Sunday, February 12, 2012

Cedar's Frostbite half Marathon- My Run for Sherry

If you're a runner (and hopefully even if you're aren't) then I'm sure you're aware of the tragedy that happened to fellow runner Sherry Arnold.
Beth and the rest of her family organized a nationwide remembrance virtual run for Sherry on February 11 and I knew I wanted to pay homage and take part in this event.

Since I'm slowly trying to build up my mileage base to better survive my ultra relay in May, I thought it would be perfect to run the Cedar's Frost Bite 1/2 marathon as both a training and a remembrance run. 

Saturday it was an out of ordinary balmy 24 degrees with a chill-to-the-bone wind mixed in-- LOVELY. Luckily I tricked got 2 people to tag along for race so at least I wouldn't suffer alone
Thanks Jack and Ashley!

Ash and I pinned our Sherry bibs on our back and I had quite a few people throughout the race comment as they were passing me. 

Lately my calves have been giving me a lot of issues with constantly tightening up- knowing that this course was hilly, I just wanted to start out slow and keep a steady pace to enjoy the run and remember why I was out there this morning. 

Since I wasn't "racing" I didn't bother to look at my garmin to see what my pace was until mile 7. The first half of the race was HARD. The course was inside a state park which meant rocky and uneven terrain. If you have weak ankles or hips, this is not a run for you. Miles 3,4,5 were spent on a 2 lane single file trail. When you needed to pass someone you had to zig zag over the pebble median to the small uneven patch of "runnable terrain" - don't get me started on the hills
although in this photo it looks flat, its actually a slow and painful uphill 

Although I was already tired and my body hated me, I think the reason I kept pushing through was I kept reminding myself that I am fortunate enough to be here on this morning to run.  I am lucky to be alive, to breathe in this fresh air when others like Sherry don't have that opportunity anymore. 

After the trails my legs rejoiced to be running on normal pavement and to have some flat surface to run on. 

Like I said earlier I looked at my garmin at mile 7--- 7 miles is one of those mile markers where I  kind of pace where I'll  finish on what the clock says. I normally hit 7 miles right at 1 hour or 1 hour and 1 minute---- regardless of the finished outcome, this seems to be pretty routine for me. Today I was surprised to see 58 minutes. 
I guess when you run for something greater than yourself, you don't realize when you're going faster than you had told yourself you would.  If I kept up this pace I would totally PR, but since that wasn't my gameplan for today, I would evaluate if at mile 10 I was 1:22 or lower.

Sometime around mile 9.5ish Ashley caught up to me looking strong, where I was starting to struggle and my legs just kept feeling heavier and heavier. I watched as she passed and kept getting farther and farther away. Shortly after, I hit the mile 10 marker at a 1:24 and my body made the decision for me that the last 3 miles were going to be slow... like really slow.

Mile 11 and 12 were a L-O-N-G steady uphill that was boring and made me feel like a little kid repeating over and over in my head "are we done yet" --- didn't help that I walked a lot which obviously makes the time tick by that much longer. 

FINALLY we turned back into the park for the final mile and as much as I wanted to just be done, I reminded myself once again that this wasn't a run for me --- this was for a greater purpose and I was just thankful to be part of such an amazing running community (even if a large part of it is virtual) who all came together on one day to run in memory of a woman who was taken from this world far too early during one of her daily runs. 

Total race time 1:53:47



  1. wow - great job at what sounds like a really tough race! Love that you ran it for Sherry.

  2. Holy moly, I didn't realize you ran a REAL half yesterday (that Facebook can be so confusing sometimes, hehe)! Nice job on a tough course. Any thoughts about attempting a PR next Sunday in Austin? The hill in Austin looks like cake compared to this race (well, for you, I mean).

  3. Great job running a half marathon in a great time even if the last three miles were a struggle.

  4. Great race on what sounds like a tough course!

  5. Wow - your half-marathon story WIPES THE FLOOR with my 5k story. But I think most people who ran for Sherry also had challenging runs. Maybe it was her way of joking with us, or letting us prove that we were totally doing it for her. What a special weekend of (virtual) running. <3

  6. Congrats on another half Lisa! When running on trails I'm always grateful for any stretch of paved/asphalt. It never lasts long!

    Great pace despite the tough course.

  7. great run for sherry and a great 1/2. sounds like a tough course…and impressed with your positive thoughts. i agree-this running community is something to really be inspired by.