Saturday, September 20, 2008

I Did It!

The 12th Annual US Air Force Marathon was today, and I ran the Half-Marathon (that really should be capitalized, don't you think?) 45 seconds below my goal time! Yay me! I was hoping to get below 2 hours. I did it in 1:59:15. I might never reset my stopwatch.

It was a great race, and I'm so happy to have run it, even if I did have to put up with watching an F-22 flyby (they had an F-16 fly over too, which made up for the presence of the F-22). 

Ok, back to the race. I started out with "Pacer Jim" and a group of other aspiring 2-hour'ers. Pacer Jim promised to get us to the finish line by the 2 hour mark if we stayed with him. When we hit the 3 mile mark (after the easiest run up The Hill ever!) I struck out on my own at a slightly faster pace. When I came to the 5 mile mark, I thought "Really? Already?" and I hit the 10 mile mark at exactly 90 minutes, well ahead of the 9:10 per mile pace I needed. 

Apparently I slowed down over the next few miles, because I Pacer Jim and his remaining 2 hour crew caught up with me a little beyond the 12 mile point. I finished a little ahead of them.

Crossing the finish line was amazing and slightly disorienting. I think I had a mild, temporary case of PTSD. My head was in a fog and I couldn't think clearly, as I shuffled through a post-race food line, collecting food with no idea if I wanted to eat it or not. It was nearly half an hour before I felt coherent enough to call home and tell my family I'd finished. Now it's 7:30pm and I'm pretty much all better. Well, I'm still a bit sore, tired and dehydrated (amazing considering how much water I've consumed since finishing the race), but all in all, I'm feeling alright.

Interesting side note: The local Air Force "Band of Flight" played as part of the after-race festivities. I remember seeing similar bands when I was a kid in the 80's. Back then, AF bands would play boring oldies - stuff from the 60's. Today they played totally cool music from the 80's. What a difference 20 years makes, eh?


Deb said...

Hey that's great Dan! I've been waiting to hear if you made it over the finish line! Big Congrats to you!!!

So, when's the next race?

dad said...

Hi Dan: hey, so glad to hear your voice this am and then you ran and did so well... Congrats again!....I bet your body will feel wierd tomorrow too ( the day after the storm effect)....way to go.... Dad

Rhet said...


Tori said...

Congratulations! Now it's time to sign up for a marathon! ;)

The Dan Ward said...

Thanks everyone!

I think I'd like to do a half-marathon again some day, but I wonder how I'll find the time to do the training. This year was relatively easy to schedule long runs, because of my relatively light and flexible school schedule (i.e. no classes at all in September), and because the kids were on summer vacation for most of my training time.

I can't imagine how people manage to make the time to train for full marathons... Yikes!