Slow and Steady

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunday Superhero: Interview with a first time half marathoner


Today my friend Vaneese, ahem, SUPERWOMAN, finished her first half marathon. 13.1 amazing miles! She was nice enough to let me join her on this epic adventure. Then we had a nice bite to eat afterward where I got to interview her. Here's our race recap and an interview. Please note that this woman is superwoman! She ran through amazing challenges including the loss of her granddaughter mid-training. She had been a runner in her teens, but even then her longest run was 5 miles and today she totally knocked out 13.1.
Pre-Race meal:
Vaneese had a nice pasta dinner. I had Panda express, kids were too wild last night not to grab fastfood.
Vaneese had two slices of toast with butter. I had a slice of wheat bread with peanut butter.
Race fueling-hydration strategy:
Vaneese, jelly beans 1 packet for the duration. I had 2 Chocolate Powergels and a sleeve of Shot Blocks. Vaneese tried a shot block, but was unimpressed. We both drank at every aid station, Vaneese had gatorade and I had water.
Potty Breaks:
1 at mile 6 and 1 at mile 12

This was going to be a run walk event. We rode the inconsistent roller coaster. We started with a 12:20 mile followed by two 11 minute miles, then we slowed down alot from miles 4-7. We picked it back up from miles 8-10 and the last couple miles we did lots of run-walking. Our strategy for a full mile was running in the sun, walking in the shade! Vaneese was struggling with some hipflexor issues, but stretched out and toughed out the half marathon like a champion. I had some knee inflammation during mile 6, but is shook out quickly enough. I personally felt like I had tons of energy and was so happy I could project that positive energy into cheering Vaneese on during each mile. Other race strategies? Catching people. There was the girl that was signing with her iPOD, we dubbed her "American Idol". We ran near her at mile 4 and she was rocking out to Michael Jackson's "I wanna rock with you". Hilarious, on course entertainment and a good person to keep in our sights and PASS on the course. There was also the super energetic girl we met at mile 6. She would pull ahead of us, drop back and so forth leap frog style. We dubbed her the cheerleader. We finished to the cheers of our spouses, her grandson and my daughter. Couldn't be better than to get hugs from the ones you love even when we're obviously a little stinky.

Post Race Interview
Why did you decide to run?

Well, I think it was the Runner's World magazine you left at my house. I had read other get in shape magazines, but I really liked this one. I then went to the Fleet Feet (shoe store) and they were talking about a training group they were getting together for the half marathon so I signed up. I had been thinking about it for a while, I used to run all the time when I was 18.

What was the hardest part of training?

Joint pain. (side question, what? Not the daily runs or miles?) No, getting up to run is easy, I do get bored on the long runs though. I like 3-5 miles, don't you? (my response, NO. I am too slow for 3-5. 10K to half marathon are good distances for me.
What were you most nervous about this morning?

Not finishing.

What were you most excited about this morning? 

Doing something for myself. Finishing something I started for once. I seem to start things and not follow through and that is not good. What does that say about me? It was about making the commitment.

How'd you feel on the course?

Tired. (side question, like what kind of tired, physically, mentally, no energy?) All three. I just didn't train right. I skipped runs when I went to Chicago, during the funeral and when it rained.

How'd you feel at the end?

I felt good and will definitely take a nap today.

Would you do this again?
Yes! When's the next race close by? I don't want to travel too far.
What do you get out of running? 
 It helps with mental wellness and self-esteem. I just feel more confident.

There you have it folks, from the perspective of a first time half marathoner. You only get one first time and Vaneese was so nice to let me tag along.

Thankful Three:
  1. For my friend W who showed up at mile 5 for some high 5's, you rock!
  2. For Vaneese who is really such an inspiration
  3. For my fuzzy robe 


Eliza said...

Wow she sure is a SUPERWOMAN! Thanks for sharing this amazing story. It was nice of you to cheer her on :)

Molly said...

I love posts like this! Thanks for sharing!

Christi said...

Great job to both of you!

P said...

I love that post-race pic, you both look SO happy!! Congrats to you and Vaneese!