Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Race Report: Wild Hog Half Marathon 2014

For this week's Tuesdays on the Run, the topic is "Favorite Race Distance". Even though I've been on a little streak of running half marathons this year, I still claim the full marathon to be my favorite distance and the half marathon is a close second.

My appreciation for half marathons has grown because:
  1. Training works really well for this season of life with a little one in the house.
  2. Half's are HARD. Running 13.1 miles isn't that challenging, but it's all about pace. Some runners race a half marathon at my speedwork pace! 
  3. The long runs don't need to be that long. The longest I ran this time was just over 13 miles.
  4. Post-race recovery is much quicker than the full. Three days after the race, I feel great... minus a nasty cold.
  5. The half medals are just as pretty as the full medals :)

The full marathon has a special place in my heart because that's where I started off as a new distance runner. I hope to run another 26.2 in 2015 but I know I won't be able to stay away from those half's for long!

Before I ramble on anymore, here is the race report for my second half marathon:

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Wild Hog Half Marathon Results:

Finish Time - 01:36:30
Average Pace - 7:22/mile
Placing - Overall: 33rd out of 569. Females: 6th out of 331.

Weather:

Race day was beautiful, sunny and warm (for a Fall day in ND). Temps ranged from 65-70°F with 12-20 mph winds.


Race summary:

On the Friday before the race, E and I made a quick trip to the race expo to pick up my number and then continued on to Sam's Club for groceries and lunch with my brother and sis-in-law.

The expo was small, but I really appreciated that since I was there with a toddler. It didn't take long to pick up my number and the race "swag" was great. They gave the half marathon runners a nice glass with the Wild Hog logo, Fitsok socks, a Kind granola bar (so good!), a pink water bottle (for out-of-town runners), and an obnoxiously bright zip-up shirt. The shirt is really comfy and I guess the wild color will be helpful when I run in the dark this fall/winter?


And here was my impulse buy of the race expo... I do my best to avoid buying anything at the expos, but this was a worthy purchase! This "GoFit Massage Bar" is the replacement for the kitchen rolling pin I have been using to roll out sore muscles. It's awesome and has completely relieved the hip tightness I've struggled with in the past!


Race day arrived. We were up at 4:40 on Saturday morning and I was off to a great start because I was actually able to eat breakfast! I put on my race clothes, ate a banana and a peanut butter waffle, plus drank some coffee. I wrote Psalm 115:1 as a focal point for this race:


My hardcore babysitter and good friend, Megan, was up with me at 4:40, too. We let E sleep until the van was packed and ready to go. After a quick diaper change, I handed him a sippy cup full of milk and smoothly transitioned him to his carseat. Success! He fell asleep again and we were on the road to Grand Forks.

We pulled into the race area at 6:30 a.m. and Dunn Bros was conveniently located right next to the parking lot. Megan got some much-needed coffee and we parked in the corn field across the street (only in farm country...). While waiting for the starting time, E loaded up on some super healthy cheese balls for his second breakfast.


At 7:45, I headed to line-up and my cheering squad found their place to watch. I found the 1:35 pace group and we headed off at the gun shot. For the first three miles, I tried to hold back and stick to the pace group. After fighting with myself for a while, I decided to head off on my own and see how it goes.


Mile 1 - 7:05
Mile 2 - 7:05
Mile 3 - 6:58
Mile 4 - 7:08
Mile 5 - 7:07

By mile 6, I was already running out of gas. The dizziness I had been struggling with earlier in the week started to creep up on me again and my prayer was "God, please don't let me pass out!". It would be super embarrassing to pass out in a race, but really it wouldn't be super healthy either. Plus, you need to finish to get a medal :) I ate my other gel and hoped that it would give me a boost of energy.

Mile 6 - 7:13
Mile 7 - 7:18
Mile 8 - 7:16


At this time, I knew that my goal of running a 1:30 was far out of reach. The dizziness was getting to me and hot spots were forming on both feet. My trusty shoes that covered many training miles decided to bug my feet now! My thoughts turned to "What's the point of pushing through this anymore? Should I just give up and walk?".

