Sunday, August 14, 2011

Full Moon Half Marathon Recap

Last night I ran my 9th half marathon.  In all honesty, I wasn't really in the mood to run at all last night.  I had signed up for this race for exactly 2 reasons.  Reason #1: I wanted revenge on the course.  I ran it last year, got sick at Mile 6 and ran Miles 8-13 with a huge blister on my left arch.  Needless to say, it was a less than stellar performance. Reason #2: I needed another half under my belt to make Fox Cites my 10th half.  Never, not even in my wildest dreams, did I imagine what would transpire last night.

This race is a little different than most half marathons in that it starts at 6pm and goes into the night rather than starting at the crack of dawn.  It's also a very small race (only a few hundred runners), so the odds of being alone for most of the race are pretty good...especially if you fall toward the back of the pack.

The Husband and I arrived in Sheboygan (affectionately known in our house as Shevegas), a small town about an hour north of our house, around 4:30pm so I could pick up my bib number and catch the shuttle to the starting line.
After waiting around for about 45 minutes the small herd of runners made their way to the line, a squad car blew it's siren in lieu of a starter's pistol and we were off!

I had decided to start conservatively, around a 10:30 pace, and try to hold that for as long as possible.  Well, that wasn't quite in the cards.  Mile 1 was finished in 10:08!  My only thought was, '10:08? Huh? Wonder how long I can hold on to that?'

The next few miles went by pretty quickly (10:08-10:15) and I slowed to a fast walk through each water station (approx. every 2 miles).  I played a little game with myself too.  I would choose a runner in front of me and focus on getting in front of them and not letting them pass me again.  It worked!

Before I knew it, Mile 10 was coming into view and I clicked over to the 'Total Time Elapsed' setting on my Garmin and was more than a little amazed.  Beating the PR I set in Fox Cities back in 2008 was looking doable.

Of course, with double-digits came muscle fatigue, sore knees and just a general feeling of being tired. Some how, I picked up the pace, dropping down into the 9:30's!

One final turn and the high school track came into view.

That's me in the purple top
Sorry for the blurriness!

I turned onto the track to run the final quarter of a mile.  I did one last check of my watch and realized that I was definitely going to beat my PR, now the only question left was by how much.

I took the final turn of that track and went into a full-out sprint for the finish line

And I crossed the finish line (unofficially - official times aren't posted yet) in 2:11:48...eclipsing my old PR by 10 minutes and 1 second!  Needless to say, I was beyond excited.  And now I have a new twist to my old goal.  I know I said I wanted to beat my PR in Fox Cities this looks like I have a new goal to chase!

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