The three members of Team Library Dork all made the trip to Davis on Sunday for the Davis Stampede Half Marathon. Chris and I drove up with his wife Abby and daughter Hannah-Bannana on Saturday after we got off work, and stayed with her parents in Grass Valley. I spent a lovely evening with Abby's parents, who were kind enough to give me the softest bed for the evening, and watch Hannah play with Skoshi and Teagra, the kitties, and feed them their weight's worth in kitty treats. I, on the other hand, made friends with Chris's dogs, Merry and Pippin. What an nice change to be loved on by well-behaved dogs, unlike my Pirate who is just so excitable. We had some great Chinese food to store up some pre-race energy, and I had to keep my fortune since I'm taking Advanced Storytelling this semester for my masters:
"You have a flair for adding a fanciful dimension to any story."
How perfect is that?! I've been carrying it around in my wallet with my drivers license since then, so I can look at it every time I open it up. (However, if I ever get pulled over while driving, I might have to hide that really quick! Ha ha!)
Anyway, Sunday dawned with a red sun and a few clouds (this picture doesn't do justice to the brilliant red ball the sun was- I think burned my retinas taking this picture), and while it was a bit cold during the pre-race wait, it was a perfect temperature for running, 40s to mid 50s. I'd like to stop for a moment and say that I have the best running buddies a person could ask for. Chris, super ultra crazy ridiculous fast runner, has been pretty sick lately (turns out he has bronchitis), drove me to Davis even though he didn't run. He watched the 5k and 10k runners start and finish and went to a pretty cool little coffee shop while I ran, and took pictures. I know it was hard for him to watch and not run. Thank you thank you thank you Chris! You're an awesome supporter of the sport- and not just for me, but for everyone who ran. You totally rock! And then there is the very dedicated and non-sleeping Turi, who just happened to wake up at 2:30 a.m. Sunday morning and arrive just in time from Trinidad, CA where he did 8.75 miles in the Trinidad to Clam Beach Run just the day before, to run a half marathon on 3 hours of sleep! Amazing runners, these two. :) And I thank you too, for running with me and not letting me stop.
It was pretty chilly before the race, but I made Chris take a picture of us anyway with red noses and squinty eyes from the sun.
And another one of me shivering about five minutes before the start:
Here is the start line, and the bike pacers(?). I saw one of them weaving through the crowds a couple times, so I'm not sure what their role was in this race. Look for injuries along the course?
We started out at a good warm-up pace, and the sun came out from behind the clouds about 15 minutes into the race- I shed my sweatshirt at about mile 3. The biggest reason I wanted to do this race, other than as part of my training for the half I'll be running in DesMoines with Melissa, is because it is flat in Davis! And empty of trees and really any tall buildings, which means it can get pretty dang windy, which is the only thing that made me a little nervous about the run. But the wind only picked up a bit on the outskirts of the farmland we ran past, and the only hill was the climb up the road over the freeway (didn't have to do that twice since we got to run through a tunnel on the way back). Here is a map of the route, a nice big loop:
I felt pretty strong running the first half, but around mile 7 I started to drag a bit, and at mile 8 I took a Gu for some energy. I lagged a bit more and actually stopped to drink a full cup of water at the last 3 aide stations, walking for about 30 seconds at each. I could tell I haven't been training for the longer distances lately- I ran one 10-miler the Sunday before, and other than that, I think the longest distance I ran in January was 6 miles. But it's good to know that I can still pound out the long miles even when I don't train specifically for this distance! As it was, I was only 7 minutes behind my PR, which I set last year in May at the Reno Rock 'N River half. My final time was 2:05.47- which I'm completely happy with! I was there for the fun of running in a race, for exercise, and for training for the next one. Chris caught this picture just at the end:
About a quarter mile from the end, Turi got a burst of energy and put on the speed, passing people left and right for a speedy finish. I, on the other hand, stabbed myself trying to run and unpin my number from my butt (well, my sweatshirt), to hold in front of me so the announcer would know who I was. What you don't see the trail of blood behind me? Well, okay, it was only a tiny pinprick, but it still hurt! Speaking of hurt, my a favorite brand of running socks are Balegas. I have a couple pairs of running socks, and a couple pairs of trail socks. I didn't think it would make much difference if I wore the trail socks to my half since the running ones were in the wash. Well, let me just inform you, it does. I have 5 nice-sized blisters to show for it, even though they were Balega brand. And I haven't gotten a blister in a year. Anyway, here are the three of us dorks after the race:
Thanks guys for the support! I had a fantastic day! :)