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Martini Fridays: Ripped it up.

I can only begin to tell you how much more chill I was at the start of the Empire State Half Marathon, my second half, than I was at the start of the Pittsburgh Half Marathon, my first. This dynamic was also true with me and childbirth. I was wound pretty tightly when it came to making sure baby number one had the “perfect” birth. With kid number two, I could have birthed anywhere as long as that epidural drip just kept working its magic.

I was pretty chill on Sunday for another reason: it was really freaking cold. Forty degrees is a great temperature for running, yes, but it is a hard temp to bear when you are waiting for the run to start. Fortunately, I’d grabbed a throw-away sweatshirt before I left home and was less numb than I could have been when the proverbial gun went off.

What you can't see is how quickly Ms Molly was developing frostbite.
What you can't see is how quickly Ms Molly was developing frostbite.

My friend Lisa, who I know from a knitting retreat I’ve gone to for quite a few years now, came down from New Hampshire to run with me. Her official 13.FUN race was a couple of weeks earlier and she killed her goal time. Fortunately, she had enough stamina (or lack of common sense) to sign up for another run so close to her last one.

Before the official race start, I sandwiched myself between two parked cars to block the wind while I waited for Lisa to hit the porta-potties one last time. And while I was standing there, women from the AMR meet-up the previous night kept wandering up, drawn by my muppet-like nimbus of pre-race hair being tossed by gale force winds.

Just a quick note about the meet-up: Mother Runners are awesome.

The Another Mother Runner Mini Meet Up.
The Another Mother Runner Mini Meet Up.

A couple of other quick notes: If there hadn’t been a race the next day, I suspect the eight of us could have spent the rest of the night talking and laughing and commiserating. We had a whole range of stories to share. Some were about running, as you might imagine, but others were about having small children and tweens and college age kids. There was talk of injuries and leaky bladders.

There was also swag, which had been sent by the AMR home office aka Dimity’s house. When I opened the box, the air smelled like Denver.

A few treats from SofSole, Hylands, and Nuun.
A few treats from SofSole, Hylands, and Nuun.

We didn’t make any formal plans to hook up at the start. It just kind of happened, mostly because the Empire State Half Marathon is small enough to run into people and I am relatively tall.

After Katherine Switzer gave her pre-race pep talk, we were counted down and sent off. The speedier of the AMR meet-up runners took off. Lisa, Molly, and I settled in for a 2:30 finish.

I didn’t really notice the first three miles. The pace was just a leeetle bit faster than I’m used to and I had to focus to keep up. I also had to focus to push through the bitter headwind. If any race could have benefited from a peloton, this would have been it.

What shocked me most was how the pace felt OK, even through the first half of the race. I kept disbelieving the 11:30 number on Herr Garmin, even though he has never, ever lied to me before.   But there it was — and it was corroborated by the watches around me. Turns out that inconsistent training still can provide benefits. Crazy.

Which makes me think two things: maybe I’ll spend some time this winter training to complete a speedy quick 5K in the early spring and maybe I could even get below 2:30 in Pittsburgh in May. But those thoughts are getting ahead of the story.

The three of us stuck together until just past mile eight. Ms Molly felt the need for a little more speed; Lisa and I cheerfully urged her on. Between that point and just before the end of the course, Lisa and I alternately chatted and ran in comfortable silence. Every now and again, we stopped so that she could stretch her IT band, which was beginning to grumble, and I could shake out my lower back, which was beginning to tighten up. Also every now and again, we were passed by the first pack of marathoners, who would sneak up behind us like jungle cats, then speed on down the road, looking like they could maintain that pace for hours.

About half-a-mile out, Lisa dared me to reel in the runner in pink in front of us. I said something that can politely be translated as “never going to happen,” but gave it a go. After catching said runner, Lisa suggested reeling in the next runner. I believe I was more emphatic in my never going to happen - in my head, at least, because saying what I was thinking would have taken more energy than I had. Still, I gave it a go — but we crossed the finish before we caught her.

Mary's daughter got into the spirit.
Mary's daughter got into the spirit.

I can honestly say that without the support of Lisa, who you should all run with because she is pretty dang awesome, and Molly, whose left shoulder I spent the bulk of the race drafting off of, I never would have set a PR of 2:32.

That number still makes me smile: 2:32. I had no idea I had that in me. But, as the kids say, woot. There it is.

It's a rather .... exuberant medal.
It's a rather .... exuberant medal.

