Yesterday was the Staten Island Half Marathon, a race I looked forward to for a few months, and the second of three I entered to earn my Half Fanatic status! I was going into this race intending to finish, and not really concerned about finising well. I plan to train for next year's Halfs with the intention of PRing. I did get two good nights' sleep on Thursday and Friday because I knew how Saturday night would go: badly! I was correct! Up every couple hours checking the clock! I had to get up ay 5:15 to drive in on time, and I was worried that I would sleep late! I took an immodium the night before because I read about a way to curb runner's tummy. I also planned to take two the next morning, and bring the bottle with me. I was ready!
Sunday morning, I jumped up with the alarm, got dressed, took my immodium, grabbed all of my race stuff and headed for the car. I threw everything on the seat and started the car. And saw this:
It means low tire. We just put new tires on the Jeep and last week the same tire was low and hubby had to refill it. Now it was 10 pounds low again. I am not ashamed to admit: I cried like a baby. My husband used the word sobbing. I told him what happened and he jumped right out of bed, it was now 5:30, and ran out to change the tire. My 13 year old son, who also got woken up by my crying, came out into the cold, no shirt or shoes, and hugged me. He said "I don't know why you are sad, but I'm sorry" and turned around and went right back to bed.
Super hubby changed my tire super quick and I was back on the road by 5:45, only 15 minutes late.
The drive into Staten Island was very easy! There were very few cars on the road, I had my gps Rory (named by my daughter, who gave him an Engish accent) and there were very few turns. By 7:00 I was there, and only got "lost" for about 10 minutes while trying to find the parking lot. I parked, stepped out into the frigid 50* damp air, and was glad that I wore long sleeves and long capris! Brrrrrr! I grabbed my bib and my tee and went back to my warm car to finish getting ready! I still had an hour to go!
After I stalled for about 30 minutes, I went out to get into my corral, the very last corral! The view from behind the stadium was amazing! (Staten Island Yankees Stadium)
I lined up, and waited for my corral to start moving. They started moving us right away, and the DJs were talking to some FDNY officers who came in their dress blues. Next thing you know, the FDNY boats out on the bay started saluting us! The louder we cheered, the higher the water went. It was gorgeous!
See those clouds? Wonder when they will roll in? Stay tuned.....
Nine minutes after the gun went off, we crossed the starting line. Not too bad, I usually have to wait longer, lol. We ran out of the stadium area and towards town....uphill. UGH! This won't end well! We ran past the stadium and there were lots of people cheering, I love when people cheer, esp since my family wasn't with me yesterday. I was all alone, so I could use all the cheering I could get!
At the first few mile markers I kept checking my watch, amazed at my times! I was convinced the watch was wrong, because I didn't feel like I was running hard, but my times were always in the 10s and 11s per mile. I am a 12:00 mile girl! I was worried that I would poop out, but since I wasn't worried about my time, I decided not to worry about pooping out! At mile 4 we left town and were heading towards a Fort and the Bay. We had just passed the Verrazanno and it was a beautiful sight! We also got our first glance at the lead runners runner. At our mile 4.25 he was at about mile 10.5 and the second place runner seemed to be several minutes behind. The third place runner was also several minutes behind #2 and we saw a girl for the first time just after the fort, and she was probably #13 or so. I lost count! The first place finisher was done in 1:07! WOW!
We were now running along the water, and it was very quiet for the most part. Not as many spectators, although there was one man waving a *massive* American Flag that I just *loved*. I also realized that I was running past alot of people, but this one man stayed near me the whole time. He was wearing a camo fishing type hat, and just seemed to me that he was a soldier. I never got the chance to ask, though! He was so happy, waving to everyone, obviously a local, joking the whole time. We took turns passing each other for almost the whole race!
At the 10K mark I was stunned at my time. 1:08, 4 minutes faster than my best race time. I was near tears with joy, and yet also worried that I was running too hard, too soon. I wasn't feeling any pain yet, not tired really, just enjoying the run! At mile 7ish we turned back. We had an amazing view for the next several miles:
The leaves on Staten Island are starting to change as well, which made it especially beautiful! Jersey leaves are still green green green. See how dark it is though? Not good.
Mile 10 brought us back to the town. Lots of cheering spectators, and no true soreness yet. I stopped for water and checked my watched and giggled. It must have been a creepy giggle, lol, because a lady next to me looked at me kind of funny. I was easily 10 minutes ahead of my best time! 10 minutes! I was trying not ot get too excited. Mile 10 was where it all fell apart for me in Philadelphia. I was feeling amazing though, and still trading leader position with my camo friend.
Mile 11 brough us back to the boring scenery that leads to the Stadium. The bay was to our right, but to our left was some construction site....boring!
Mile 11 was also when the rain started. Just dripping, really, so I ignored and ran on! This was also the last time I saw camo guy. I was bummed, I wanted to get a finish line pic with him, but I didn't see him again!
At mile 12 we passed the entrance to the construction site, and one of the men was waving 2 flags and cheering us on! One mile to go! One mile to go! I checked my watch and almost lost it! Still so far ahead of my best time! I tried to speed up but I was definitely tiring now, and the next bit was up hill! We were passing through town, and approaching the stadium. Finishers were walking past us in the other direction, cheering us on. Down the ramp we went, nearing the stadium. The crowds were yelling, You're almost there, keep going. I was crying, I'm crying now as I type this. Just before the last turn, my watch hot 13.1 and I stopped it. I was afraid to look at it, so I just kept going. The clock, being 9 minutes ahead, said something like 2:37 and now I am sobbing. I did it! I PRd. I collected my medal,
amd some food and streatched my aching muscles. Still crazy afraid to look at my actual time! I found someone I recognized from the last few miles and asked her to take my picture. Her hubby did it for me:
Not super flattering but I don't care! I finished! And I PRd. Oh, and the rain? The rain didn't fully start until I got to my car! YAY!
Ready for my times?
Official time: 2:28.12
My watch time: 2:27.08
My Philadelphia time: 2:39.47
My NJ Half time: 2:35.15
I beat Philly by 12 minutes and NJ by 8. I had an 8 minute PR! I am amazed and so proud!
Hershey Half is in 2 weeks, and this one should be even hillier than Staten Island was. My family will be at this one with me, hooray! but again, I am not planning to do anything but finish! I cannot wait for the chocolate stop! Hershey will also be the final of my 3 Halfs in the quest for Half Fanatic Status! Woot!