Tales From the Back of the Pack

Tales From the Back of the Pack

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Pt 2 DIVAS Half Marathon at Long Island Race Recap 10-2-2011

I jumped into Des's Pathfinder, hooked up the Nuvi and headed out. I got to Eisenhower Park in one piece but super late and so had to park in an overflow lot (not at the park) then walk to the start of the race. I taped up my foot in the car, strapped on my fuel belt and by now was running super freaking late. I had about 9 minutes to find the starting line and was counting on the usual late starting gun to be my saving grace.

These signs were helpful but also misleading in that I kept thinking I must be getting close. I wasn't.

Runners headed my way as I walked toward the start. I'd have to backtrack everything I was already walking.
I walked what felt like miles before finding the start, and as I approached the big pink arch, it was obvious that the gun had already gone off and runners were pouring past me. When I finally got to the arch, I hopped over a small barracade and joined the throng of runners still working their way up the corrals, making sure to step directly on the timing mats as I ran under the arch.

I'd had a conversation with myself prior to the start of the race to hammer out a strategy. The strategy was to walk a portion of every mile, between the first .10 thru .25 depending on how I felt and still try to break a 3 hour finish. If I could finish the entire race, and not exacerbate my PF in the process, I would accept that as a successful race. Miles 1, 2 and 3 were my warm up miles and I didn't need to walk very much, but the course was very crowded.

Mile 1 no time
Mile 2 11:39
Mile 3 11:54
Mile 4 12:01

The scenery was green and lush as we wound our way through and around beautiful  Eisenhower Park and the surrounding streets. I always forget that So Cal is really a desert until I visit somewhere else and am totally reminded of how little water we have here. I thought of Des back at the hotel and was sad for a second that she was missing all this beautiful scenery and then remembered, DUH, she lives here now and sees it all the time.

logistical problems of an all-women race
Because of all the trouble I'd had getting to the start line, I'd forgotten to start my Garmin when I crossed the starting line. So I turned it on at the Mile1 marker, which meant that the G-man was 1 mile off throughout the course. This turned out to be an absolute blessing because I kept forgetting my watch was a mile "behind" until I saw the next course mile marker and realized I was actually a mile "ahead"! That was awesome every time it happened.

Mile 5 12:30
Mile 6 12:42
Mile 7 12:37
Mile 8 12:35

Around mile 8 we were running through a residential area. There was one house up the street with workers on the roof that looked like they had taken a break from their work to watch the race go by. Until I got close enough to realize they were fake people! Who does this to their house?

This race had tons of crowd support, plenty of water stations, lots o' portapotties and even cheerleader squads every couple of miles. I love that the cheerers were still enthusiastically cheering even for us back-of-the-packers. That helps so much, you have no idea. Thank you, cute cheerleader girls.

I was constantly looking out for the feather boa and tiara stations I'd read about when I registered for this race. Into mile 10 I hadnt seen any of either and I'd wondered if they had run out or if I missed the stations as I've been known to miss water stations. Finally at mile 11 I saw runners wearing boas and tiaras coming my way and that totally perked me up. I was going to get mine soon!

He's rockin it like he's worn 'em before. Right?
Tiaras and boas aren't just for women. I didn't know.

Mile 9 13:38
Mile 10 12:58
Mile 11 13:35
Mile 12 13:44

Everyone runs better in a tiara. A crown turns a scowl into a smile. See?

After my coronation at mile 12, my body was feeling the hurt from the past 12 miles of pounding but with 1 mile left to go, I tried to block out the pain in my quads and knees and just get myself to the finish line. My foot felt fine which was more than I expected.

Mile 13 12:46
Mile 0.1 11:13

That last .10 of a mile can be brutal. There was still awesome crowd support and enthusiastic volunteers all the way to the end. I heard the MC guy calling out names at the finish line call out mine and that I was from California. That was so cool I didn't even care that he mispronouced my last name. Everyone does.

And then the very very best part: Getting an awesome medal from a hot man with fabulous muscles. I'd run another 13 miles just to come back through his line again.

That's my medal right there!

An awesome medal, pretend champagne and a rose. A perfect ending to a great race.
And the tiara came in SUPER handy when I got home and realized I had forgotten to pick up a souvenir for the Puff. She couldn't have been happier.

My first destination race was entirely a great adventure and so worth the time and expense. I couldn't have asked for a better first experience. It was fun to see Des and now I have a reason to come back this way more often. But I missed my CocoPuff a lot and I don't think that spending weekends away from her is for me. We'll see how soon the travel bug bites again. In the meantime I've got a Ragnar coming up fast, a bunch of 5K's and the LA Marathon will be back around before I know it.

Maybe I'll squeeze in an RnR between now and then or the Krispy Kreme Challenge in NC in February.


  1. The only way that I'll ever do the the Krispy Kreme Challenge again is if one of my blogging buddies comes here to run it!

    I sounds like you had a great race! The tiara's and boa's are awesome! I have my first Half on the 15th. I can't wait!

  2. I absolutely love how y'all were crowned and feathered! How awesome is that?! I'm pretty sure that would have been enough to put some pep in my step at that point in the race, too!

    Congrats on a great race and conquering an injury! You rock!

    Oh, by the way...thinking of coming to Cali to do the Surf City half on 2/5. =)

  3. Great job on the half! You look much happier in the tiara. That photo of the house with the fake people is just bizarre. Have a blast at Ragnar - will love to her your recap!