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!

55 comments:

  1. Wow! I will take that as well. Nice time and even happier to see ya back at it. Fun!

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  2. Nice job! That's a great time :) I think you'll do great at the 5k.

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  3. Great job considering the weather and lack of training!

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  4. Congratulations on a great run! That's some crazy weather this late in the year. I loved your thoughts about running and harmony. Good luck with the 5k next weekend!

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  5. Nice job on your first race of the season! Woot woot!

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  6. After now running for so long you killed it Julie! Congrats! Glad you're back.

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  7. You did fantastic on so little training! You are a natural! Gals you are back at the running thing that brings us so much joy!

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  8. Great Job Julie! So thankful you graced us with a race report!!! This friggin' wind snow shi*t has got to go. I need some harmony-HELP!!! Really though, that's a great time for the break you've taken from running!!! Now, a 5K-have fun with that! Really good to have you back! Love to follow Hot Julie and her adventures:)

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  9. That's a pretty great finish! Good job!

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  10. Congrats on such a great race with little training!! Glad to hear from you again :D

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  11. Woohoo! Congrats on your race! You did awesome, especially considering you didn't really train for it! Yay!!

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  12. I knew you would rock this race!!! Congrats

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  13. Wow!! Congrats! That's awesome!

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  14. now that's winging it in style. well done! :-)

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  15. Glad to see you back! If you sit out a few more months, and I keep training hard, maybe I will catch up to you! lol

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  16. Holy crap! I cannot believe how fast you ran that race considering you haven't run much over the winter. You are such a talented runner, Julie!

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  17. That is a great time! But snow - go away now!

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  18. Way to go! You get big Kudos for facing that cold & wind.

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  19. Julie. My good lord. 2:01?!?! AFTER TAKING THE WINTER OFF AND ONLY RUNNING 6 MILES IN TRAINING?

    This is what I was talking about in my email to you. Sometimes, as evidenced in both our races this weekend, it's better to maybe not prepare. :) I'm "feeling" the marathon in my legs today, but it really helped me remember why I run. I couldn't stop thinking "I love this. I love this so much." I'm really glad to hear the sucking air and muscle spasms stayed away for you, otherwise your mindset might have changed. :)

    Great report, great race, and great to have you back! :)
    xoxo,
    A

    Also, what is up with your weather?!? :) You need to come out to Cali.

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  20. Way to go! You're a trooper for getting out there in that weather. A bunch of people did the Ironman bike ride that day too!

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  21. Nice work in such crappy weather! You had an awesome half-marathon time for not having trained much this winter.

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  22. I'm so glad you're blogging again! I'm a runner living in Maple Grove, and I don't know how I came across your blog, but I did a couple months ago. I was glad to see your entries start popping up in my google reader. Congrats on the Minnetonka Half yesterday! That was some crazy weather to deal with!

    Keep blogging! I'd love to hear more from someone so local!

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  23. WTG Julie !!! ur back:)
    my Dad volunteered on the course and said his hands completely froze handing off water

    great job on the run!

    D

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  24. Great job, Julie! Wow, a 2:01 with no training. You are amazing! Mike said he saw you and said that it looked like you had given it your all, which is great because it's a race and that is what you are supposed to do! He said you were fast and he was right! I wish I could have seen you but I started late and just lolly gagged along. Good luck in Maple Grove and hope to see you in the flesh soon!

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  25. aWEsome time!!! Way to go!

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  26. Wow, I would gladly take that time after following a 16 week 6 day a week training plan. Great job on your first 1/2 of the year. :)

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  27. Great job Julie! Even though you haven't been training you still had a great race!

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  28. I think you ran it in an awesome time especially considered you haven't run that much during Winter. Congrats.

    But what I like most about this post is that during this half you refound your joy of running and that's what makes me more happy.

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  29. Congrats Julie! It is great to have you back. Awesome time for no long distance training. You are amazing. :D

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  30. Congrats...what the heck is up with the wind of late?!

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  31. All these people talking about the wind--uh what's up with the SNOW?!? :)

    Congrats on the half!! A 2:01 is an AWESOME time, especially when you factor in your not-so-long training runs ;)

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  32. Good job- that is a cute little medal! I bet you are going to have a great season, Julie!

