Saturday, May 5, 2012

Wisconsin (half) Marathon

I did it! I completed my 2nd half marathon, and felt better than expected.  I enjoyed running the course today, and felt refreshed after the horrendously bad Friday I had!  Almost everything that could go wrong on Friday did, I was super stressed out at work, I didn't get done until after 4:15, and I told Jessica I would pick her up at 3, and then on my way rushing out of my apartment I left my purse.  Luckily Jessica was able to save the day and buy me dinner and my granola bars for pre-race.

This morning I woke up at 5:20 to prepare for the 7am start time, and almost immediately Aaron informed us (Laurie, Jessica, and I) that it was raining outside, so much for a 10% chance of rain.. But after my terrible Friday I set my mind that absolutely nothing was going to ruin my day, and definitely not a little cold and rain.  Around 6:20 left the hotel to head to the race start, and find our fellow ASR friends for a quick picture. 
Before we knew it we were being told to line up.  It was nice how it was set up, you didn't have a specific start corral, but you could start wherever you wanted based on your pace.  I wanted to run between a 9 and 10 minute mile so I started with the 9 minute mile group.  I think next time I would start futher up, I was passing a lot of people at first and had some trouble passing people up the hill on mile 8 or 9.  I started out with a 9:15 min mile, and decided I would try to maintain a pace around there as long as I felt good.  We looped down by the Lake, and then swooped through some really nice neighborhoods before we ran through the downtown (one of my favorite parts!). There were a ton of people lining the streets cheering us on, making the run go by just a little quicker.  That was about mile 4 and I was feeling great so I decided to take my GU to avoid a crash.  The GU must have worked because I ran mile 5 my fastest pace at an 8:47 minute mile.   Soon after that the police escorts came through on their motorcycles with the lead runners starting to loop back around, we all had to then stay to the left of the cones, which caused a little bit of congestion for most of the race remainder.  Running miles 6-8 I was still feeling great, but was having a little trouble passing runners in the narrower lanes.  Right around 8 miles I saw Nathan, Laurie and Aaron, it was nice to see some familiar faces in the mix.  Then as I decended a hill I saw Britten in a zone, but I got her attention.  At the bottom of the hill turning left I saw Tom and shouted out to him and waved.  4 miles to go.  And then I hit a bit of a wall at mile 10.

I told myself it was ok, and I opened my GU Chomps. I had told myself I had a goal of 9:30 minute miles, when in reality I wanted 9:12 (yes, a random number, but that was actually my average pace for a really great 12 mile training run I had a few weeks back), but either way I had a little cushion since I had run an average of about 9:05 thus far.  So I told myself it was ok to slow down, I concentrated on breathing in through my nose, and out through my mouth to try to lower my heart rate, and was able to maintain a an average pace around 9:18 or less.  Mile 11 was a slight uphill through part of the downtown with an out and back turn around at mile 12.  As I ran towards 12 noting that I could possibly finish in less than 2 hours, and working on my pacing plan I saw Jessica run by, then Aaron and Laurie.  I hit mile 12 with just under 10 minutes until the 2 hour mark, so I decided that I was going to start pushing at 12.75 miles and hopefully have enough gas in the tank to make it.  So around then I started to push my legs to move faster, checking my watch every minute to see how close to goal I was.  As I was sprinting in with 40 seconds to go until 2 hours I started counting down, and I knew I had slightly missed my new goal.  I heard my name announced as I was crossing the finish line, and then saw Bruce and Kitty cheering me on at the end.  I immediately stopped my watch at 2:00:30, and noticed that my distance was 13.2, so in fact, I did run a half marathon in under 2 hours, the course is just slightly off, or I did not take every corner hugging the inside.

Mission accomplished! I look forward to seeing the official race results later tonight.  Where's the next half?!

1 comment:

  1. Yay!! You did great!!! I'm glad we got to do this one together!!!