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Ramstein AFB Half Marathon Race Recap – Geek Turned Athlete

Ramstein AFB Half Marathon Race Recap

I woke up around 5:45 this morning, and tried to go back to sleep.  My alarm went off at 6am.  Snooze.  Again.  Snooze.  I got up, and stumbled downstairs for breakfast.  My prerace meal of choice is always toast with pb and preserves and half of a banana.  I wasn’t really that hungry because it was sooo early, but I stuffed my breakfast down.  I knew that I would need the energy for later!!

After searching all over my house for my race belt and not finding it, Steve and I were off to base to meet up with one of my running partners, Kelly.  It was freezing this morning!  Although it was NOT perfect weather for standing around, it was PERFECT weather for racing.  We decided to hang out in the gym until the race was just about to start.

Yeah right!  I wish!!!  haha This was before the race.  Kelly and I thought that we make sure the podium was safe for the winners of this race.  Wink, wink…DSC02640

Getting ready to go!  I met the chica in the red jacket today.  It was her FIRST half marathon, and I was so proud of her!!!  This race was the perfect first half marathon.  There were only about 250 people competing, and although no one really knew the course, we have all driven up and down the roads quite a few times.DSC02641

My wonderful hubby and Renee’s wonderful hubby!DSC02643

Cold!!!DSC02644

Get ready, set…DSC02649

Go!!!DSC02651 DSC02652

Before the race, my group of gals talked and decided that we would run at an easy pace, and that this would be a “glorified” training run.  Considering my race half marathon pace from my last half marathons has been ~9 min/miles, I was thinking we were going to go at a 9:30 pace.  What was I thinking?  Um, no. Renee, her hubby (Rhett), and Kelly are FAST runners.   We started off at about an 8 min/ mile pace for the first mile, and stayed around 8-8:30 min/miles for the majority of the race.    I always think that it is funny when people start out sprinting at races.  People were passing us right and left.  That’s fine, we’ll catch up to you later, I thought.  Nice and easy, nice and easy.

It really didn’t feel that nice and easy after mile 5.  I was “Chatty Kathy” up until then.  I kept looking a my Garmin in amazement.  How am I not dying at this pace?? Don’t get me wrong, it hurt, but I felt this bad at my Prague Half Marathon, and I was running at a 9 min/mile pace.  At mile 6, my stomach started getting very upset.  On this particular morning before the race, my body did not want to take it’s normal bathroom time, and now I was paying for it.  No poop!  No poop! Funny mantra, I know, but it worked THIS time.  At mile 8, my legs went numb.  Well, at least I can’t feel the pain now. At mile 9, my ankle started bothering me (still feeling the pain from a sprain in March), and I could feel a hot spot begin to form on my right big toe.  C’mon!  Only four more miles to go.  You can hold this pace, come on!

I started to cheer on other runners who looked like they were suffering way more than me.  I felt bad for them especially on my way after the last turn around because I had 2 more miles to go at this point, and they had 5 more to go.  Rhett and Kelly took off at this point.  Or I don’t think that they took off, Renee and I slowed just a bit because of the headwind for the last 2 miles.  When we crossed the area where we started my watch said 13.2 miles.  I started to get pissed!  I wanted to be DONE.  Nope, we had to run around a corner and pass through the finishline at 13.4 miles.  I almost started crying after I passed the finishline.  I was super emotional because I had pushed so hard.  I PR’ed (personal record) by ~7-8 minutes.  I was psyched!!!!  So much for our “training” run, but I’m so happy that I pushed myself today!!!  This just goes to show that speed work pays off, and running 3-4 times a week is definitely enough to prepare for a half marathon/marathon.

Rhett and Kelly finishing!DSC02668

Renee and I finishing:DSC02671 DSC02673 DSC02674

Tired, hungry, thirsty afterwards…DSC02678 DSC02679DSC02681

Here are my stats: 8:26 avg pace for a total of 1:53:28 (h:mm:ss) for 13.4 miles (instead of 13.1).  The course was flat in some parts, a couple medium hills with a bunch of false flats…

  • Mile 1:   8:04
  • Mile 2:   8:06
  • Mile 3:   8:19
  • Mile 4:   8:09
  • Mile 5:   8:34
  • Mile 6:   8:31
  • Mile 7:   8:36
  • Mile 8:   8:33
  • Mile 9:   8:30
  • Mile 10: 8:28
  • Mile 11: 8:24
  • Mile 12: 8:44
  • Mile 13: 8:42
  • Mile 13.0-13.4:  8:24/mile pace, 3:41

So, if this were an accurate course, my 13.1 mile time would have been ~1 hour,50 minutes, and 45 seconds.  Wahoo!!!  I guess all of that speedwork that I have begrudgingly been doing actually paid off!!

After we got home, I stretched, took a nice hot bubble bath (I know it should have been an ice bath, but I couldn’t get warm!), and fixed a egg, cheddar, and avocado wrap with some carrot sticks.  It was the perfect post race meal!DSC02689

Thank You’s

Steve, my husband, my love.  You are always there to push me on our runs together.  You deal with the time it takes for me to train for triathlons and running races.  You put up with my race day moodiness, and you carry all of my stuff around.  You are my paparazzi.  Thank you so much being my forever supporter and number one fan!  I love you.

Kelly, Renee, and Rhett.  Thank you so much for pushing me in this race, and our training runs.  Thank you for still running with me even though I am much slower than all of you!!

My family and friends.  Thank you so much for understanding when I need to go out for a run, swim, or bike.  Thank you also for putting up with all the long race reports that I send you, and still acting excited to see them!

Race Supporters and helpers.  The helpers were great at this race.  They always had a smile on their face, and they did a great job at directing people where to go!  (I didn’t get lost during this race like the last!)

Blog readers.  I have had a wonderful response from the blogging community since I started a few weeks ago, and I’m really excited to see what the future holds.  (In appreciation for that, I’m doing a French Chocolate Giveaway!)

{ 6 comments… add one }

  • Tasha - The Clean Eating Mama September 12, 2009, 5:19 pm

    Great job! Wow, what an inspirational post! This is my first time reading your blog – I saw it from Jenna’s Eat Live Run blog. Just wanted to stop in and say hi :)

    Reply
  • The Big Blue Dog September 12, 2009, 7:26 pm

    Wow you did amazing! Congratulations!! Looove your running skirt :)
    What a great pace!

    Reply
  • Morgan (lifeafterbagels) September 13, 2009, 3:41 am

    Ooooh – I really like the photos of the race starting! Congratulations on your race today.

    Reply
  • Susan September 13, 2009, 4:14 am

    Nicole, you are awesome. I am so proud of you, and love the blog and pictures. You make me want to get out their and exercise which we plan on doing beginning Monday when we or I get home from work. Steve, congratulations and I love you too. Your mom sent me your pictures. They are great. See you both in 35 day.
    Love
    Aunt Susan

    Reply
  • lucy September 13, 2009, 9:00 pm

    Dear Nikki,
    you have got your grandmother hooked. I am so proud of you and i look forward to reading your blog every day.

    Keep up the good work!

    love grandma

    Reply
  • Leianna September 14, 2009, 6:50 pm

    Great half marathon! Love the after wrap!

    Reply

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