This past Sunday I ran the Cox Rhode Races for the 4th year in a row! I can’t believe I’ve been running for 3 years already – where does the time go?
And is there a better way to spend your 3 year run-iversary than by running a half with one of your favorite people?! I’d say that there is not…
Kelly and I met around 7 a.m. to start getting ready for the race. I’m glad we got there early because the marathon started at 7:30 so the potty lines were already getting long! Once we got that out of the way we hid in the car until about 7:50 because it was a cool, rainy morning.
I could tell Kelly was nervous but we just chatted away the whole time, not about the race at all, so it kept us occupied. We made our way to a VERY crowded start line shortly before start time…or so we thought. For some reason (which may never be known to us) the race was delayed about 15 or so minutes.
And we were finally off! The rain had stopped but it was still super humid out. I’m so glad it was cloudy or it would’ve been brutally hot! I realized very shortly into the race that I had to pee again – whoops. I guess that coffee and Nuun was just a bit too much just before the race!
We were heading up toward Mile 4-ish – Kelly was struggling with breath thanks to the humidity and I really had to pee, so we stopped. One thing I really love about the Cox Rhode Races is that there are PLENTY of water stops and there’s potties at pretty much all of them. Unfortunately some people don’t care that we’re RACING and take their sweet time going to the bathroom! I swear it took 3 minutes or more just so I could pee quickly.
Then we were off again – Kelly used the opportunity to stop, catch her breath, fuel up and drink plenty of water while I was waiting for the potty. During that time it also started raining again, but it was just sprinkly and honestly it felt really good. We were both pretty grateful for it since the humidity was making it so gross and sticky out.
I was keeping Kelly posted on what to expect in the next couple of miles along the course (since I’ve run it twice, and used to live right down the street from the area we were in) when I heard someone say “Hey, I read your blog.” Well HOLY COW THAT WAS EXCITING! I’ve never met a blog reader in person (other than friends and family…) so that was such a cool experience for me! Huge shout out to Amanda for recognizing me and saying hi!
We kept chugging along – I was doing my best to keep Kelly occupied because I knew she was struggling. Between the humidity and her left leg screwing with her, she was having a rough time. Unfortunately this half is relatively hilly so that doesn’t help the legs when they’re already tired/sore.
I managed to only screw up on course information once – we were about 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile from where I thought we were…whoops! We did get a good laugh out of it though, especially when I told her we were REALLY at the location I thought we were at 1/2 a mile ago… hehe
Unfortunately by Mile 8 the humidity/leg was really getting to Kelly and we had to slow to a walk. She said she was dizzy and thirsty which automatically turned me to “worried friend mode.” We slowed down, and were able to rehydrate properly about 1/2 mile from there at mile 9. We started running again, knowing it was a lot of downhill from where we were. I also gave her a few Pink Lemonade Honey Stinger chews to help regulate blood sugar, and threatened her by telling her I was going to sing Justin Timberlake to her. It helped, I swear
At that point I told her that we could still make the time she was looking for, but she didn’t want to push it. Having been in her exact shoes during a race, I completely understood and told her that I’d just continue to run with her from there, at her pace, and we’d cross that finish line together. She was like “Oh that’s so nice.” to which I replied, “Well, I told you I’d run with you. You’re not having a great race, so what am I going to do? Ditch you and say have a nice life?!” We had a pretty good laugh after that…
The rest of the race was pretty uneventful – we ran more than we walked, I talked and Kelly nodded – I told her, I’ll do all the talking, you just focus on what you’re doing.
At Mile 11 one of the water stop guys commented on how I was still smiling – I was having a good time. Running a race at a pace a couple minutes per mile slower than I’m used to is actually really fun, and I really enjoy pushing my friends to finish and get to where they want to be!
Once we could see the turn toward the finish line, and the huge crowd of spectators, I could sense a change in Kelly. I knew she was excited that we were about to finish and she cranked it into high gear! We finished that final 0.36 miles at a 9:20 pace! Woohoo! She also saw her mommy and sister as she finished. My mommy was there too, and caught a couple of great pics, but I didn’t see her til we finished.
All in all it was a great time, I really enjoy running and pacing others! Turns out that even though it wasn’t a half marathon PR for Kelly it WAS a course PR, and a huge one at that!
Here are some of the pics from the day:
Thanks to my mommy for taking pics for us! And since it was Mother’s Day I took my mom out for lunch at one of our usual post-race venues, Union Station Brewery, but I was clearly too hungry to photo my food! I gave up gluten free for the afternoon (obviously) and enjoyed 2 more craft beers and buffalo chicken pizza. It was amazing!
Now the countdown is on – less than 48 hours til Reach the Beach!