Monday, March 21, 2011
A2A- And This One Makes Three
Wow- what a fun weekend! I told the husband several weeks (if not months) ago that I wanted to do the A2A Half Marathon in Ardmore, OK. He wasn't ever very interested. On the one hand, it's in a fairly small town in our state, and on the other, this weekend was his mom's 60th birthday. And, although I didn't know it at the time I registered, her birthday would turn into an entire weekend of celebrating, and I would be the bad guy for not being there. I'm a planner, what can I say?
So, I talked my mom into being my lone cheerleader for the weekend, and when I told her that our little road trip would include shopping, she was happy to join me. So, we left OKC on Saturday morning, and filled the day with eating and shopping before checking into our home-away-from-home at the Candlewood Suites on Saturday night so I could prepare for race day. Prepare =coordinate an outfit.
Sunday morning, we left the hotel by 6:30 am so mom could drop me off at the busses at the finish line. All participants had to be bussed to the start line in the middle of the Arbuckle Mountains and spectators weren't even allowed up there. It was a very well organized process except that we had to sit at the start line for almost an hour before the 8 o'clock gun, and it was cold and windy!
Anyway, the race was advertised as a flat and mostly downhill, fast course. The organizers even said to be prepared to PR, and here's the elevation chart that was posted on the race website.
Easy, right? So, based on that information, I went in with a gameplan consisting of 3 things: run the downhill 8 miles at a comfortable but fast speed, walk the one giant hill at mile 9 if I needed to, and TRY to enjoy the course and the view. Well, all I can say is that somebody was smoking crack when they came up with that elevation chart. It was NOT a downhill course. Yes, there were downhill areas, but downhill is not the same as rolling hills AND when you add in 16-20 mph winds that you get to run into the entire time...BRUTAL!!!
On the other hand, the race was well organized, the volunteers were friendly (where else do you get homemade cinnamon rolls at the finish?) and I got to see a male participant run off the course to take a shi* in the woods! Plus, the swag bags were great- we got two shirts, a medal, a water bottle and a bag of local fresh roasted peanuts.
It was tough though, and I would have to be in better shape to participate again. But, I finished- not with a PR by any means, not even close. But I finished and got another medal to add to my display, and that is all that matters.