Platte River Half Marathon 2010 race

This year’s Platte River Half Marathon went great!  On the ride down, Hill and I were feeling good and looking forward to the day’s adventures.
Me and @bsaunder heading to our race and rockin' the B.E.P. I... on Twitpic

We got to the start area and got a spot in our “secret” parking spot at a perfect time, as there was nearly no one there, and 10min later it was completely full.  I took a trip to the porta-poties to take care of some pre-race rituals and ran into Meg and Trevor who would be taking care of our kids while we raced – HUGE thanks to them as the kids loved it and it was great to be able to have both of us race!  I got out of the porta-potties and nearly ran straight into Sonja, Troy , Michelle and …um, oops forgot their names, two other ladies that were running the race today (hate it when I forget names..)  I was feeling excited for the race and I think others could tell, Got a good pic with Sonja to prove it as well

Found @bsaunder at the start line! He's sooo ready on Twitpic yea, I know I’m a dork; I’ve learned to accept it.

The plan was to start out easy and run the first mile or so with Hillary, but my legs were just feeling too good and needed to RUN so about a quarter mile of the way in, I said my goodbye’s and let my legs go a a bit.  I was up to an 8min/mile pace in no time and had to force myself to settle down, as that was just a bit too hard that early on.   I found two older gentlemen that were running the race and holding an ~10min/mile pace so I tucked in behind and paced off of them, as it always a bit easier to not think about pacing and let someone else do it for you.  The first part of the race makes a loop around the start area, so as we come back by I see Meg, Trevor and our kids; Tana doesn’t see me right away but Meg points me out and I hear this very loud and clear “go daddy go, run faster!”.

At the two mile mark I decided to start letting it out a little bit and dropped into the sub 10min/mile mark and was feeling really good – easy breathing, heart rate in a low zone 4, good stride, able to look around and enjoy the run.  At the four mile area I could hear some people just cheering up a storm ahead of me and sure enough, there was a bright green Trackers jersey- Sonja, Troy, & Michelle were whooping it up for all the runners (gotta add that they are not the typical shy cheer-ers that only cheer to those they know and occasionally random others; nope they cheer for everyone with huge enthusiasm, you can literally feel everyone’s spirits lift a bit as you go by them).  Sonja had her iPhone out taking pictures (if you haven’t checked out her blog GoSonja , you need to, she does a great job of multi-media for her adventures).  I have this innate disability to take normal pictures, and of course that stayed true for this one:
He's lookin good! Work it @bsaunder on Twitpic

Fairly soon after the four mile mark, I saw a guy that I could swear I knew, and sure enough I did.  It was Kieth, one of the nuts that goes on adventures with Sonja.  Turns out that the two aforementioned ladies, whose names I still can’t remember, were being paced by Kieth.  They were going at an ~9:20min/mile pace and I figured that was perfect so I kinda just joined in the group and chatted with Keith for the next several miles.   At the ~7.5 mile mark, I spotted Meg, Trevor and our kids again.  Tana starts cheering again and I can even see Brenna clapping away with a beaming smile on her face; makes running even easier for while after that.  Near the 10 mile mark, Keith and crew picked it up a bit and I decided to try to stick with them.  I  just focused on not losing his heals and quieted down, as I needed to quell the voice inside my head that was questioning my sanity at that point; actually it was probably a couple louder voices that joined the group as I’m sure there were at least a couple voices questioning my sanity the majority of the time.

Soon after the 11mile mark, my energy levels started to drop a bit and my right calf started to cramp.   I ended up slowly dropping off the back of Keith’s crew.  After a large handful of  Sport Beans, with quite a few of the Extreme variety (extra caffeine!) mixed in , I began feeling a little better.   At the 12 mile aid station I grabbed several cups of water and then put my head down to finish the run.  My watch showed 1:58 on it with 1.1 miles to go and my previous best time for a half marathon was 2:18.  All I had to do was keep running and I was going to get a PR.   That last 1.1 miles is a doosy though, as it has the 8th Ave. viaduct bridge that gives a decent uphill run.  It’s probably not really that much of a hill, but after 12 miles it hurts a bit.  I put my head down, and mentally chanted “keep running sub 10’s, come on! sub 10!” .  Up and over the bridge, down on to the street level, picked up the pace a bit, ran by the cheering threesome,  picked up the pace a little more, around the corner – can see the finish line, pick up the pace more, see Tana cheering away again.  A big guy next to me tried to hang with me; ain’t gonna happen, really picked up the pace, almost at a full sprint, hold it just a bit more -and hit the timing mats with 2:08 and some seconds on the official race clock!  My personal chip time should be a bit faster.

Awesome, knocked off at least 10min from my previous best last year!

Great race and great weather this year.  Tons of thanks to Meg and Trevor for looking after our kids, to Sonja, Troy and Michelle for the awesome cheering, Keith for letting me tag along (really doubt I would have done as well on my own) , and of course to Hillary for getting me into this addiction.  Yea she was right, I do actually enjoy it.  Only bummer is I have to go to work tomorrow rather than taking a nice relaxing rest day…(like a day around a mismatched pair of toddler’s would be restful!)

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