Monday, May 2, 2011
The Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon Race Report.
Well, I finished my first race of the season! Yesterday morning I got up at 5:30 to get ready for the Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon. I was planning on wearing my purple running singlet, black Nike running shorts and a light jacket. I quick ran upstairs and grabbed my Nike running pants....just in case. That was the best decision I have ever made! I drove to the Wayzata Bay Center and parked my van. There were other runners still picking up their race packets. I noticed that everyone was dressed like they were running in the freaking winter. People had running pants, jackets, hats and gloves. I started to get nervous because I knew I would be underdressed and freazing my butt off for thirteen miles! God, I should of known better! I do live in Minnesota. I picked up my running pants and decided to put them on in one of the restrooms in the mall. I ran into my blogger friend Tim who was also running. He was dressed in layers and prepared for cold weather running. I spoke with him for a few minutes and quickly put on my running pants. I went back into my van and searched for a sweatshirt or something....no luck! I needed to have at least one more layer on the top for me to be safe. Not going to happen! I did however, find a pair of running gloves in my trunk and my jacket had a hood. It was thirty something and the wind gusts were between 20 to 30 miles an hour. It was going to be ugly.
I have not run anything over six miles since November. My last half marathon was the Monster Dash. I took the winter off from running and have only recently been running two times a week. One of my runs is three to four miles and the other is just six. I was not trained for this and had no business running a half as my first run of the season. I figured I would finish somewhere between 2:15 to 2:20. Last year I ran this and finished in 1:54. I decided to put myself between the 2:05 and 2:10 pacers and wing it.
I started off really slow. It was cold and windy and at times there were snowflakes dancing around. Unbelievable! Shocker.... it is May! Last year it was so beautiful and the weather was perfect for running.
The first water stop was at around mile three and I felt okay. I walked through it and started up slowly again. The runners were all pretty quiet and it seemed like we were all in our own little worlds.
This was the last picture that I took during the race. My camera died on me....go figure. I have not used my blogging camera for some time and I forgot to check the battery before leaving. Bummer! The course was pretty and made it's way around the lovely Lake Minnetonka. It was hard to appreciate it because of the crappy weather. Miles four, five and six went by and I was feeling fine. I picked up my pace a little and wondered when I would start feeling it. You know, sucking air and muscle spasms:) It really never happened. Since I was not racing this one I really had time to think about everything. It was my time. I listened to my feet hitting the pavement, the other runners making their way and the wind blowing. I thought about my family, my friends, and life in general. It was during this race that I remembered why I run. I run because it makes me happy. Here I am this forty-one year old "okay" runner. I am not an elite runner and I do not get age group wins at every race that I run. I run because it is part of me and I love it! Yes, there are moments that are tough and times when I wonder why I put my body through it. There is something about the feeling I get when my feet move to my own groove and my body goes with it! Harmony...that is what it is. It is the feeling I get when I finally make my way across that finish line! It is joy and feeling of accomplishment! I have not felt that joy in such a long time. I continued on and made my way mile after mile. It was at mile 12 where my body started to get tired. I was running the gravel path that was the start of the last mile. This is the path where I left my pacers last year and picked up my pace to PR. I was not feeling that spunk and energy. I was tired and really just wanted to be done. I honestly started to think about walking. Whenever I think of walking, I always think of my running dad (Denny). Denny gave me some advice after my first marathon. He told me that I need to keep moving and push through the pain, negative thoughts and challenging moments. I heard Denny's voice say, "Come on Julie, let's go!" I imagined that he was running in front of me and that I was attempting to keep up with him. I did not stop to walk during that last mile....I kept moving. Keep in mind, I was not sprinting in...I am sure I looked pretty pathetic and my running form sucked! The point is that I didn't stop. I made my way up to the finisher's shoot and crossed that finish line! As I was making my way up to the finish I saw my blogger friend Beth's husband Mike. He yelled, "Go Julie!" I didn't get a chance to talk to Mike or Beth after the race...next year guys:) Half marathon number one....done! Final time 2:01:13! I will take it! In two weeks I have the Maple Grove 5K. I think I am more terrified for that one than I was for the Lake Minnetonka Half. I am not ready to be busting butt in a 5K!!!
Happy running, biking, swimming, lifting and surfing! Cheers to you all!