Saturday, April 28, 2012

Robie Creek Half Marathon Recap

My awesome sticker from the race.

The week leading up to Robie I was excited but also nervous. My left shin had been hurting more than usual so I took the week off to make sure I could run the race. It was feeling better closer to the race, so I hoped it would feel ok to run on and if not I figured I could just walk, which I knew there would be a lot of for the first part of the race anyway.

Since the race didn't start till 12pm I went to watch the first part of my son's baseball game. I had had one of my usual pre race breakfasts, a bagel and peanut butter, but took a clif bar cause I knew I would need to eat something before the race started. I also was drinking lots of water cause the temps kept increasing. As I drove to pick up my brother I tried to eat some of the clif bar but only managed a few bites cause I wasn't very hungry.

Since the start and finish for the race were in different locations we had to go to one of two bus drop off points. Once we parked I was re-applying some more body glide when another racer approached us and asked if we new about the bus situation. My brother and I, as well as him, were under the impression that a bus picked us up there and dropped us off at the start. That wasn't the case! The bus only dropped us off there after it was over so we were supposed to car pool to the start. Luckily this guy offered to take us and we would meet at the end of the race, ride the bus back to my car and drive him back to his car (it didn't end up working out this way but more on that later). I was really glad my brother was with me cause I wouldn't have just got in a car with a random guy, all though he was very very nice, you just never know.

We finally reached the starting area and the sun was already blazing! We waited in line for the porta potties and decided it was a perfect time to take some pictures.

I decided to wear my black tank after all.
We were matching but not necessarily planned. He was already planning on wearing the red shorts and I offered him one of my unisex race tech-t's that I hadn't worn and knew would match his shorts.
Sun was too bright!
Side note: About that time I got a text from Gene saying my son's baseball team won and had beat one of the best teams in the league that had been beating all their opponents by a lot, we ended up beating them 6-0!!! Go Cardinals!!

We ended up seeing one of my friends from high school and chatted with him for a while. He had ran Robie last year in 1:44! He was hoping to beat his time this year. He is super speedy! I should have asked him how fast he runs a flat half marathon in. I told him we would see him about an after after he finished :)

Once we headed over to the start there live band playing which was added to the excitement. We grabbed a couple of cups of water and before we knew it it was time to start!

Band in the semi to the right, drummers in the center at the starting area.
Going under the dragon! Just under that is the starting mats.
The first mile flew by pretty quick. We started towards the middle of the pack so it was pretty tight and I weaved a bit to get try and get a stride going.
I saw a silver sparkle skirt up ahead and new it was a local blogger so I said a quick hi! Then a little bit up ahead a saw a patient from my work who I knew was also running and said hi to her. She was wearing a crab hat so she wasn't hard to miss :) There was a nursing home off to the right so there was a lot of the residence sitting outside waving and giving us high-5's.
After that we were going thru a neighborhood and there was lots of people standing outside their homes also giving us high-5's. I saw a few of them out there cheering us on while holding a cold beer, taunting us haha.

After a little bit we finally reached the dirt road and canyon area that really made the dry heat beat down on us.  At the water stops I was taking 2 cups of water cause the last thing I wanted was to get dehydrated. I had let my brother use my hand held but I was actually ok with just drinking from the water stops. In fact I actually stopped taking as much water and would only take sips cause my stomach started feeling full. I decided to take my gels based on hours instead of miles like usual. So at about an hour in I took my first gel. I gave my brother some sports beans and he took those every few miles too. I figured those would settle with him better than gels since he had never tried those.
Did I mention this was his first half? And that he didn't train for it? That's right he decided last minute to buy a bib off his friend. He is CRAZY. He is in very good shape and works out about 6 days a week though, but he just isn't a runner. He had only ran 4 miles the Wednesday before the race. See told he's crazy, maybe a little crazier than me! :)

I don't quite remember how often they had water stops but it felt like there was a lot of them and I was thankful. Some of them had misters thru them which felt great. We did lots of walking and running when we could. It actually felt good to walk, not necessarily because of the incline but more because it gave my body a chance to cool down. Every once in a while we would feel just a small breeze but it didn't last long. We were running near a creek for a few miles and it made me want to just walk thru it and get my feet wet just to cool down, I resisted though.

