Friday, May 11, 2018

You CAN'T WIN Them All

Disclaimer:  I received a race entry to the Festival Foods Grandad Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro.  Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave 
to review, find and write race reviews.

Well, you WIN some and you LOSE some.  It's not that running is all about winning or losing; it's more about the sense of accomplishment brought to you at the finish line.  This past Saturday, quite honestly I was just grateful to finish. 

I was so excited for my return to this half marathon.  First, it's in my hometown.  I know the course like the back of my hand.  It's a fun race and the SWAG and post race is so fun!  I always enjoy meeting up with old friends and enjoying the scenic course along the way.  

This was my first half marathon of the year and lucky #12.  Is twelve lucky?  At any rate, I had a decent training cycle, and I was confident I could maintain my paces.  I was shooting for a HUGE PR; unrealistic?  Maybe.   My goal time was 1:49:59.  I had been training with paces in the 8:15/8:30 range for most of my speed work and I knew that the first two miles of the course I could put up some faster paces as it was all down hill. 

I felt amazing through mile 5 and was on pace.  My breathing was under control. My legs were light.  Then as fast as the fleeting thought of my PR, I was hit like a brick wall.  I'm not sure if it was the full sun and 75 degrees, the fact that I was running solid 8:15's, or it just wasn't my day!   

The first 7 miles of the course are quite variable with slow burn hills and twists and turns, and by mile 7 I was toast.  Put a fork in me toast.  I actually called my hubby at mile 7; walking.   The frustration was palpable.  But, at the same time I had a weird sense of calm.  Why did I need to break records?  What was this competition all about?  Just for me?  To impress someone else? 

I continued walking a few minutes and then did a walk/run combo the rest of the way to the finish line.  This is something I have never done during a race and it actually works pretty well.  I was able to give my tired legs and body the rest it needed and still pick up the running pace.  

It's always so fun at the finish.  You run up a road with the river on your left and the crowd on your right. My boys are always waiting for me at the finish line with their hands stretched out for high-fives!  

Needless to say I was happy the medal was around my neck!  It's a beauty too!  My kids always ask me if I won the race.  I always giggle and say "no a chance."  But it's sure fun to share the moment with them when I'm done!  They are goofballs. 

My official finish time was 2:03:16.  Surprisingly I still finished in the top 1/3 of all finishers with a field size of 808.  I was number 16/47 for my age group.  Unfortunately, it was my slowest half marathon to date.  I'm not sure how I feel about that, although this past week I've been googling other great half marathons!  Lol - I'm sure that this won't be my last.  If you're looking for a great Spring half, this is the one.  Make sure to shoot me a message so I know you'll be there as this is one I typically do every year!  If you want to see my race review for more details about the race, you can go here.  

** On another note:  This race was a featured Athlinks Race.  Once I went to the half marathon website, I was able to look up my results and claim them, which then took me directly to the  This is a very cool website that stores all of your race results. Check it out. Make a profile and let's be friends! 

Which half marathon do YOU recommend within driving distance from Minneapolis MN?