Today was an awesome day!Short story: half marathon PR by 11:17 :)
Age Group: 50/64
Feeling: LOVED IT and felt strong the entire race physically and mentally
I ran this race last year and really liked it. It's held on the small island of Grosse Ile where we essentially run the perimeter of the island. I first read about it in Runner's World last year and contacted the Race Director, Emily. She's 30, suffers and Cystic Fibrosis, and is doing amazing things to raise money for research for CF. She puts on a great race and today was no different.
I got up pretty early, got to the island in time for a good parking spot, picked up my packet with ease and was ready to rock and roll. I ran into some friends and chatted it up to kill time. I also briefly saw Megan and Stephanie, which was super fun! I met Stephanie last year at this race and it was great to see her again this year, pregnant belly and all :) of course, I didn't take any pictures...
Right on time we were off and I was working hard to reign it in. I wanted to keep the first few miles in the 11min/mile and then plan to pick it up a bit each mile until 11 where I'd take off. The beauty of this race is that it's as flat as a pancake.
As we made the turn on the north end of the island and ran back south on the west bank, I was gradually picking it up and feeling great. What I loved about this race is that I kept my head in it the entire time and felt great physically.
I fuel with cherry sports beans on the run and carry them in an old mini m&m container. It's perfect for carrying my race fuel, keeping it handy and popping the top as needed to have a couple on the go. It's so much easier than the plastic bag they come in. The down side - to other runners - is that it rattles like a maraca the entire race. My running buddies are totally cool with it as they are used to it, but in races, I always wonder who I'm annoying as I go. Either way, it's a great conversation starter :)
As the mile 11 and 12 markers came and went, I kept picking it up and when the finish line was in sight, I TOOK OFF! I've never had a 'kick' before in any race, so this was nice to pick it up at the end. I saw a friend of mine and his wife as I was coming around the final part on the HS track and picked it up faster than I ever had before. I had known since mile 10 or so that I'd PR no matter what, but once I crossed the line and looked at my garmin, I was ecstatic! PR by over 10 minutes :)