Up, up, up we go!

As the trail got steeper everyone was walking. I saw so many people walking with their backs hunched it was making my back hurt and I just wanted to tell them to straighten up. My brother on the other hand is such a joker and wanted to slap people on their butts and tell them good job when we passed them, he didn't though but we laughed thinking about how people would react to that haha. There was a water stop right before the summit where they were offering hot cheetos, whipped cream shots and sushi. All I could think about was gross warm raw fish. Yuck!

Finally about At about 8.5 miles and 2:02 hours into it, we finally reached the summit! I took another gel and a quick picture.

We made it to the top!
Besides the heat I was feeling really good and ready to run! The first mile down hill felt really really good. There was some shade and a breeze. I had to hold back a little so I didn't go to fast and risk tripping over rocks and falling. 
The shade and breeze were short lived and the dry heat was there once again. At about 11 miles in my brother was starting to feel the effects of long distance running. His legs were starting to cramp up and he was getting a side ache. We ran when he could and walked when he needed too. I was just so proud of him for doing so awesome and I stuck by his side the whole way. I was grateful for the company! I finally saw the 13 mile marker and started running ahead told him come on lets finish it strong so he sped up and we crossed the finish line together!

Garmin time: 2:49:28
Chip Time: 2:49:43
Gun Time: 2:52:55
129/181 in my age group
(Brother was 160/190 in his AG)
1740 and 1741 out of 2466 runners

The overall winner ran it in 1:21:34!!

Here's our splits and the elevation map:

After we crossed the finish line we got our "trinket" which was a bottle opener.

We also got our finishers shirt.

I wish they were tech-t instead of cotton
We then walked over to get our food, baked potato, rice and a cookie and then got in line to wait for our post race beverage!

I ate half of the baked potato and only a few bites of the rice cause I didn't really like it.
I did enjoy a few sips of my beer...

After about 30 minutes of hanging out we decided to go wait in line for the bus ride back to the car. At that point the line was extremely long! We ran into my friend from earlier who ended up running the race in 1:49. Still fast to me! We ended up waiting in line for about 45 minutes before we finally got to get on the bus. Only to have to get off 15 minutes later at the first stop and have to transfer buses for another 20 minute ride to where my car was parked.

We felt like we were back in school riding the bus again :)

My friend Juan who ran the half in 1:49 and his wife Jessica who was my best friend all thru high school and jr high
While on the bus I got a text from the person we road to the start with. We didn't have any service at the finish line which I had forgot and we had already agreed earlier if one of us finished early we would just ride the bus and he could would find someone to take him to his car which is what he ended up doing.

I think waiting for the bus ride was probably the only part of the race I didn't like. And it also added to me getting sun burned. I thought I was ok when I got home that day and it was just a tan starting but the next morning I woke up to my neck hurting where my shirt was rubbing. I ended up getting really burned on my right side where the sun was beating down as we waited for the buses.

Yea the really red area up by my neck really hurt. Now I just have a really really bad tan line!
Overall I was super happy I ran this race and even happier I got to share this experience with my brother! I definitely want to run it again next year but I really want to train for it and better my time now that I know what to expect. And cooler temps would also be nicer :)

(If you got to the end thanks for sticking thru the long recap!)

Click HERE for a quick video of us finishing. We are about 1:45 to 1:49 in. Someone is standing in the way of the camera though so you only see us just after we cross the finish line.


  1. what a report....and that course profile! OUCH!!!

    Good on ya!!

  2. Congrats on a solid race! The pictures of the uphill parts look brutal. I've run some tough hills, but nothing like that! And how cool that you got to run with your brother!*

  3. Super congrats Cynthia!! I so wish I had one of those stickers. Conquering Robie is such an amazing feeling, I'm so super proud of you both! And so wish I could have been there running with you guys. Great job!

  4. Yowza that is some serious elevation gain! Great job with your half. I bet you were sore after that one! Loved your outfit btw.

  5. Congrats on your AMAZING accomplishment. I ran Robie in 2009 and my time was pretty similar to yours. That race is CRAZY!!! I live in Boise too, btw.


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