. Then I was mad at myself for not sucking in up. My stomach hurt and I just wanted to be down already. Unfortunately I knew there were more hills.

Mile 11, 9:37
Mile 12, 8:50 Ughh, I am discouraged. Again people who don't normally beat me are beating me and I know I have down training runs faster.

Last 1.1 10:05

Total time 1:45:41, which put me in second place for my age group.

About a mile before the end, this one girl passed me who ended up snagging first. As it turned out they were giving a cash award to those breaking the record in their age groups and she had with a time of 1:45:01. Even though I had no idea what the cash award even was, I was mad at myself as there was no reason that I could not have beat her and took first other than the fact I was lazy. Sigh!

After the race I headed directly to the restroom to take care of my stomach issues. I was pooped. My feet were trashed. For some reason I had a bloody toe nail and a really bad blister. However as I quickly changed after the race, so did my mood.

My favortite part of the race is being done and watching the others come in. I had an opportunity to talk to one of the other ladies who I always seem to be in competition with and it was the first time we actually had the chance to talk and she seemed like a fun gal. There was also quite a spread of food and free wine after the race. How can you go wrong with that?

Even though I was mad about my pathetic performance, I got the coolest award. Apparently the race was trying to make unique awards and when they replaced the slate roof off their chicken coup they saved the slate and had it all cleaned and cut into 1 foot square pieces. Then an artisit placed a really cool winery design and Stomp the Grapes Award Winner on them. The slate was drilled and a pretty purple ribbon to hang it up with was also put on there. This is now one of my favorite awards I have collected!

So after having the chance to chat with friends such as Jen C and her hubby (who both ran well), fellow ER peeps (the Gorris's) and my road race series friends I headed home after having a great time at the after party!

At the end of the day, I highly recommend this race. It definitely is challenging, but totally worth it. Now I am looking forward to doing a couple of short races to end the year, which are to my liking. I like the fact the in a 5 mile race or 5K race, the suffering is limited! Also I am looking forward to spending time with my ladies doing the long runs in perparation for the 2008 year!


E-Speed said...

you've had a long season. Next year let's work together to get in a good half!

That award sounds cool! Glad you had fun after the race!

Lana said...

That is still an awesome time!!! You have raced a lot this season, and you may need to just take a break from it for a while. Either way - you rock...I'd give anything for a 1:45:41, and you pulled it off on a day when you felt like crap. I'm glad you still had a good day, though - way to shake it off and enjoy the day!

B Bop said...

Ditto on the E-speed's comment that you've had a long season. Maybe a little rest is in order??

I'll have to do this race sometime soon, I keep hearing good things about it.

Kim said...

what an awesome award!!! i still think you kicked that race's ass! you had a fantastic season, dont get down on yourself. take care of your feet!!!

Michele said...

That award sounds super cool. Congrats on your second place.

Free food and wine? My kind of race!