Monday, July 5, 2010

Red, White and Boom! Half Marathon

I finished my second half marathon. I realized today that I have a half marathon the first weekend of June, July and August. That is a lot of half marathons in the summer in Minnesota for someone that hadn’t done any half marathons before June. Clearly, I wasn’t thinking straight when I signed up for them all. Speaking of thinking…The day before this half I was thinking why did I sign-up to run 13.1 miles. I don’t want to get up at 5am tomorrow to go running. I was also wishing I had a friend to meet at the race. Running a half marathon all by myself sounded kind of miserable. I really enjoyed the half that I did at the beginning of June with a friend.

I set my alarm for 5:25. The race started at 6:30. I figured that I would have plenty of time to eat and get to the race by 6:00. I was a little worried about parking but that wasn’t a problem at all. I got to the race a little before 6am and got in line to use the porta potty. The line was so long that it took 20 min for me to get to the front of it. I was hoping to run into Julie before the race. She is another blogger from the cities with an awesome name!

No time for a warm-up but it was 85 degrees and humid so just walking to the starting line made me break into a sweat. With the heat and humidity, I was trying to decide if I should try to go sub 1:40. I have really only been running 3 days a week with no races in mind, just running. So I decided to line up with the 1:40 pacer.

The race starts after a quarter mile with the pacer, I decide I want to run a little faster but I am not quite up to running with the 1:35 pacer so I am on my own. I have my Garmin set to give me half mile splits which might be overkill for a half but perfect for a 5k. I want to see 3:40-3:45. I actually did a good job of keeping it between 3:35-3:45. I had one 4:17 on the crazy long hill and a couple 3:23…oops too fast.

Mile 2 or so – a girl passed me. After following her for a mile, I run up next to her and ask if I can run with her and say we should catch the girls in front of us. We chat for a bit and then run together for a mile. Then I fall behind on a long gradual down hill. She yelled back that she loves down hills. At this point, there is a crazy downpour that cools me off nicely and fills up my shoes so they become kind of heavy. I pass the girl after a couple more miles.

I am surprised how quickly the half miles are ticking away. I try to smile at the people cheering. Sometimes they tell me that I look strong. It actually helps me when they say that because I think to myself, “yeah, I feel strong”. Around mile 12, after I just passed two guys, a woman yells to them, “You’ll never catch her. She is still smiling.” They just laughed but never caught me.

Mile 9 – I see a police officer that I know from some fitness training that I have done with the MPD so I yell hi to her and we exchange a few quick words but I have to keep racing. A guy passes me and says you seem like you are having a really good time. Yeah, I am having a good time and to think I didn’t want to run the race yesterday.

Mile 11 – I see Steve from Steve in a Speedo. I wish I had yelled, “Steve in a Speedo, I want to be a foxy Moxie.” I thought of that just after I had passed him. He was having a giveaway on his blog for a Sugoi running skirt.

Mile 12.5 – a girl passes me. She is flying…I wonder how she can be so strong this far into the race. I let her go. A minute later…what you just let her go, you have less than a half mile and you can’t push yourself for only half a mile. Okay, I pick up the pace. (these are the conversations that I have in my head while racing) I don’t catch her but I tried.

Final results:

Time: 1:36:52 (Yeah, I made my goal of sub 1:40!)

Pace: 7:24 per mile

Overall place: 99/2375

Sex place: 17/1321

Age group place 4/250 (I would have loved to make top 3 but that can be a goal for next time)

End thoughts – I really enjoyed the race and am looking forward to my next half marathon. This always seems to be the case even though I usually don’t want to race the day before. After the race, I am usually quite happy that I did it.

My legs have been tired today. My ankles and feet seem to be a little swollen so I am thinking about trying compression socks for recovery. Has anyone used them? Do they help you with post-race recovery?


  1. Holy crap Julie!?! What and the hell was your time? You are such a speedy girl! Congrats on your awesome finish time!

    You got to see Steve too! If you ever have a chance to meet must, he is the nicest guy:)

    I am so bummed that I didn't get a chance to see you. Hopefully there will be another race in the near future where we can meet up!

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  3. Thanks Julie!

    Yeah, it would be great to meet up at a race!

  4. wow! Great time! Awesome race!