March 30, 2014

2014 Rock CF Rivers Half Marathon race report

I think I'm going to go back to posting in the evenings. I like writing in the mornings when I have time, but some days (like today) are hectic.

Today was the Rock CF Rivers Half Marathon. I hadn't planned to do this race, but my friend Audrey was going to run it for her first half marathon, and when I heard she was going to be running alone, I asked if she wanted some company. She was happy to have someone to run with, and since I had a long run on the schedule anyway, it worked out really well.

I told Audrey I'd meet her at her house at 6:30, so I got up at 5:00 this morning. I was really tired, and it was hard to get up, but I got up and checked the weather to see how I should dress. I ended up wearing my Cold Gear tights, a Cold Gear long sleeved shirt with a light jacket over it, a fleece headband, and gloves.

Audrey had picked up my packet for me last night, and I was really excited about the shirts for this race! The design is so clever... (the CF in the race name stands for Cystic Fibrosis, which is where the proceeds of the race go to).

It says, "They keep you alive"

Even though it was for Cystic Fibrosis, the shirt reminds me of Mark, because he had lung cancer.

Audrey drove us to the race, and we picked up her friend along the way. We got there really early, because we were afraid that parking would be a problem. We went inside and waited around until the start. We lined up toward the back, because Audrey was estimating her pace to be around 11:00/mi. It was absolutely freezing cold while we waited! I couldn't believe there was still snow piled up in spots, and it's almost April.

The race started, and off we went. I hadn't seen or talked to Audrey in a long time, so we had a ton to catch up on. We started off at a 10:30-ish pace, and Audrey seemed pretty comfortable with that, so we just chatted and kept running. Before I even knew it, we'd run five miles. Seeing our pace then, I knew that Audrey was definitely going to beat her goal of 2:30.

The rest of the race went by SO fast. While we were running, someone behind me said, "Hey! You're in my magazine!" (I could only assume he meant Runner's World, and not Women's World, haha!). I learned his name was Ryan.

At one point, we went through an airplane hanger, where there was a band set up... but of course, right as we went through, they were taking a break! After we got out of the hanger, the wind was really brutal for the last three miles. I could tell that Audrey was really tiring out after mile 11 or so, and I tried to keep talking to distract her from the fact that she was running. The most she'd ever run was 11 miles, so the last couple of miles were uncharted territory.

I was trying to do the math in my head to see if she could pull off a sub-2:15 finish time, and I thought it would be close, but possible. Once we hit mile 12, I told Audrey that she could probably run a sub-10:00 mile. She said she really didn't have any energy left in the tank, so we kept going along at around at 10:05 pace. Once we were in view of the finish line, however, she found some energy in the tank. ;)

She finished the thirteenth mile in 9:57, and when I glanced at my Garmin, I could see that she would be able to do it. I told her that if she gave it everything she had left, she'd finish under 2:15. And then she took off "like a bat out of hell" (one of Mark's favorite expressions!); I actually had a hard time keeping up with her at the end! With about 100 meters to go, we were running really hard, and there was a woman in front of us, so we each went around her. We heard her yell, "You bitches!" (in a joking way). Haha!

We crossed the finish line in 2:14:09... more than 15 minutes faster than her goal!

A couple of seconds later, her friend came across the finish line, and we realized that it was Audrey's friend who we'd passed with literally just about 100 meters left! Even when she yelled to us, we didn't realize it was her--we both thought it was just a random stranger who wasn't happy that we passed her. We all had a good laugh about that.

I was absolutely freezing after the race, so we headed back to the high school to warm up and get a cookie. Audrey's husband and son were there to see her finish, and her son gave her a 13.1 sticker for her car :)

I took a Panera salt bagel (for later) and a sugar cookie. They had a ton of different cookies to choose from! I wish I'd seen them all before choosing. We sat down and waited for one of Audrey's other friends, and then we all went to lunch afterward. Audrey's friends were super nice, and I had fun (both during the race and afterward).

