Today's Half Marathon was awesome!! The weather cooperated, the route was flat and gorgeous, and lots of people came out for this inaugural race.
I rested up all day on Saturday and tried to get to bed early. That of course, was difficult since I was so excited for the race. So I finally got to sleep sometime after 11pm and the alarm went off at 4:15 :)
Yes, I arrived way to early, but it really wasn't that big of a deal. I still can not believe how incredibly organized the race was and how friendly all the volunteers were. This was by far my favorite race so far!
Before the race started, I met Detroit Runner and In Steph's Shoes. It was really exciting to meet some of my online-motivation in person and man are they fast! I hope to be where they are in their running this time next year.
I donated my three race medals Medals 4 Mettle and headed to the starting line. I had no idea they even played the national anthem or had any sort of announcements until I read it on Detroit Runner's recap since there were so many people and it was really loud (and I line up way in the back). Whoops.
The strange thing about this race is that I was never really nervous about completing the distance. I know it sounds cocky (and believe me, I'm not, especially about running) but I went in so confident. My first 10 miler and long run of 12 miles - both solo - gave me more confidence than I've ever had in my life.
I made a running friend just after the 1 mile marker and we chatted and ran together for the first 7 miles! I've never done that before. He was friendly and we ran at the same pace, so time just flew by. Mile 3 passed my aunt and uncle's house and I was already salivating for the delicious breakfast that was to be had after the race.
The GU at mile 4 was a pleasant surprise and just what I needed. A great pick-me-up and in one of my fav flavors - Vanilla Bean. I've only used GU twice before, so I am still getting used to it. I'm not sure if it actually helps my legs or just eases my mind, but either way, I'll roll with it.
The first 7 miles flew by with almost no wind and felt great! Just after the 7 mile marker, my first running friend stopped for a walk break and I kept going. We said our goodbyes and I was off running on my own again. At this point, the trail of runners had thinned out quite a bit, but I didn't feel like I was the last one, which is nice.
I ran the next mile solo and remember thinking about how fast it is going, I want to be sure I enjoy it. The funny thing is that I thought that same exact thing on our wedding day, in the church, as we were kneeling for the opening prayer. Weird. The crazy things that pop into your head as you run.
Just before the 8 mile marker, a couple of girls were coming up behind me and we all ran together for a short time. They were chatty-cathys so I assumed they knew each other. At the sight of the 8 mile marker, one of them announced it was time for her walk break, so she wished us luck and left us two to keep going.
She became my second race friend. She's a spartan (but I'm a wolverine) and we chatted together as we ran the entire rest of the race together. It was a lot of fun! I knew I would enjoy this race in general, but I've never made friends to comfortably chat with throughout a race - how awesome!!
The whole race was beautiful and I was glad I opted for all three layers on top - base tank, long sleeve turtleneck and obnoxious orange running jacket - they were perfect for the weather. I was worried it would get really windy as we ran down the west side of the island for a little over 5 miles, but the only time the wind was annoying was during the one mile in front of the airport. It was whipping right in our faces, but thank goodness we were only in that direction for a mile.
My MSU friend and I pushed each other through the last few miles and even picked it up the last half mile to finish in 2:33:53, a PR by 24 minutes from the Detroit Half!
I LOVED this race and really hope Emily does it again next year, in fact, I already emailed her my thoughts - and she returned my email that same night - what a crazy awesome person :)
After the race, I picked up a water and bagel and headed to my aunt and uncle's for a delicious home-cooked breakfast. Gluten-free Waffles, fresh sugar covered strawberries and the thickest bacon I've ever seen! Delicious and just what the doctor ordered!
Now, I've been resting and foam rolling my left IT all afternoon. I spoiled myself with pizza dinner and trying to come up with a plan to increase my speed (just a little) for my next half in Mt. Clemens on April 30th.
Overall, I'm so happy with my time, but even more so with my attitude and the fact that I was able to run the entire 13.1 miles!
ps. I promise I'll try to work on more pics this year :)