Thursday, June 16, 2011

Helvetia Half 2011 race report

I need to document this race before I forget all the fun :)

So I was pretty nervous for this race because I knew that had the ability to beat my time and I really wanted to!! I trained hard but I still found myself doubting that I would be able to pull it off. Friday was busy and my hubby had to work the night shift at work so that meant that I got to do a late baseball game and then get the kiddos down. I had great intentions of having all my gear laid out early in the day so that when I got them in bed I would be able to get to bed not long after. IT of course did not help that our house is on the market and someone wanted to come and look at it while my family was going to be at the race. So after I got the house "show" ready I had my ritual prerace fuel.
Yes, I love McDonalds ice cream cones :) So I got to bed at 11pm, which is pretty good, all things considered. The race did not start until 8am and is just about 10 minutes from where I live but the race organizers had been stressing getting there early. I was trying to follow the rules and there is nothing worse than sitting in traffic and having major anxiety about getting to a race late and having to start after the majority of the runners. I really wanted to give myself the best chance at reaching my goals.

My alarm went off and I really wanted to hit snooze :) Up and at em I was in the shower just to wake me up and dressed and ready to get the show on the road. Picked up my friends Dar and Becky and made it to the parking lot by 6:50. I had brought my oatmeal to eat in the car while we chatted about all things racing. I did not look at the clock but when my bladder was full we decided that it was time to get out and hit up the bathroom and check our bags.
There were so many people! I think 5,000 between the 10k and the half. The port o potty lines were so long so we headed to the stadium hoping the lines would be shorter. No dice!! They were just as long if not longer. It was now 7:45 and after standing in a couple of lines for a few minutes we decided it was a better idea to check our bags and stand in the port o potty lines near the start. Finally got through the line ducked under the fence, got to the front just as the national anthem started. 3,2,1 and I was off!

My goals for this race were to PR for this course (previous PR on this course 1:35:23), finish feeling strong, and fuel properly.
This is the first time I have raced this race with my Garmin and I was happy to have it.
Miles 1-3 were fast. Not the best racing strategy to have Mile 1 be the fastest of the race. Someday I will run a negative split, why is this so hard to do?
A trainer named Hayley from the gym I go to was running this race and we are about the same pace. I knew she was trying to run a sub 1:30. I knew if I was close to her that I would accomplish my time goal. So with in the first mile I found myself right behind and I started to psych myself out. I looked at my watch and realized just how fast I was starting out but I really wanted to stay close to Hayley. Then I started to question whether or not I was going to be able to hang with her.
Mile 1: 6:27
Mile 2: 6:37
Mile 3: 6:41

About mile 3 the hills started and I decided to slow a little so that I would be able to finish strong. The hills on this course are numerous and pretty big. Everytime I run this course I swear that I will not run it again.
Mile 4: 7:09
Mile 5: 7:44 Big Hills here, one after another
Mile 6: 6:57 Downhill to the turn around, I was pushing pretty hard and knew that I needed to fuel soon. It was fun going down and seeing the leaders flying back up the hill. At this point I also got to see that I was the 3rd female. Incentive to keep pushing :)

Mile 7: 7:03 I really like the turn around because I got to see a lot of my friends going down as I go back up the hill. It took my mind off the fact that I was going uphill. Time to pull out my fuel out of my back pocket and throw my gloves which I had been carrying since mile 1. My new favorite fuel are Energy Blasts from PowerBar. They seriously taste like candy. Finally out of the major hills it was time to get through the rolling hills that I always forget about.

Mile 8: 6:52 Feeling good and really hoping for somebody to talk to. I usually find someone to chat with but I really was alone most of the race. I thought about turning on my ipod but decided against it.

Mile 9: 6:50 Chatted with a girl who passed me but then she slowed and we ran side by side for a while. She was running her 1st 1/2 marathon and rocking it.
Mile 10: 7:00 Not a huge fan of the gravel road and the worst part is turning back onto the pavement. Once I turned onto the pavement I pulled away from the girl that I had been running with.
Mile 11: 7:08 Ran with a guy that was running his 1st 1/2. We chatted a little bit but we were both pushing hard and it was just nice to have other people around :)
Mile 12: 7:00 This mile seemed to last forever!

Mile 13: 7:05 I was so happy to almost be done :) I could still see Hayley and I knew I was going to accomplish my goals but as I was reveling in my near completion, I got passed by a woman! I was not happy about this but she was cooking and I was not going to be able to match her. She had a guy pacing her and I was jealous! I wish that I had someone running with me! I pushed as hard as I could but knew that there was no way I was going to catch her. :(
My friend Dar met me with about 1/2 mile left and ran with me for a minute. It was so nice to see her!

I love the finish of this race! You run into the stadium and they call your name over the loud speaker as you cross the finish line. It is so fun! Running down the chute I saw so many friends and my family, it was awesome.
Finish 1:32:05 Course PR by 3 minutes 18 seconds
5th woman overall
1st in my age group

I was so happy to have finished strong and get a course PR. Let the fun begin! I had a lot of friends running this race and it was so fun to see them finish and see them so happy!
Hayley and I talking shop right after we finished. She finished 50 seconds in front of me.
Nicole, Becky, Me, and Jillyn
Orange smiles :)
Yeah, we did it!!!
My little Lily eating my Helvetia burger :)
My buddy Dar, thanks for helping me believe :)
First place ribbon :)

I think that I fueled pretty well during the race. I think that I could have fueled a little sooner and maybe had more in the end but I am learning.

I think that I need to believe in myself a little more but I am getting there. I am actually starting to believe that I can run fast.
We will see what I am able to pull off on July 4th on a flat course. Hopefully sub 1:30?


  1. Those are some awesome splits! Congrats on such an awesome run.

  2. I thought I'd already commented on here. Guess not. Well done girl. I think it is funny that you would be able to to talk when you're running so fast. :) I thought of you today as I was running down Springhill.

  3. Oh Stephanie!!! I missed this b/c I didn't have you on my reader, but I do now!!! you did SO great!!!way to go! on a hilly course nonetheless:( I am so bummed I can't do Sauvie...I would ahve LOVED to run with you that whole darn race and get that sub 1:30 together!! it's totaly in the bank my dear! you can shave at least 2 min off running on a flat course! woohoo!!!! xx

  4. I forget what a STUD you are!! Man you are fast girl!! Do you still have the elevation profile for this race??