Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Get Lucky Half Marathon Recap

I ran the Get Lucky half marathon almost three weeks ago - so this recap is quite overdue.  As most of you know, I am over half way through training for my first full marathon on May 19th in Fargo (it makes me shiver just to type that out, if we are being honest).  So, midway through my program Mr. Higdon suggests actually running a half marathon race - suggesting that this will give you a good idea of your progress on training and a guideline for a potential marathon finish time.  I am not overly concerned about trying to predict a potential marathon finish time - I am overly concerned with FINISHING a marathon so testing my training progress was key. 

The Get Lucky is a pretty big event with a half marathon race and a 7K - it draws a lot of runners and this year happened to actually fall on St. Patrick's Day.  Melissa ran the 7K along with 8,700 of her closest friends over in Minneapolis.  I ran the half with about 2,500 of my closest friends in St. Paul!  I told you - it's a big event. 

Ready for the big race!
I headed to St. Paul on my own Saturday morning - and my mom met me at the race start.  I ran in to a friend at the start - it was actually the best meeting possible - as we started talking I looked at his wrist and saw his Garmin and it sent an immediate chill down my spine - my Garmin watch was STILL IN MY CAR!  Conversation cut short - I ran back to my car and threw on my Garmin with plenty of time to spare before the race started..  So, thank you Jason P. for being my reminder that I didn't have on a piece of my race gear before it was too late to run and grab it.  
I decided before the race that I was going to try and stick with the 9:09 pace group as long as possible and then fall back if I needed to.  That plan lasted for about 5.5 miles.  According to my Garmin splits - I ran the first 5 miles in 45 minutes and the race group was in my sites the entire time.  One thing about Saturday that I will remind you of - it was warm, borderline hot, and it was humid.  I don't typically run races with my fuel belt - I really wish I had on this particular day.  It was hot and humid on March 17th and I personally don't feel like they accommodated the race course with enough water stops for the weather situation.  But, I am not going to dwell on that.  I learned a valuable lesson on this race day - sometimes you just need to carry your own water so you can make sure you properly fuel yourself. 

I hit the turn around of the race (6.55 miles) and was actually still keeping pretty decent pace.  My time at the turn was 1:01 - so, if I had been able to keep that pace - my time would have been PR crushing - but alas, that was not the outcome.  I will tell you that miles 8-11 were rough.  As in I had to take a few walk breaks rough.  There were a few reasons I think that I struggled - the course is hilly, it was hot and humid and I was not properly fueled.  These are things that I had some control over and some that just happen.  I am not going to dwell on this race - it actually taught me a lot.  My finish time was not what I was hoping for - I ended up coming in at 2:14 (which was 8 whole minutes slower than my first half).  But, the fact remains that I finished and I finished strong.  My legs were tired - they felt like they weighed about 100 pounds a piece at times during the race.  I would be lying if I said I didn't think about just quitting more than once.  But I didn't - I ran, I didn't stop.  As my good friend Ann says "I can do hard things!"

Mere feet from the finish!  Thank goodness!
The best part of the race - seeing Ann and Hannah at about the 3/9 mile marker and then seeing my mom, my husband and my two girls just before the finish line.  The girls were far more interested in playing in the dirt - but I did manage to get my oldest to look up and see me when I ran by!  The crowds were so great and supportive on the race course - if you ever go to a race, please know that as runners your cheers, hoots and hollers mean the world to a runner on the course.  There can be dark moments during a race and a cheer from a perfect stranger can actually snap you out of it and be just the boost you need. 

I will admit that my immediate reaction to this race was not a positive one - but then my mom reminded me that I finished, I made the most of the situation and finished strong - she is right.  I didn't PR like I was hoping to - but I did finish, my girls got to see my cross a finish line of a half marathon on a really rough day. 

My support system - My Mom behind the camera too!

The best reasons to finish a race!

Now, onward with my marathon training.  As of today, there are 45 days separating me from the Fargo Marathon start line.  Holy wow!  I best get running! 

Be healthy and happy friends!

1 comment:

Ann said...

Despite the conditions, Jen, you did GREAT!!! I loved seeing you and cheering you on!! You are going to ROCK that Fargo Marathon!!!