We’re musing about meeting up for another local-ish race — maybe Wineglass, because, um, wine — next fall. More details to come, should there be more details.

As for the rest of the week, I’ve been basking in my post-PR glow and deeply digging the lack of long, hard training runs in my immediate future. I might, like, bake a pie this weekend, just because I can.

How do you celebrate after any goal race? Do you enjoy all of your newly found free time? Or simply start plotting the next race?

30 responses to “Martini Fridays: Ripped it up.

  1. Thanks so much, you guys! And who else is in for Wineglass….?

    Martini Fridays will be back, I think, but I need a little break first. Besides, the most exciting run I’ve done lately involved me counting squirrels, just ‘cos I was bored. Also taking a break because my own Mount Laundry is getting out of hand. I’m worried that OSHA is going to come and shut us down.

  2. Congrats on a FABULOUSLY run race!! You are a ROCK STAR!! This was by far THE most fun I’ve had running/racing and I hope we can do it again – Wineglass 2015!!! Mmm, 2:32 has an amazing ring to it!

  3. Well done! Re: your question, I tend to relish the accomplishment and then enjoy a bit of down time from the schedule of training for a specific race. However, before long, the urge to do the next race creeps in. Congratulations on a terrific race and a great post.

  4. Wonderful race report Adrienne! Thank you for letting me run with you and Lisa; it helped revive my running joy (before my foot blew up.) Would love to see you again at Wineglass! It’s my hometown, so if you decide to do it, I can be your guide! There’s a Wegman’s there if that helps. 🙂

  5. Way to go and congrats on the PR! I think there is no such thing as over celebrating. I like to celebrate in the form of pizza, alcohol, and a nap (provided I haven’t eaten my way through my long runs in training, ha ha!). Then, I immediately mentally sign myself up for something equally as frightening as what I’ve just accomplished…always like to have something to look forward to!

  6. Also ran the Empire State-the start area was miserably cold waiting for the potties. But it turned out awesome! Congrats on the PR.

  7. Congrats on the PR! I like to celebrate my races by going out for a special brunch or lunch afterward. I also buy myself a new piece of gear. After my first half I got a 13.1 decal for my car and a 13.1 charm for my Pandora bracelet. I usually start planning my next race right away, but I do take it easy for a bit afterward 🙂

  8. Congratulations on the PR and the whole weekend, including the fun meet up! Loved reading this and seeing the pics, especially “My mom is a badass mother runner!” I hope this doesn’t mean Martini Fridays are over 🙁 Maybe sign up for something this winter so we can follow along?? 🙂 Or at least least us know how the pie turns out!

  9. Awesome finish! I did the Kansas City Half Marathon Saturday and the weather was perfect. It was my second half and I finished with a 29-minute PR for a time of 2:25! It’s great to see that training paying off in big dividends. I celebrated with ice cream and a massage. Looking ahead to the spring and the Next Big Race!

  10. Way to go Professor Martini! I love that I got a new vocab word from your post. “Peloton”- never heard that one before. Thanks for your posts and delightful, straightforward insight. Glad you ripped it up. I am staring down a trail half in 2 weeks and was feeling oh so over it earlier this week. I think I can get out there today and hit some hills. As you say, Woot, woot!

  11. That is some nice bling you have! Show it off everywhere!

    I celebrated my 13.FUN with a fancy bottle of wine I’d been saving for the end of training. The joke was on me because this expensive chablis was no better to my taste buds than the $7 bottle my father buys for cooking wine! “I ran 13.1 miles for this wine?”

  12. Congrats on the PR! I’m not running half marathon distances, but I imagine if I were my training would have similar hiccups that you experienced this go ’round. You’re giving me hope!! 🙂

  13. Congrats Adrienne!!! A spectacular outcome despite the bumps in the road during your training. I hope you do Wineglass. That is on my bucket list.

    The medal looks especially colorful this year. What did the shirt look like?

    Personally, I start plotting the next race 🙂 I already have a few lined up.

  14. Congratulations on your PR!!! I raced on Sunday as well and the headwinds (in Massachusetts) were brutal. Nice job hanging tough! Post race margarita…purely medicinal. Then I get back to Mount Laundry, a little baking, and a massage, while I secretly plan my next race. Shhh.

  15. so great to hook up with you in Syracuse and the other BAMR group! great job and I hope our paths meet again you are really inspiring!

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