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  33. welcome back Julie! I've missed you : )

    I'm totally not surprised at your race results, great job!

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  34. Glad you're back and running a great race :) Congrats! It's really a good time considering the little training. Good luck on your next 5 km race!

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  35. Great job Julie - you got it done. And I AGREE - this weather sucks - totally sucks - I am so tired of being cold when I am outside. Let's hope that it soon warms up!

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  36. What. the. heck!! All that time off, short runs, and a 2:01 half? You're amazing!! Seriously, Julie! Awesome job!

    Good luck in your 5K! I just did my first marathon (!), and I'm actually looking forward to training for some "speed" (my speed isn't necessarily all that speedy, but I'd like to bump it up!) for a shorter race. Plus, my son graduates from high school that same day (HOW? HOW is that possible?), so I don't have time for a longer race, anyway.

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  37. Nice job. I am glad you made it out there in this amazing "spring" weather. Sometimes you just have to jump back in even if you feel you are not ready to get the competitive juices flowing again.

    I will see you at GB half this June. No Marathons for me this year.

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  38. Great job, Julie! I'm so glade thatt you were able to get your goal time. Maybe, I'll see you at another half or even a full marathon.

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  39. Welcome back! you made a very good job considering the lack of training, the cold, the wind and I think the crowd.
    Good luck on the 5k.

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  40. Well done Julie! 2:01 is super! Loved the chat you and Denny had. That's the only thing to do...keep on going. We are moving into winter here and our runs are getting really cold. Our cold is no match for your's though!:) It's great to have you back in blogland!

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  41. Nice job pushing to the finish!

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  42. Way to start the season! Wind at 20 - 30? You Minnesotans sure like to punish yourselves!

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  43. Really great job on your half! You did awesome.

    There are so many half and full marathons out this way, you should do another one. There is a Giant half coming up in Aug (http://www.race-sfgiants.com/), there is SF marathon in July, There is a wine country run (http://www.runhealdsburg.com/) in Late Oct. Many options. If you decide on one let me know so I can sign and see you at it. :)

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  44. WOW, superwoman! I'm always so impressed when people take breaks, or training is slack, and then they pull off a better than expected race. This NEVER happens for me. If I'm not prepared, I run exactly as poorly as expected, or worse. HA!

    Congrats Julie! I hope this is the beginning of many race reports to come this spring.

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  45. Ooh...Julie, you're back! Yay, missed ya =)
    Congrats on your half marathon! 2:01 on not that much training is not too shabby indeed!

    Looking forward to reading about all your wonderful races coming up! Yay =)

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  46. Hey Julie! Congrats on your half, for not really "racing" this one, you did super fantastic!

    I hope all is well with you and your family. I need to e-mail you again to check in and see how you are doing. I have been so busy that I haven't even blogged lately. :(

    Anyway, take care and good luck with your upcoming 5K!

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  47. Happy Mother's Day to you, Julie!

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  48. I stumbled upon your blog the other day, I am a new runner, and I wanted to let know how awesome your blog is for the new kid on the block! Congrats on the awesome race!

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  49. Hi Julie, welcome back! Hope all is well. I have been blogging less, but running steadily. I guess we all takes turns waxing & waning with our posting & training :-) I need to post about my FL runs... finally getting up to 7 mi. runs, tho nowhere near as fast as you! Keep up the good work, love reading your posts. Keeps me inspired to see other women my age run, run, running!

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  50. Congratulations! Welcome back to the racing season and blogging! I have missed your posts!

    I think that your Denny has good advice. I'm making a mental note to myself to remember what he told you and to try to incorporate that into my next race!

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  51. That is pretty much how I felt at my last half marathon. It was the Little Rock half marathon. Now, being in the south you would think it would be warm; however, the conditions were similar to those you described, less the snow flakes. I made the mistake of not wearing layers because I thought it would warm up by the end of the race. Yeah, well...that didn't happen. I crossed the line 2:25 later colder than I was when I started. Let's just say that was a lesson learned.

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