Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Primo's Run for Education Half Marathon - 10/9/11

My sister planned a trip to Danville with her family to coincide with the Primo's Run for Education. I'd run it last year, and we thought it would be fun since it's a Danville race and the whole family could be out cheering us on. Annelyse was going to run it as well, but she got sick so it was just my sister and I. My dad dropped us off at the start in downtown Danville by Primo's, an Italian restaurant our family has eaten at countless times. My dad had read there were 8,000 people in the event, however, the majority of those were school kids and their families doing the 5k. Turns out there were 506 people running the half marathon.

Soon after we got there, the race started and we ran through part of downtown Danville before heading into the residential area. Right as my watch beeped my split for mile one, the battery died. So for the second time running this course, I'd be without the use of my watch (the last time I forgot it). This probably wasn't a bad thing since I was just coming off the marathon two weeks prior and probably needed to take it a bit easy. The only problem with this was I had no idea what my pace was, so probably ended up overcompensating and ran faster than I thought.

We ran through the Old Orchard area and then crossed over Sycamore onto Greenbrook before we took a turn on Paraiso Dr. This was the first of four points along the course that my dad had mapped out to come watch us run. As I made the climb up the small hill, my mom, dad, brother-in-law, Sully, and nephew, Colton, were all there waiting for me along with a few other spectators. We continued on towards Baldwin School and then through Osage Park and came out on El Capitan. Just as we made the turn from El Capitan back onto Greenbrook, which was right around mile six, I saw my personal cheering section once again with cameras out taking pictures as I ran by.

Over the next few miles we wound our way through the neighborhood and onto Iron Horse Trail. Just before we reached the trail, I was talking to a man who was riding one of those old school bikes with the giant front wheel, and miniature back wheel like they had in the 1800's. He said it weighed about 45 lbs, and offered to let me ride it at the end of the race if I wanted. I thanked him, but told him it probably wasn't a good idea, as I'd surely fall off and not only hurt myself, but probably the bike too. Shortly after, I came upon my cheering section once again. My nephew, Colton, looked as content as could be in his stroller and gave me the warm fuzzies as I ran by.

After I ran one section of the trail, I saw my family for the fourth time in eight miles and they were all smiles. The course zig zagged through our neighborhood so it made it easy for them to walk down and get from point to point rather quickly. I waved hello, and knew the next time I'd see them was at the finish. I continued my run toward San Ramon and soon intersected with all the families walking the 5k with their kids. There were a ton of people, but the race organizers did a great job of keeping a lane open strictly for the half marathon runners. I passed a volunteer who called out that I was the 9th female, and then just after, a man who was walking the 5k called out, "You get em, girl". The combination of the two gave me a little boost and kept me going.

The last few miles had four high school bands out playing, in addition to what looked to be a glee club. Over the course of the last few weeks, I've only run a handful of times, one of which was the marathon, and I could tell my speed wasn't quite back to what it was. I knew this would be the case, but this race proved that my body is feeling fully recovered from both the calf injury and the marathon. I know it's only a matter of time before I get my speed back. Forcing myself to take some recovery time cross training was definitely a smart move.

We made the turn onto Alcosta Blvd, and ran the last quarter of a mile toward the finish line at Iron Horse School. As I sprinted to the finish, I didn't hear any cheers from my family, so figured they didn't quite have enough time to reach it before I finished. Turns out they had to park about two miles away, so missed me by about 10 minutes. Luckily, they made it just in time to see my sister finish, and we all cheered her in. Just like last year, the top 50 female/male finishers received special, commemorative shirts. Last year, I was number 52 and a bit bummed I'd just missed it. This year, I was number 14, and I happily claimed by "Top 50 Finisher" shirt.

This was the first race where my parents got to see me run, and it was the ideal weekend. Not only did I get to run it, but my sister flew home to do it as well so they got to see us both. The bonus was that Sully and Colton were there as well, and that the race was in our hometown. Next year, I'm pushing for us all to run it.

Race stats:
Overall Female: 14th of 200
Age Group: 7th of 75
Chip time: 1:42:27 (7:49 avg pace)
GPS time: N/A

1 comment:

  1. Nice to read a recap of this race -- I've thought about running it several times. Congrats on the top 50!