Monday, June 3, 2013

Numero Dos: Dexter-Ann Arbor Half Marathon

Yesterday I ran my second half-marathon. The biggest thing that I noticed about yesterday was how far I've come since last fall.

My first half-marathon was VERY mental for me. I struggled at every mile and constantly thought about how much further I had to go. Towards the end of that race I mentally struggled with thinking I couldn't do it. I missed my last long run last fall and I think it was something that really messed with me on race day. I was super proud of myself when I crossed that finish line, but I also stopped and started way more than I wanted.

This half-marathon during my training period, I made sure to hit all of my long runs, work hard on pacing, fueling, and water stations. And that hard work and dedication paid off.

I have a new PR of 2:25:20 unofficially. That's a 10:58 pace.

Last fall, my time was 2:52:41. That was a 12:57 pace.

So for me, this race was about proving to myself that hard work and dedication MATTERS.

I feel like I'm really starting to figure out how running works for me. That's what I kept thinking yesterday.

I enjoyed the scenery and when I hit a mile marker, I listened to my time and went back to running. It was strictly business.

The one thing that had the potential to mess with me royally was the fact that at the starting line literally, I realized that I didn't have any gum on me. I was ready to run to the parking lot, but then I remembered that my husband had dropped me off and was probably already back in Ann Arbor. The race started and I wasn't brave enough to ask anyone if they had any gum on them. It was one of those things that was just out of my control. This is something that I've been challenged by God with a lot lately. I just resolved to rely on God and make sure I was good and hydrated at each water station.

The only time it was mental for me was at Mile 12, but not because I didn't think I could do it. Along the course there were signs posted with different sayings to make you laugh or smile. But the last one was all about the heart of the running community:"Run if you can. Walk if you must. But finish strong for Boston."

To say that I about lost it was an understatement. I sucked down my tears, cranked up my music and literally rounded the corner to the last mile of the race.


I saw my running coach, but I didn't see Brandon. He saw me though and got a video of me sprinting towards the finish line. I always know that he is proud of me, but I tear up about it when he shows it to me in little ways like making those videos.



Last fall I was proud of myself because it was my first time to run a half-marathon. And I will never forget that feeling. I proved to myself that I could do it.

This time, because I knew I could do it, I wanted to prove to myself that I could improve and be on my way to being serious about this whole running business.

I feel like I am starting to get to that point.

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REVIEW

GEAR
I wore:
  • my doorag
  • a New Balance shirt (yellow and purple for my sister's favorite colors)
  • Old Navy compression shorts
  • Balega neon yellow socks
  • my Mizuno Wave Inspire 9s
  • a fuel pack with my GU
  • my knee band
  • and my arm band is from Target. 
I also ran with my iPod.  
EXPO

The expo for this race was very small. But then again, so was this race. There were a little over 5,000 runners for the entire race. There was a 5K, a 10K, and the Half.

I will say that there were some sunglasses that caught my eye, but I resisted because I didn't want to try something new on race day. I do however, want to purchase some at some point because the sun does mess with me to some degree. So it was good to shop and see some options.

I picked up some GU's while I was there. I don't know if I have mentioned that I've switched from chews to GU's but I have. It is still taking some time for my tummy to adjust, but I am getting there. Yesterday, at about mile 7 my tummy started grumbling, but I was able to relax myself and I didn't have to stop to use the loo.

THE RACE

This was my first point-to-point race. I started in Dexter and ran to Ann Arbor. The start was in downtown Dexter and the finish was in downtown Ann Arbor. It was very cool to hit the city limits of Ann Arbor. Lots of people had stopped to take a picture, but I kept running because taking a picture while running takes coordination and that is something that I do not have a level of skill in. 

The scenery was great! One of the things I love most about Michigan is how green it is in the summer time. I ran along the Huron River Drive and it was nothing but green, green, and more green the entire time.

The downsides? There is a major hill at Mile 7. And truthfully, throughout the course it was somewhat hilly. In fact, a buddy of mine ran it last year and she said she would never do it again because it was so bad. Thankfully, I didn't really notice them.  

THE FINISH

The other downside to this race? I had to run up the other massive hill in the race to the finish line. It's part of just living in the area, but dang, I wasn't a fan. I usually try to reserve a last surge for the home stretch and it was very hard to do in this race.  I didn't get to sprint until the point 1 of 13.1.

But crossing it 27 minutes faster than I did last time felt super sweet! And earning the right to my medal and wearing my shirt felt awesome too!



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As always if you have ANY questions about running, just ask! I love talking about it!

Happy Monday!

2 comments:

JMS said...

Congrats! Great time improvement- that is awesome. Do you use the Galloway method, or run straight thru, or walk as needed? It's really what I cannot figure out! I just ran an 8k this weekend & want to do a 10miler in the spring. Currently I'm running straight thru but tapping out at 5-6miles.

Katie said...

SO PROUD OF YOU!!! Way to go, sweet girl!!

P.S. Love the new blog look!!

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Hi y'all! The name's Samantha. You can call me Sam if you like. I am a lover to a boy I met at Falls Creek in the summer of 2005, that is a student of Jesus, a Sooner born and Sooner bred and when I die I'll be Sooner dead, Democrat by party, blonde to the core, and oldies but goodies kind of girl.
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