Yesterday I successfully completed the Rochester Half Marathon! It was a whirlwind of excitement and energy beginning at 4:00AM. Rochester NY is about two hours from where my friends and I live. We (the two girls I ran with) left at 4:30AM because packet pick-up was between 5:30 and 7:00. The drive over was smooth (who is awake at 4:30AM on a Sunday except runners?!)
We got to Frontier Field (where a Rochester baseball team plays) and geared up to run around downtown Rochester. The marathon and relay began at 7:30 and the half was 7:45. I didn’t feel any nerves at all actually. I was confident in being able to finish and my foot was feeling really good. I felt fueled properly and ready to enjoy the race.
The gun went off and we started. My legs were stiff in the first mile, but I found my stride and began to reel people in. My strategy is to start farther back to avoid people jockeying for position and then advance in the later stages of the race.
The race was relatively flat and went through some pretty Rochester areas. After the halfway point, I decided I felt good enough to race the second half. I kicked it into gear and got into that hungry mindset. A couple miles later I heard a volunteer say I was just outside the top ten for females. With over 2,200 runners in the half marathon race alone, that felt really inspiring! I started to push.
The last mile was a race between myself and this guy who was being paced by a really rude man on his bike. I passed him and the pacer started giving the guy crap like “don’t let her beat you” and “I can’t believe you’re going to get beat by a girl”.
I was FURIOUS! First of all, who cares if I’m a girl old man! You and your beer belly on a bicycle could never keep up with me. Secondly, why would someone subject themselves to that torture all 13.1 miles? I didn’t understand it, but it fueled my fire. The guy ended up out kicking me in the end and finished a few tenths of a second ahead of me. I actually am kind of glad he did because I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of the pacer’s banter.
People like that pacer remind me why I do not like having a coach…I digress…
Just as we crossed the finish line it began to pour. I quickly ran into the “recovery zone” that gave free massages. I didn’t get one but I talked to the guy for a while and watched people finish. Yes, the girl on the table behind my selfie looks almost dead…
Before the rain could get worse, I sprinted (I don’t know how…I was really tired) to the food tent to grab some eats. There was traditional fare: bagels, pizza, granola bars, apples, bananas and chocolate milk. I think I like the post race beer from trail running a bit better…
I looked around for my friends and talked to some other people who finished behind me. One guy had these great dreads and we discussed the impact of the weight his hair might have had if he finished thirty seconds later. His dreads probably weighed 10 pounds and I cannot imagine them waterlogged.
I met up with my friends and we walked around a bit eating and then got in the car to go home. I had to work at 2PM that afternoon.
I ended up running 1:34:14 and was 47th overall and 5th female. I am thrilled and think I will end my racing season on that.
Today I feel pretty recovered with no lagging soreness. All in all a great race!