Monday, October 24, 2011

KNN Half Marathon!

I ran a half marathon this weekend!  It went well, but you need to hear the whole story (you know me and my love of details).  Let's start at the very beginning {that is a very good place to start!}.  On Saturday, my amazing husband and I headed to Busan.  We were able to see our friends, visit the 2nd biggest department store in the world, and drink some Starbucks.  Life was good.  Except I was freaking out in my brain because it was raining and I was so nervous about the half marathon.  We ate a fantastic dinner!  I wanted to make sure to carbo load, so I ate pasta in a bread bowl.  Did you catch that?  The land of morning calm has bread bowls.  Who knew?  First bread bowl I have had in 2 years I think.  Let's hope we do not have to go another 2 years sans bread bowls.
It was a combination of all different kinds of pasta in a cream sauce in a bread bowl - delicious!

I love bread bowls.

Oh yeah, Katelyn or John, if you are reading this, thank you for putting up with me through the viewing of Stardust.  To your surprise, I may watch it again sometime and probably not talk as much.  It has gone up from a 5 out of 10 to a 8 out of 10 movie on my scale (now that I know how it ends).

Sunday dawned bright and beautiful and early.  I was so nervous.  As in, I knew if my amazing husband came with me he would get the outpouring of my stress through inappropriate comments.  I can be snippy when stressed.  So he stayed with Katelyn and John and went to church.  (Better for him and for our marriage I think).

Upon on arriving at the race, I watched some grand open girls dance, watched everyone do some group stretching, then there was a parade of 10 K runners headed to the start line.  Some guys carrying a banner saying "Half and a bunch of Korean words" followed the 10kers, so I thought "ah, we are going to start soon" and jumped in the parade.

I was wrong.

Completely and utterly wrong.

Unless you consider 40 minutes soon.  I stood, waiting for the race to start for 40 minutes.  There were about 2000 other people doing the same thing.  There were a Korean man and women MCing the whole 40 minutes.  I would love to know what they were saying.  What can you possibly say for 40 minutes?  Run fast?  Put one foot in front of the other?

During this 40 minutes I was FREAKED out.  I kept waiting for the pacers to show up.  I had seen pictures of previous years and there were pacers.  My whole plan was to run with a pace group for the first half of the race and chase a different pace group the second half of the race.

I was wrong.

Completely and utterly wrong.

There were no pacers.  I was freaking out (mentally).

My view of the start (that I stared at for 40 minutes).


Finally, the 10kers started and then we started about 5 minutes after them.  I spent the first 5 miles of the race dodging 10k folks who decided to walk.  It was super fun.  Thankfully the 5kers started after the half.

See the Orange Line?  It's the course  image credit
I do not have a lot of specific memories from the race.  Here are things I do remember thinking:

Mile 1: I hit mile 1 at exactly 9:00.  I was not a happy camper and decided to speed up.  Then my knee started to hurt.  A lot.  At this point in time, I just gave up.  I thought, "I can not run faster, there are no pace groups, let's just do an easy run and finish."

Mile 2.5: My knee miraculously stopped hurting.  (It was not really my knee, it is my IT band around my knee).  Thank you Jesus!

Mile 4: Who are all these guys in suits?  Everytime we had to turn there were two guys wearing the exact same 3 piece suits, doing the golf clap, and saying "PI-ghting!  PI-ghting!" (that is Korean for Fighting!).  I am pretty sure they were paid to be there.  They were the only people who cheered for us.  The people out in their front yards who we ran past just kept weeding their flower beds.

Mile 6.55: I think I hit the half way point somewhere around 56:30.  I realized that I would finish in 1:53: and some change if I kept up this pace.  So I decided to speed up.

Mile 7.76 or so: There was a water station, so I stopped to get some gatorade.  I think I was at 1:09 or so at this point in time, so I was headed in the right direction.  I had done some 4 or 5 mile tempo runs semi-successfully during my training, so I decided once I hit 14 km I was going to tell myself it was a tempo run and just run.

Mile 10: More men in suits, this time handing out hair ties.  I evaded the first one muttering, "I'm      oh      kay.    Gwen    chen  ni  yo"  But the second suited man got me.  I have a bright red hairtie with some metal on it if anyone would like it.

I also remembered that I should take some pictures.  Kilometer 16! 

Mile 12.5: I always think the last mile or half mile of the race is the longest.  They had us twist and turn so many times the last half mile.  I kept thinking, "Almost there, almost there!"  I wanted to cry or walk or something but I summoned up all my adjuma power and pressed on.  It was definitely the hardest part of the race for me.  Where were all the identical three piece suit guys when you needed them?

30 seconds before I finished: I passed a lady!  Woot!  Woot!  I had passed about 100 guys when racing but only one other women.  My whole body felt like jello at this point in time, but I told myself I could not let her pass me back.

Mile 13.1: I finally looked at my watch!  1:48:01!  Woot!  Woot! I negative splitted!  My second half of the race was 51:31.

Probably not the smartest race of my life (went out too slow) but I was really happy that I did as well as I did.

Here are the results, I am quite easy to find:
My name gets two lines!
I got some sweet food after the race.  Unbeknownst to me, the land of morning calm also has granola bars!  Who knew?  I was SO excited.  Bliss.  I also got some triangle gimbap and soy milk.

I have missed Nature Valley Granola bars so much!
I got a medal for finishing the race and a piece of laminated paper that says I got 10th place.  Potentially the only time in my life that I will place 10th in a half marathon.

This was a few hours after the race, I did not look this smiley after finishing.  

Whew. That was quite a long story.  Thanks for listening to all of it!  I am in midst of 2 weeks of bad decisions right now.  Except it is more like 2 weeks of bad decisions for an 80 year old.  My bad decision from yesterday was to go to be at 8 pm.  Livin' the dream, folks, livin' the dream.

If you had two weeks to make bad decisions.  What would they be?

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