Thursday, September 23, 2010

Running for a Purpose

12 September 2010- DMZ Half Marathon- South Korea

It had been almost 2 years since I had ran my first half marathon, well stand alone half marathon. I have run 13.1 miles many of times but never all out and just running. I have done a few half Ironmans over the past 2 years and had some decent run times. I was really looking forward to this race to lay it all out on the line and see how far I had come over the past 2 years. I lined this race up while I was still out in Korea through the Seoul Flyers. They are a running group out of Seoul about 1 1/2 hours from here by train/bus. They are a group of foreigners that like to run, and well party, which I will talk more about in my next post.

The weather had been pretty crappy leading up to the race day and it was possibly going to be raining so I was not too thrilled about that. I packed up and headed up to Seoul the afternoon before race day. I got up to a "love motel", this is where single people/married men take girls after a late night out as they are cheap places to stay $35US for the night. It includes a flat screen TV, Internet hook up, and computer. Of course it has all the other regular amenities as well, nice big bed and decent bathroom. I got settled in and did some HW, didn't really get much of a dinner but I had a late lunch so I snacked on a gatorade, snickers bar and 2 bananas. I attempted to go to bed around 11 but it started storming out which caused a very annoying drip outside that kept me up all night. I think I may have got an hour of sleep and that was it.

Woke up and felt like crap. I had 2 Cliff Bars and a banana, wasn't able to get the usual pre-race coffee, but settled for SB's chilled cappuccino and a chilled mocha. My stomach was upset most of the ride to the race and I wasn't feeling that great at all. I luckily was able to use the bathroom before the race. It was a first time experience for me as I have never had to use the "korean" toilets before. Most places have the regular style toilets by now and I have never had to squat, EVER. Took me a few seconds of pondering how to accomplish this daunting task but luckily I figured it out and took care of it. Once again morning business taken care of and no worrying on the course.

The race started on time and I got off to a good pace. I was told to be careful and not go out to fast, which I was worried I had and just kept going with it. There were two foreign guys that went out strong and stayed about 200M's ahead of me the first couple miles then built into 400M's then one guy got about 1200M's ahead. I just focused on my race and was hoping they went out too fast. Well come mile 10 I started pulling them back in and was determined to catch the last guy. I caught up to him with about 1/2 mile to go and made sure that when I went I went hard too make sure he didn't want to stay. I came around the corner and saw the time and it read 1:18:50 and I crossed the line right after 1:19, luckily I started a few seconds after the clock and my chip time came out to 1:18:55.

This was one of the biggest breakthroughs I had and didn't think I had it any me to run that fast. I had a interesting conversation with a friend leading up to this race and she had told me it is a lot funner and means a lot more to run for a purpose. I took that to heart and set out to run this race with a purpose, and it did just that, it meant a lot more and I found inner strength to run harder knowing it just wasn't for me. This person knows who she is and she has inspired me to run every race with a purpose and for something other than myself, THANKS!

Chip Time- 1:18:55
Age Group Place- 3rd/53
Overall- 13/1,362 (missed the money by 1:25 secs :(, it was only $50, but still would of been cool to get paid)


I didn't get any race pictures, but here is the map of the race. That gray line above the course is North Korea, it was only 5 miles away. Pretty cool if I don't say so myself.....

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