Saturday, August 27, 2011

Patrick Henry Half Marathon vs. Hurricane Irene

Well, as expected, it was rainy.  And windy.

Conditions at the start (7am):

Rainy, 74 degrees, 94% humidity, variable winds 7mph (which totally increased in the two hours we were running).

Honestly, I had fun.  But that's only because of my running partners...

Heather, Me, Anna and Katherine.
Can you tell which one of us is super excited about running their first half? 
I am not a fan of running in the rain.  I like to run.  But I do not consider myself a die-hard runner, running in all conditions.  Much less a HURRICANE.  Okay, the beginning stages of a hurricane.  Either way, I think it was a miserable run.

It started raining just a few minutes after the start.  It was a drizzle at first.  And then it slowly increased the entire time we were running.  The winds increased as well.  At one point Heather said something and I said, "I'm sorry Heather, I couldn't hear you over the wind."  And we were shoulder to shoulder.  Not good running weather, to say the least.

We kept on feeling like we were running fast - and we'd look at our Garmins and our pace wasn't nearly as fast as it felt.  So deflating!

They changed the course this year.  Last year we ran through the cornfields and cow pastures (well, on the streets that went through the fields, I mean) first, ran a long mile at mile 4, and then went through the little town of Ashland close to the finish.  Frankly, I liked it that way better.

This year, they reversed it, and we ran through the town first, then the pastures, then the hill at mile 11.  The bad thing about it, which they could never have predicted of course, is that we ended up in the pastures and cornfields - with no protection - as the winds and rain increased.

One thing I liked about this run last year was the sound of all the tennis shoes hitting the pavement.  With no other sounds around, it was really cool.  This year our shoes were all squishy sounding.  Not so good.

Oh, and this year the start and finish was in a different place.  And it was RIGHT next to the railroad tracks (I could touch it).  And as we turned the corner and approached the finish (close enough to see the finish, too far to sprint to it) a train came through - and it was so LOUD.  I guess the conductor thought he was being supportive by honking that stupid train horn as much as he did.  I think I temporarily lost my hearing.

Anyway, we finished just in time.  My time was 2 hours and 10 minutes.  Every time I do a half marathon, my time is substantially slower.  (My first was 1:58, second 2:05, this one 2:10) But, we were not going for a PR (personal record) today, and considering the conditions, I'm happy with our time.

This is us at the finish:

Me, Heather, Anna and Katherine.
Congratulations to Katherine for her first Half Marathon!
FYI - the dude to the right (you can see his shoes with the orange laces) wears A LOT of cologne when he runs.  Wearing cologne should be BANNED from all running.  And I can't believe that someone has to be told to REPLACE cologne with DEODORANT. We were next to him at the start.  Then we passed him twice during the run.  He was SMELLY and I thought I was going to pass out.  Ugh.

Oh, I debated on whether to wear a running skirt or shorts.  Which is better in the rain?  I guess I can't really say because I haven't ever been as soaked as I was today, in shorts.  But, I think the skirt was a good call.  I was able to wring it out several times during the run.

When I got in my car to come home the rain really picked up.  I had to use the speedy wipers, that's how hard it was raining.

Looking back, I'm glad I did it.  But, boy am I glad that it's OVER.

Okay, must finish this before we lose power.  Good luck to all my family and friends who are in this hurricane.  I hope all is okay tomorrow!



Ann said...

How come at the end of running 13 miles you look just as good and refreshed as you did at the beginning? So not fair! Not too many people can say they out-ran Hurricane Irene. You rock Christy!


Susan said...

I feel bad I didn't get to say good luck. It sounds like an experience. I'm so glad you have great running buddies. You look happy and proud. BTW I've never heard of a running skirt. You look great!

Brittany said...

You rock, Christy! And look at it this will always have a great story to tell :)