Sunday, September 27, 2015

That time I won a half-marathon!


MY NEW HALF-MARATHON PR BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I know.  What the hell?!  All of that speedwork must be improving my long distance game, is all I can say.
(Part of me is like, if I can shave 2 minutes off my half marathon PR, can I please shave 20 seconds off the 5k?!? #ungrateful)

Backing up a bit, my Oiselle racing singlet arrived on Tuesday last week.  It was, as expected, too large (because I ordered a size large instead of a medium...dumb). The length was great, the width was not (#LongTorsoProblems).  I was going to attempt to take it in but I was nervous I would screw it up.  So on Thursday night, I decided to try running a few miles with it and see how it felt.  It was fine.  I mean, a little baggier than I would like, but I felt it would be fine to wear on Saturday.  (My mom has since given me some advice so I can still take it in.)

We left for Sheboygan Friday afternoon and got checked into our hotel room.  The kids were excited because the hotel had a water park in it AND my best friend was coming with her family too.  (She was running the 10K).  We went out to eat as a big group on Friday night and tucked into bed.

Unfortunately my 22 month old son kept up his new routine of waking up in the middle of the night, screaming MAMA!!!!!!!  The hubs and I aren't exactly firing on a full night's sleep lately.  And double suck that it's in a hotel room - so you really HAVE to get out of bed and get him to be quiet, for the neighbor's sake!  The hotel beds were not exactly comfortable so while I would like to say I went into it well rested, it was not the case.  On a postive note, I took advantage of the wake time to get more hydration in!

Race time was 8 AM.  We were up at 6:30 going to get breakfast.  Of course, I should have thought about breakfast, but I didn't so we were stuck eating gross expensive cereal from the hotel coffee shop.  I dug in my bag and came upon a Larabar so it wasn't all bad.

Finally, we were off to walk to the start.  I was going to try to start out with 7:30 miles and see how it went.  The gun went off, I started my watch, and we were off.

The race I did was not a large race - 179 half marathon entrants.  My friend was trying to get me to win it based on last year's times and I was laughing because while the winning times of previous year's races weren't out of reach, I felt they were based on my training level.  However, heading into a huge hill at mile 1, I was in 4th place (ladies).  Mile 1 was 7:00 on the dot.  I felt really good but also worried that if I kept this up, i would be dying at the end so I tried slowing down.  Mile 2 was 6:56.   Somewhere before Mile 3, I found myself in 2nd place.  I was going to try to keep the first place woman in my sights and see what happened.

The course was an out and back course.  As we got to the turnaround point, I was still in 2nd and the gap between the first place woman and I was about the same.  I still felt good and my miles were in low 7s (Mile 3 7:02, Mile 4 6:53, Mile 5 7:11, Mile 6 7:05.

After turning around, we of course were meeting all the runners and I was totally pumped up by all the people, women especially, who were cheering for me.  [The course was very quiet, but pretty, well marked and with ample water stations (every mile to 1.5 miles).]  I closed the gap and was running with first place by Mile 7: 7:06.   I felt good, but didn't want to pull ahead too early and lose it.  However, I am not used to running with people either so that was driving me crazy.  I decided to gamble and pull ahead.  Mile 8: 7:02.  I encouraged the woman to stay with me and wasn't sure if she did.

Now I was in no man's land.  Not really sure where she was behind me, and not wanting to turn around to check.  There was no one in sight ahead of me either.  Clearly it shows in my next miles:  Mile 9 7:11, Mile 10: 7:18, Mile 11 7:19.  I took a Gu near the 10 mile mark, anticipating the water stop.  Salted caramel goodness....Yum!

By Mile 11, I was like "I am going to win this thing no matter what."  I tried to hang on and got to Mile 12 in 7:14.  My legs were hurting but I also didn't want to lose!  I still had no idea if she was right behind me or what.  I had caught up to 2 guys and passed one of them.  As I rounded the corner to the finish, I was a few steps behind the other guy and I saw my best friend and my daughter and my BF yelled, "C'mon Ames - you can get that guy".  So I dug in and passed him  My last mile was 6:55.  Finished in 1:33:23.  4th place overall and 1st place woman and a new half marathon PR.  I WAS PUMPED! (2nd place woman finished in 1:36:27).

The great September racing calendar has come to an end.  3 races in a month.  It was a lot - my family is definitely tired of races.  "Why do we always have to go watch mom run?" was heard out of my 5 year old's mouth over the weekend.

Yet...I still think a 5K under 19 is achievable this year.  I'm considering another small one on 10/11.  Stay tuned!


  1. Wait - the hotel had a water park?!?! Is that a thing that occurs in the world and I've never heard of it?
    Tell Mags that she GETS to watch her mom run. Way to race, Amy! You're a stud!

  2. So exciting! I love that you wouldn't turn around to see where the second woman was and it turned out she was three minutes behind.

  3. This recap totally made me teary. You are amazing! Seriously!!!! XOX!