A – 1:40:00
B – 1:48:00
C – 1:45:00
Starting around November of 2017, I began to think seriously about running a marathon in 2018. A key milestone leading to that goal was to run a half marathon in the spring. Well, that spring half was this past Sunday. I am happy to say up front that I met some of my goals in this race and am moving forward on my plan for running a marathon this year! 🙂
I focused on the 5k distance during the fall and spent December continuing to build my base mileage. By the end of December, I was up to about 20-25 miles per week. Anissa designed a training plan for me that began 14 weeks before the race. The idea was that it would basically be a 12-week plan but have some wiggle room in case anything interfered with my training (spoiler alert, things interfered).
This training cycle peaked just over 30 miles per week and included at least one workout per week. I also mixed in some weight training, yoga, and rehab/prehab exercises when I could. There were a couple of times when I was sick or Clementine was and it interfered with my training. I missed a 10-mile progression run pretty close to the week of the race, which I was kind of disappointed about. Luckily I was able to work around that anyway though.
I drove down to Toledo on Saturday to pick up my race packet and check out the expo. Then on Sunday morning, I arrived with only about 20 minutes to spare. I really wanted to get there like an hour early, but sometimes things don’t go according to plan. I drank a whole bottle of water on the drive down and I had to go to the bathroom before I could get into the starting corral. Unfortunately, so did 200 other people! I waited in line for a while, then finally had a turn to get into a port-a-potty. I ran to the starting line while the national anthem was being sung. Talk about cutting it close!
The crowd support at the race was amazing! I was having so much fun that I had a smile on my face for at least the first 9 miles. I was planning to run at a pace of 8:00/mile but was actually going a little too fast. My first 7 miles were all under 8 minutes per mile. I could see that I was going too fast, but I felt pretty good and kept getting pumped up when I saw my sister and her husband cheering me on. And I got excited when I ran past the various course entertainment.
I knew that the long stretch along Dorr St toward the end of the race (miles 10-12) would be tricky. It was close to the end and crowds were shifting over to stadium to see the finish, so the crowd support was a little thinner at that point. Also, that is such a long, straight, and slightly uphill stretch of road! It felt like it was going on forever.
After I made the turn onto Douglas Rd, I caught up with the 1:45 pacing team. This was two guys who were passing a sign back and forth and calling out encouragement along the run. Their support helped me find the motivation to pick up my pace for the last 2 miles.
The finish line was in the Glass Bowl stadium, where the University of Toledo football team plays. It was pretty exciting to go around the corner, up the ramp, and through the entrance into the stadium. There was an announcer who called out people’s names (I heard my name!) as they crossed the finish. In the post-race party, I had pizza, a cookie, and some fruit, I had a short massage (omg, so perfect), and found out my results.
My time was 1:44:21, and I got 25th in my age group. Pretty pleased with that 🙂
I got a little carried away with the excitement of the event, so I want to run another half pretty soon with a more clear racing strategy. The Probility Ann Arbor Marathon is coming up in a few weeks and has a half-marathon option. I think I’ll do this one with a stricter control on 8:00/mile pacing.
After that, a 2-week break and then the beginning of marathon training!