I woke up nervous. Beachwood was snow covered and I was questioning what to wear. I threw on what I thought would be a good option and headed down to Hartville with John + my mom. During the 1 hour drive south, my nerves started to ease up as the snow lessened with each mile. We arrived in Hartville where we met my Dad + Stepmom Camille and my sister Ellen. Pictured above: Dad, Camille, John, Me, Mom, + Ellen.
Before the race I posed for pictures…
…didn’t pose for others…
and ate some food.
Before I knew it, we were inching closer and closer to the start.
Fan club! In front our my friends Shannon and Josh! Thanks for coming!
I guess I should tell you what the race and weather conditions were really like since you see everyone bundled up. The temp varied from about 32-36 degrees with winds 8-10 mph. At one point it even flurried during the race. In terms of the course, it was very hilly.
Honestly, I didn’t know the course was this hilly when I signed up for the race. However, I wasn’t going to let the course elevation determine fate. Here’s how the race went down:
Mile 1: I was cold, I was excited. I finished the first mile in 9:35. Perfect.
Mile 2: I was warmed up. Time to maneuver the navy zippy off from underneath the CamelBak + remove my gloves. I was afraid that would happen, but I made it work. I also screwed up my stop watch at this point.
Mile 3: Feeling really happy that the crowd was starting to thin out + finding my running grove without surrounding pressure from the runners. I think this was the mile I ran into my friend Alycia as well! She was running with her aunt, cold, but in good spirits!
Mile 4: Almost time to see my family!
Mile 5: Holy freaking hill. Ohh there’s my family!! Feeling great! I threw my navy zippy to John + received a pack of Shot Bloks.
Mile 6: Working the hill like it’s my job. Excited to see my mile again at mile 7. My time split at 6.2 miles was 1:04:36. I felt great about this + reset my watch.
Mile 7: Family again!!!
Mile 7.5-11: When are these hills every going to end? I noticed a lot of people walking but kept pushing myself to run. I had another pack of Shot Bloks around mile 9.5. I know I had some 12 minute miles during this stretch.
~Mile 11-12: Thank you for this downhill stretch. When I saw the mile marker for mile 12 my eyes welded up. I knew I would be able to finish within my goal time of 2:15 – 2:30.
Mile 13: Omg. Omg. Omg. I’m about to be a half marathoner!!
I did it! I completed my first half marathon and I couldn’t be more proud! Look how proud my mom is in this picture (excuse my silly expression):
I received hugs from all my fans, drank some water, and removed my CamelBak/headphones/watch/etc. The next part of the race was the worse part. Waiting for the buses to take up back to the winery for the post race celebration. It was freezing + 6 buses were not enough for all the runners + spectators it seems. Plus, someone in line decided it would be a great idea to light up a cigarette + people were trying to cut in front of each other. Just crazy stuff. Anyway, my mom lent me her jacket and John + I snapped a picture together.
I found out my official times at the winery:
SO PROUD!!!!! Net time of 2:20:59!! My pace says 10:47 but I’m a little curious about that. The elevation chart showed the course being 13.33 (which would have made my pace 10:34) but now the Stomp the Grapes website is showing an official 13.1 course verification thing… so I’m not sure when that happened! Either way, I’m thrilled!
The post race celebration was short lived for us. I was cold + couldn’t eat much from the free buffet line as a runner due to all the foods with gluten. I also received two free glasses of wine as a runner but promptly allowed mom and John to drink those for me. Plus another nice runner gave us his extra ticket so Camille could enjoy a glass too! We said good-bye to Ellen and made our caravan back to Beachwood.
Beachwood continued in it’s winter wonderland glory…
…and we had a fun filled family evening together.
Ohh almost forget… I found out in the evening that I placed 39 / 59 in my age group + 272 / 431 in overall females. Yes, I’m totally proud.