It's exciting to run your first half marathon, so I'm really honored that I got to be a part of Audrey's special day! She did better than she even dreamed she'd do, and she had a great race. She's already looking forward to doing another, so I'd say it was a success. :)


  1. Glad to hear you had a great day! This was probably the best 'medicine' in the world for you after all your recent stress...fresh air and sunshine, exercise and good friends to share it with!

    We actually had a few cm of snow overnight! Today was the 30k Around The Bay road race in Hamilton, Ontario. Several of our friends were running, so we went to cheer. So many people over dressed because it was quite chilly in the morning, but once the sun came out, it really warmed up!

    I'm excited to hear about your Ragnar this weekend!

  2. How awesome! Want to come pace me to a 2:15 half? I am shooting for a 10+ minute PR (2:20ish) in a few weeks! Congrats to your friend, and to you, too!

  3. I am so happy I found the Runner's World magazine here in Montreal! I was so proud to show you to my daughter (20). We oohed & ahhed! And as a bonus the new Clean Eating magazine was out that I didn't even know about. Booyah!
    Congrats on a great race today! I think you needed it after such an emotional time.

  4. I absolutely love that shirt!! I'm also shooting for a 2:15 half marathon next week!

  5. I'm so jealous! I love those long talks catching up while running. It does make the time/miles fly by! Katie you are such a giver! I know i've said it before but how sweet of you to keep the focus on your friend even at the end of your story. Be proud of yourself - which I know you are and not in a conceited way. Heck your a star these days! People are picking you out in the crowd! Before you know it you'll need a body guard! LOL Glad to read about your race and how well it went. Hope you're feeling better. Have a great Monday!

  6. That has to be the coolest race shirt I've ever seen! That was so nice of you to run with your friend to a great time....

  7. Awesome run, Katie! That shirt is so cool. P.S. I am not surprised there is still snow on the ground where you live. This winter has been ridiculous. It snowed here yesterday, and I live in the mid-Atlantic, not even the Northeast!

  8. Great job, Audrey!! That is a fantastic finish! So happy for you!!

    And great job Katie for being a super-awesome pacer to help her get to that goal!

  9. So glad you had a good time yesterday...a much needed break from all the stress of the week. We have been having a cold Spring as well, but yesterday was actually a nice day. I took a long bike ride - it is so nice to get outside and breathe in the fresh air. I am hoping to run a 5k later this month (April). We will see how the training goes over the next few weeks.

  10. What an awesome first half marathon!!! Congrats Audrey!!

  11. I like that it was a literal "Run for Cookies!" That's so awesome. My son's close high school friend died last year at the age of 25 from CF, it's a good cause that you ran for. That's funny that you passed Audrey's friend and didn't recognize her. The other day at the grocery store, I was checking out and a little old man came up behind me and set his groceries on the conveyor belt. He was so tiny. I didn't really look at him, but as I was paying, he says, "Well Hi Pam." It was my brother! Good grief! We don't see each other often, but still, you'd think I'd have noticed him. He said he didn't notice it was me either. He is 3 years older than me (66), and lost a lot of weight years ago. He's a work-out fiend, rides his bike all over the country, and keeps his weight off by exercise and eating right. I hope I can be like him. But he is shrinking height-wise. I told my husband I think I'm as tall as my brother is now, and I'm shrinking too, I've gone from 5'5 to barely 5'4. He was never tall, maybe 5'8 or 5'9, but he's not that tall anymore.....

  12. I love that shirt and the medal! What great promotional items for that race.

  13. I wish I had seen you!! I worked packet pick up and gave Audrey her bib as well as yours. :-) In fact, Greg Everal used your bib as the Q reader example.

    I took a sugar cookie too. as well as a banana bread blondie and a monster cookies. ;-)

    I hope Audrey hit the cymbal. It was her first half which means an instant PR!

  14. I hope that I have a friend like you if I ever run a half marathon. Congratulations to both of you.

  15. Congrats to Audrey on a great run and you're too sweet for running with her even when you've been under the weather. Love the shirts too! So creative and clever!

  16. I was there too! I ran the half relay with my niece. I ran the first leg of 7.6 miles which was my longest run to date. We finished at 2:15:43! Next goal is a full half marathon!

  17. It's great that you got to pace your friend in her first half. That had to be special. Great job to you both!


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