Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Mercedes Half Marathon, fun times with a PR on the side!

So how did that race go, well......It was Awesome!!
Finish Line in Sight, and yes that is a smile! 

I had signed up and decided to run the Mercedes Half Marathon back in October. It was to be a weekend to race but more importantly a weekend to see friends down in Alabama. This would be the 1st half marathon that I had actually trained for. The past few half's that I have run, I was in the middle of training for the Detroit Marathon, so they were at training pace plus additional miles before or after. And the half's that I had run before were before I knew some proper ways to train, I just went out and ran.

I started my training plan for Mercedes from Coach Alex back in December. And in December the weather was not horrible, yes it was cold. But there was no snow/ice like there has been the last couple months here in Michigan. Mother Nature has not been so nice since my return back to Michigan after being gone for a few years, I guess payback's a bitch!
Saturday morning Long run in Feb.
But even with the crazy not so great weather, I still was able to get in my runs and tried as hard as I could to stick to the plan that was given. Some of the speed works outs were tough! And not the workout, the actually conditions, one of the runs it was -8 with the windchill, and that was at 2 in the afternoon! Yes, I could had gone on a treadmill, but I really really dislike the treadmill, 3 miles is .5miles to far on a treadmill! But I still got out there everyday, and every weekend to get my runs in, and some were not pretty! But at least I got them done.

Needless to say, I was nervous when I got down there. Race weekend was here, and I did not feel ready. And then on Saturday am while doing a nice and easy 3 miles with Vann and Tanya, I forgot about the hills. I didn't really forget about the hills, but I don't know what hills are anymore living in the flat land of Michigan! So I then got a little nervous about the race even more! Plus I was nervous of how I would do, I had high hopes about this race, and I was in town with a bunch of people I knew!

Race morning, was the most relaxed I have ever been. Actually the whole weekend, I was very relaxed! It helped being in company of great easy people! And a huge thanks to Allison for opening her home for the weekend. As well as to Abigail and Allison for inviting me for cake I mean lunch at Olexas, in Mountain Brook. I still think it was the vanilla cake that brought the PR on Sunday!

The race started at 7:03 am, and we got down to Boutwell (startline area) around 6:15. There was time for pictures and a little race prep. Of the Resolute Running team, there were only a handful of us racing, the others were running in relays (the relay teams were for the Bell Center) as they were off to New Orleans the next weekend for their races.
And even once I got there, I had nerves, but not really that bad.
Thanks Michael for getting some time in the Bank
I think the company and everyone being so relaxed helped me not get so worked up about what I was about to do. So the plan was to run and shot for a 1:49:59. Keep the pace at 8:20. Michael was leading off his relay team, Team Daniel The Dynamites, and was kind enough to pace me for the 1st 6 miles. And we were a bit faster then pace I was going for, but it was some time in the bank for when the "real" hills would arrive. And I have to say, those 6 miles felt great! if only the hills didn't come....
Vann helping me be Powerful
After his 1st leg of the relay, Vann was nice enough to help pace me for the next 4 miles before his relay leg! And those were some tough miles, the hills came...but having Vann reminding me to be Powerful was a huge help! Well he ended up doing almost 6 miles, and almost missed his relay leg, but he did get a ride to his relay leg! So somehow I ended being lucky enough to have 2 great people help me get me to my goal time and actually crush that goal time! I can't thank them enough!
I actually crossed the finish line with a smile on my face, and I held back the tears. I was beyond shocked and happy with my time. My goal was 1:49:59 but official time of crossing the line....1:46:55!! I was a bit happy!! (Then of course, those damn hills, had they not come into play I would have been in at least 1:45 or better! but I can do that in another time!)One of the 1st people I saw after crossing the line was Coach Alex! And that was when the tears were actually in my eyes!
Me, Alex, & Emily. (Emily also ran a huge PR)

 It was true, I really had accomplished yet another goal!

This whole weekend was a blast, and the half marathon PR was just icing on the cake! I hope to make it down to Alabama at least once a year, either for a race or just a fun weekend with some running involved!

Now onto the next race....Flying Pig Marathon in May. But the big one Chicago in October! :)