I looked down at the verse on my arm and knew that whether I ran a personal best or an absolute worst, God should be glorified through my actions and my attitude. What attitude was I going to have? Would just giving up because I was having a bad day be honoring to God? (There are legit reasons to DNF but my bad attitude was not one!) My pace continued to slow but I was still moving.

Mile 9 - 7:27
Mile 10 - 7:37
Mile 11 - 7:43
Mile 12 -7:51
Mile 13 - 7:42
Mile .1 - 7:22

Even in the last 2 miles, the thought of walking was tempting. After running 11 miles, how could I give up with only 2.1 to go?! One foot in front of the other. I let go of any pace goals and prayed that I didn't pass out or trip over my own feet before that finish line.

I was pleasantly surprised to cross the timer at 1:36:30. The last few miles seemed to take a decade and I wasn't sure when I would finish.


I love running, but I was SO GLAD TO BE DONE with that one. Maybe it was running in the heat when I'm not used to it or being sick that really affected me this race; I'm not sure. Either way, I have no complaints. This was a great race and I know I pushed myself to the absolute limit. There was nothing left when I cross the finish!

After wobbling down the finisher's shoot, I grabbed a banana for E along with some pretzels and went to find my cheering squad. The best part about smaller races is it's super easy to find your people and chances are you will see some familiar faces, too :)


After cleaning up, we headed to Panera for the best lunch ever! A BBQ chicken flatbread sandwich with tomato soup for me, cinnamon bagel with peanut butter for E, and a Mediterranean flatbread sandwich with pasta for Megan.


Conclusion: Mindset is just as important as fitness on race day. I hadn't been feeling physically well this week, but my mind proved to be a greater challenge for me than my body.


I am so thankful for my supportive friends and family, for God giving me the health to run, and for possibly our last beautiful summer-ish day of the year.

Grand Forks sure knows how to put on a good race!


My #1 Fan!

How do you keep yourself going when your mind tells you to stop?

Linking up at Tuesdays on the Run and Fitness Friday.

14 comments:

  1. Great job on your half marathon. That is an awesome time! -L

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  2. Even though you hadn't been feeling well, you did a great job of getting to the finish line fast. Great job on pushing yourself to the finish!

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    1. Thank you, Tina! Even though I didn't hit the goal time, it did help to know I had nothing left. Leave it all in the race!

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  3. I love that the verse on your arm kept you going!! What a tremendous inspiration, maybe I should try that on days that I am not extra motivated to go to the gym. LOL

    The pics of E watching the race are so cute!

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    1. That Bible verse and God's strength got me through the race! I wrote it in permanent marker and was thinking I would have a hard time getting it off later in the day, but it had sweated/washed off by the end of the day. Just an FYI - sharpies worked just fine :)

      And thanks! Eli is my biggest fan!

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  4. I'm trying to decide if you're too fast to be my friend but I've decided to get over it;). I lOVE the idea of writing the bible verse on your arm! I am SO doing that for my next half! Great trip report!!

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    1. Ha! Thanks, Jennifer. I'm definitely not too fast to be your friend! That Bible verse kept me going when I had absolutely nothing left!

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  5. You made me laugh with your comment that not only would passing out be embarrassing, it wouldn't be all that healthy either! I swear I thought the same thing at my terrible Tink Half when I let my head freak me out too. Great job and gosh you're super fast! Thanks for linking up with us today!

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    1. Thank you, April! Yeah, it's weird that the thought of embarrassing myself was more of a concern than getting hurt... priorities I guess :) hehe

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  6. Wow - congrats! I can't imagine completing a half right now let alone at that amazing pace! Great job!

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  7. Wow. Awesome pace! Congrats on such a great race. After slowly coming back post-injury I'm running a half this month! Woohoo

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    1. Thank you, Jill, and good luck in your half!

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