Jo and I ran in the inaugural Gettysburg Blue and Gray Half Marathon today, despite the ridiculous winter storm that arrived on the east coast a month early. I assume this is a direct result of global warming, or could quite possibly be George Bush's fault. I'm waiting on the Obama administration to confirm.
We were excited to run this race because it was partnered with the HCM Foundation, and for those that don't know, I run on the HCM Team. This is a fantastic charity and we were excited to go out and be a part of supporting this great cause.
This race was unique, because we got to pick sides. You could elect to represent the Union, or the Confederacy. Being a descendant from the south, I picked the Confederacy. Being an antagonist, Jo chose whatever I didn't.
The race bibs, and shirts were color coded according to which side you chose.
This is my 6th race in October, my busiest month of the year. I set new PR's in three of them. My races included a 5K, two marathons, two ultras, and this half marathon. I had low expectations for the day, especially because it follows my 50 miler from a week ago. I'm just going to go with the flow and have a nice, relaxing run.
We lost power at our house the evening before the race just as we were settling in to bed, which caused us to lose sleep for two obvious reasons:
1) No heat resulted in freezing our asses off
2) We kept waking up to check our cell phones to see what time it was, so we wouldn't oversleep and miss the race
Fortunately, the power came back on at 2 A.M. which resulted in all our lights and televisions to come on, waking us up again. With that problem solved, we slept quite well from 2:00 to 3:30, which is when we had to get up and head out for the race.
Or did we....? Well not really, we could have slept in longer, as we were advised upon arrival in Gettysburg that the race was being postponed for an hour due to the weather. Lovely!
I choose to blame the Republicans in Congress and the 1% for this major inconvenience.
As the sun came up, and we prepared for the start, it was obvious that it would be a beautiful day. Albeit, very cold.
Jo and I were bundled up for this run. This is a shot of us before the race. We were freezing our asses off!
Most of the ice had melted from the roads by the time the race started, but there were still several very slick areas on the course. This lead me to threaten my all time record for saying the word..."SH**!!!"
My greatest fear while running is falling down. Falling down hurts. Falling down leads to unnecessary injuries and leads to possible ridicule and embarrassment. The type of ridicule and embarrassment that should only be reserved for Corporate CEO's and Wall Street bankers.
I had intended to run a 9 minute pace today and wasn't in the mood to be competitive and had no aspirations for a PR, or even a strong race. I finished in 1:54, which is an 8:44 pace. I don't carry a GPS device, so my pace is directed by feel. It was faster than my plan, but close enough.
After finishing, I grabbed a banana and retrieved my checked bag so I could snap some pictures. After returning to the finish line, I saw our friends Melissa and Jarrett coming to the finish. This was Jarrett's first half marathon and he was doing very well. Melissa, a more experienced runner, is getting her man trained well!
Shortly after our friends finished, I spotted my dear wife coming up the last hill to the finish line. She was looking good and was happy to be done.
Her smiling face!!!
Finishing strong! I'm so proud of my wife! It's never easy, but it's always fun!
Jo didn't get the finish time she was hoping for, but she improved over her Baltimore HM time by 7 minutes. That's solid progress and I'm very proud of her!
Overall, this was great race. Nothing can be done to improve on, or influence the weather. But even with the snow, ice, and cold temps, it was a great race. This is particularly pleasing because this was the first year for the event. With that in mind, it was very impressive. I hope this race breeds a loyal following and is around for many years.
I now have 2 weeks before the Javelina Jundred in Arizona and I plan to rest quite a bit between now and then. I feel very well prepared for that race and I have high hopes for doing well. But anything can happen. I'm just happy I didn't fall down today and make an ass out of myself!!!