So this was my 5th Big Lake and 15th Half Marathon. I honestly had no idea what to expect. My knees have been bothering me on and off for months but the last 2 months was manageble and I was able to get 6 good long runs in (7, 8, 9.5, 11, 12, 10) so I knew I had the long run base. I then came back from vacation with a sore foot and was fretting since I would have 5 days off from running before the race (mind you I did walk far (5-6 miles) and ride my bike (20 and 22 miles) this week, so it's not like I was doing nothing. Thank you everyone for knocking sense into me.
My Half PR is 1:57:XX but that was in 2010 and I am not at that speed now. I've done all my training runs with run/walk and really had no idea what I could do on the course, so I decided my goals were:
1) Get a nice new piece of bling, you all know I am all about the accessories!
I was doing this with about 8 other of my running friends (we are all doing Mudderella too) and Myke, Cari and I drove together. It was going to be 50's and raining so we had 75 minutes in the car to obsess on our wardrobe choices. I decided on tank & skirt (perfect choice). We got there and my goal was to meet MQ in person. As I was lining up at the start, she came up to me and we exchanged big hugs and I met her husband Brian.
MQ and I started out together and I was trying to figure out what I was going to do for pace. Funny the second the gun goes off I go from "I just want to finish" to "I want to be sub 10:00". MQ said she had a tough bike this week so she was going to start easy. I pulled away and was feeling pretty good. I love this course, lots of rolllers and it's beautiful when it isn't raining (it was!) Started to pour during some parts which was a bit of a drag but overall I was comfortable. I stopped to pee lol at mile 6.5 and right after that MQ caught up with me. We ran for about 2-3 miles and I was feeling really good. Running together made those miles click by fast. We chatted about cooking, etc, etc She stopped to eat and I continued on.
The best part was hanging out after. Most of my friends are faster than me, so they were all cheering me on at the end and then we went inside to enjoy our brews and do the post race breakdown. MQ & Brian hung out with us and they immediately fit in and we were all having a great time! That is why I love this community so much!!! I now have a fire in me to work on my speed over the summer and break 2 hours again with my fall half.
My shiny new bling!!!!
Proof MQ & I were hanging out!!! LOL
The "Team Honeybadger" Mudderella Crew
So good to meet you and run with you and meet your friends and get to hang out with all of you. What a joyous day. Even the rain did not bring me down. You looked fabulous out there on course. You were running really smooth. Thanks for those miles! I never had the mental break that I have often had toward the end of this distance because I shared those miles with you. Thank you.
::imagine dancing banana here::
Sparty: Nope, I don't think if you told me 9 years ago I would be finishing my 15th half that I would have believed you :)
MQ: So great to run together and hang out afterwards. I think we ran together at the best time of the race as I never got the WTF moment that I usually do around mile 11 :)
Everyone: Thanks for the comments. It was a great day (funny how that turns out when you don't have big expectations!) and I am motivated for a new goal which is always nice!
I love this. So glad you and MQ got to share the experience together, because it makes everything richer for everybody, and it keeps the motivation very high. Great job on the pacing, too! Happy you felt so good later on, which says a lot about your fitness and in-race smarts in pacing.
MQ: Brian shaved his head bald?!
great job, Julie, both on race execution and keeping this fun.