Half Marathon #26
SC Half Marathon #19
Spinx Half Marathon #2
Hang on…this has the potential to be very long. This morning was amazing in so many ways, most of them not about me at all.
Today I ran (not raced) the Spinx RunTown USA Half Marathon and Mom ran her very first time (in full on beast mode no less!)
Spinx Run Fest, despite its many flaws, holds a special place in my heart. Back in 2010, I ran my very first half marathon there. In 2011 I completed my own 26.2 mile journey there and was hooked. Today was another first, this time for my Mom. I am so excited for her.
Before the race I Facebook messaged and emailed everyone I could think of to let them know about Mom’s marathon journey and projected finish time without telling her. I also started planning my post half marathon finish plans. After a half hour or so I would start walking the marathon course back and start running with her once we met up. Once we reached the stadium I planned to dash in and get down onto the field before she finished so I could hand her the medal.
Back to the race…
We arrived with just the right amount of time, not too much waiting. I took Mom’s sweatshirt and we took some pre-race photos.
I headed a little further down to take pictures once she started running. Just after 7:30 she was off!
I was literally giddy watching her go.
The half hour before my start passed fairly quickly. I had no goals except to run well but not too hard so I could run Mom in to the finish.
From the start I decided to use this race to focus on form. Throughout most of the miles (a few times I forgot…of course) I focused on keeping my arms swinging front to back not side to side. It’s a little thing but the little things that count.
I had such a great time throughout this race. I put the clock screen on my Garmin and ran by feel, making sure that I kept the effort in the easy range. Every mile I was surprised to see mile splits under 9:00 (except one) with most of them between 8:30 and 8:45 aka my marathon pace. Somehow my legs held onto that pace despite not running more than 6 miles and a minute per mile slower for three weeks.
I’m so glad that I wasn’t trying to achieve a PR on this course. It’s seriously tough, so many hills! I loved it though. I loved all the twists and turns through pretty much every runnable section of Cleveland Park.
Around mile 9 another runner came up beside me. He held up his left wrist which had a Garmin 220 on it and said “I read your review.” Alright Garmin, where’s my commission?
I felt so much stronger than I expected.
At mile 12 I flipped the screen back to overall time and clocked one of my fastest miles of the race, 8:30.
All too soon we were at the stadium. As I made the final turn and headed onto the warning track I decided that I was going to pass as many people as I could during that last little section. Mission accomplished. I even passed one guy feet before the finish line. That felt good.
Once I crossed that finish line, in 1:54 flat no less, it was on to the next part of the day. I cleaned up, grabbed some good and headed out. A few minutes later I realized that I was heading out way too early so I headed back to Starbucks (I forgot to grab my credit card so I was limited to the Starbucks app on my phone) to hang out for a few minutes.
While I was waiting I got a second text from my coach who was out on the course somewhere near Furman that he had just seen Mom at mile 17.5. Spinx may not have had runner tracking but I had an in. ;) I used that time and calculated both her estimated finish time and when I should start heading out again.
Twenty minutes later it was time. I cannot put into words how excited I was.
Just before mile 24 there was a railroad crossing. This crossing must be the bane of the Spinx’ race director’s existence. Before I got there runners had been blocked by the train for 15 minutes. Yeah, that sucks.
As I approached the train started to cross the road. I actually shouted at the train because it would have sucked if Mom got stuck behind it. I had to wait a minute or so but thankfully it moved back into the yard. (I don’t understand that though. Surely the conductor could see that there was a race going on. Why move the train then?)
After I crossed I spotted a runner wearing orange in the distance. After a few seconds I knew it was her and could not wait to get close.
Once I started running with her I could not believe how well she was running. (I was a mess by this point three years ago.) She stuck to her run/walk intervals and kept moving forward. I knew she was going to beat my projected time for her by a lot.
We made the turn to head to the stadium and I started to get nervous. I had no idea whether I would get down on the field in time. That’s how well she was running.
We got up towards Liberty Tap Room and there were my aunt, uncle, my mom’s boss, his wife and his mom all cheering for Mom. She was so surprised!
I dashed off then and headed down to the field. I had just enough time to take a medal and wait for her to make it around the field. I couldn’t keep the smile off my face as I watched her start increasing her speed to pass another runner, a 17 year old no less.
She’s a marathoner!
Not only that … she did it in 4:36:38!!!!
What an awesome day. I’m so glad that I got to be there for this.