Sunday, April 10, 2011

Platte River Half Marathon

When I came back from Christmas I was excited to hear that my coworker and friend, Stephanie, was signed up for a half marathon as a surprise from her personal trainer. She was less thrilled since she is not a cardio kind of girl, so I told her I would sign up too. I don't like running alongside my friends, but it's fun to have someone to chat with about training, the expo, and be there on race day. Not only was the race only $45, you got 30% off of a pair of Brooks shoes- double score. Since I had already committed to running the Colfax Marathon in May I thought it would be fun to have a race as one of my long runs. It turned out not to be the very best weekend as far as my training schedule was set up, but since I have already completed at least the half distance a good 5 times now, I was feeling confident and excited.

I prepped by eating a little more fruit over the last few days, and added in a little bit of potato and rice yesterday. Dinner at Garbanzo? Yum! I was a little worried about the rain that was forecasted to happen and anxiously awoke to hail in the middle of the night. Thankfully when 6:45 rolled around it was sunny, and today ended up being perfect race weather with the exception of some crazy wind. Going into this race I had two goals. The first, was to finish in under 2 hours.The second, to have fun and enjoy the run. My last half I finished in 2:01. That was in October, I was definitely less trained and conditioned, 10ish pounds heavier, but since I'm marathon training I have been focusing more on endurance than speed. During the drive over I was reading through my Pinterest board trying to get inspired and "in the zone." I like to write quotes, reminders, mantras, etc on my arm to help remind me of why I am doing it. I also like to pick one person for each mile of the race to run for. I was trying to go over my 13 people and I suddenly realized we were on Santa Fe near the Belleview exit. For those of you who don't know, I lost a dear friend in a TERRIBLE car accident right at that spot a few years ago. Goosebumps covered my arm and I knew exactly who I'd be running for(and with) today.I think Reece thought I was a little crazy this morning. He was such a trooper. He worked til 3:00 this morning, picked up my race packet yesterday, took me to the race, took pictures, cheered me on at the finish line, and ate Yogurtland with me even though he's lactose intolerant.

I was able to get a pretty good spot right at the front of the 9:00minute mile pace line. That was my goal, just stay under 9:00/mile. I bumped into my client Mike, and his wife Jackie, who I apparently talked into signing up for the race. Her goal was the same as mine and he was determined to beat me (which he did, by 4 minutes). I splurged and bought a Garmin Forerunner last week and it was one of the best decisions I've ever made. I set it to beep at my if I got under that pace and was happy it really only beeped during narrow entryways, and when I was grabbing water. I started out strong and stayed strong for the first half. So strong that I was able to slow down a lit bit for the second half. At mile 10 I realized that even if I ran 10 minute miles I would finish within my goal. What a great feeling. I soared through the next 2 miles and in the last mile was faced with one very steep hill. Wow, what a climb. Not a whole lot can make my calves hurt, but they burned as I trudged up this ridiculous hill. I was planning to run my last mile fastest of all, but this killed me and slowed me down during and after.

My official race time was 1:54- an 8 minute PR! I know I've only ran one half marathon but it was a PR nonetheless, and was a full 2 minutes faster than I've ever hit the 13.1 distance in my training. I can honestly say that I had tons of fun at the race and am so glad I decided to do it. Stephanie ended up finishing in 2:30 and Sarah (also from work) finished in 2:10. It was both of their first half marathons and I was so impressed with both of them. Kelsey, Lindsay, and Kim from the salon came to cheer us on and it was great to see them at the end. To my surprise, Ashley also ended up at the race because her boyfriend, Matt, decided last minute to run it. He finished in 1:13, and took second place. Typical Matt. I am so grateful to have so many people in my life supporting me and cheering me on through this crazy journey I have been on for the last couple of years. I can't believe that I went from getting winded walking a mile, to running a 5k in 42 minutes to running 13 8:45/miles! Colfax is in 5 weeks and I am feeling refreshed and ready to tackle that crazy distance!


Holley @ Lunges and Lashes said...

nice job kara! so you are training for a full marathon? looks like you are hooked... as you should be. :)

Amanda@runninghood said...

Nice job on your PR!! This is awesome!