Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Flower City Race Report- Part One

My sixth half marathon is in the books! I've done the same amount of half marathons in the first four months of this year, which was my goal for the entire year last year. Woohoo! I knew going into the race that I wasn't going to PR. I was just going to go with the flow and see how things shook out. I wish I could have gone a bit faster and that I didn't stop a few times, but overall it went well. I'm almost afraid to admit it but I am missing the cooler weather too. It was a bit hotter and sunnier then what I've been used to training in. I took two photos the whole time so this might be a bit wordy.

Getting ready in the AM went perfect and Rob and I were on our way. When we got downtown I decided to try and park in the same lot we parked in last year. Fail number one. The lot was full and then we got stuck in traffic right near the finish line. Drove by a lot and then did a u-turn to head back to the lot, passing my parents in the mean time. My parents parked in the lot I was heading for. In the mean time, with about 4-5 cars in between us, the parking machine ran out of tickets and was saying the lot was full. It wasn't even close to being full. Fail number two. So we all did u-turns and I had to head in the opposite directions as my parents. We went back to a parking garage, which was a block or two away, and got back in the line of cars and found a spot in the garage. In the meantime people are texting and calling me to figure out where I am and if I found a spot...ahhh very frustrated at this point. I head to the arena, eating my bagel on the move, and can't seem to locate my parents. I left Rob so I could go in and go to the bathroom, thank goodness the line was moving fast. I headed back out and in the meantime Rob found my parents. By now the pipe and drum band are playing and marching to the start line and I am not even heading in that direction yet. This is not how I like my pre-race ritual to go. I like to be early, organized and in place to enjoy some down time before GO.

They wore Boston Red Sox hats as a tribute, so cool!

Molly and Katie were under the 2:45 pacer sign so it was pretty easy to meet up with them. Thank goodness! We chatted a bit and listened to the National Anthem and Sweet Caroline, another Boston tribute, and sang along. Rob and Dad decided to bike along the course as I ran so that was a fun way to share the course and have some company as we went.

Found them!

Molly and I stuck together and Katie ran off to try to get a new PR (4 minutes under by the way!!). First few miles were pretty flawless. The race starts by passing the Susan B. Anthony house and this neighborhood does it right! The cheering, signs, music and people are a great way to get started.

Susie B. in the middle. From FF FB page .
Failure is Impossible!!!

We then headed by Frontier Stadium and back into the city where the crowds at the starting line had shifted a block and were cheering like crazy. During that stretch we got passed by the first few people leading the 5k, which didn't happen last year so they must have changed the 5k course. Dad and Rob rode ahead to the location that my sister and her family were hopefully going to be spectating from. As I approached the mile 4 water stop I saw them all on the left hand side and I saw my nephew Colin running towards me. When I got to him I got a high five and he ran with me back to everyone else. I know how much he loved coming last year and how he got a kick out of watching the water stop. So much that we played water stop in front of their house last year, me handing him a bottle of water, him pretending to take a sip, throw it on the ground and keep running on. So cute! Even Ainsley got to come, but I don't think she really understood what was happening and why we were all there.  

More love for Boston. From FF FB page.
We pressed on and I took some chews at the spot I remember taking them during training runs last year. We got to the Park Ave. neighborhood and this was a pleasant surprise. Last year there was no one in the area cheering, this year there were people and signs and they were all dressed in green to match. As we kept going they had another group of people with live music and an extra water stop, this was great.  Around this time Molly needed to stop and I decided to stop and wait for her. I chatted with my Dad and cheered for other runners going by. Once we got going I fell in line with Amy who was pacing and stayed with her for a stretch. After we made the turn on to Goodman Amy started looking for her Gu/Gel and she couldn't find any. I offered my chews but she said that the aid station coming up would have some. The day before I made the choice to only put one pack of chews in my belt, for long runs lately I have been doing two. I should have just done what I normally do. When we got to the aid station they had run out of gu/gel and so I offered chews to Amy again and she took a couple. As we continued UP Goodman, ugh, I just happened to look down as I was running by lots of empty packets of gu/gel laying on the ground, when I noticed one that looked puffier then the rest. Sure enough someone had dropped one and I picked it up and gave it to Amy. I think she was pretty excited. Turns out she found her gels after the race,  buried behind her cell phone in her belt, still glad I could help.

It looked something like this...

Since I don't have much of a weekly recap, I thought I'd break the race report into two...just to keep you coming back for more! Up next Highland Neighborhood, Mt. Hope, U of R and the finish!

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