This past Sunday I ran my first race of the year! And it was my first race since Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas. (Note to self: Don’t let there be so much time in between races. Racing is awesome!)
I ran the Rock CF Rivers 5k last year and loved it! No only is it a very organized and scenic race but it also benefits a cause very close to my heart, Cystic Fibrosis. I am fortunate that my son is just a carrier of the disease but he had to undergo lots of testing for us to get that diagnosis and I learned a lot about the disease in the process. If you would like to learn a little bit about Cystic Fibrosis for yourself, click here.
When I originally signed up for the race, I had signed up for the half marathon relay. However, a few days before race day my relay partner informed me that he would not be able to run. At that point I figured I had two options. I could either change to the 5k or change to the full half marathon. Thanks to the encouragement of all my friends, I decided to run the half. The Monday before the race I had ran 9 miles in 90 mins and prior to running RnRLV my longest run was 9 miles so I knew it was do-able.
The night before the race I laid out all my running gear and prepared to go to bed early!
My shirt and shoes match! Go me!
However, I was super excited about the race so I tossed and turned and probably only got a few solid hours of sleep before my alarm went off at 4am. Sleep or no sleep, it was race day so that alone motivated me to get out of bed and get going! I got dressed and ate some cereal before I headed out for my hour drive to Grosse Ile.
I got to the bus pick up area around 6am despite passing my exit on the expressway and having to loop around to get back on track. Packet pick up was easy peasy which left me with plenty of time to relax and mentally prepare for the race. I hate being rushed before the start of the race so this was a perfect scenario for me. Just before 7am I went to the bathroom for the last time and headed over to the start line to stretch and look for Megan from Watch MeGo Run . She was super nice and super speedy!
I tried not to put too many expectations on myself for this race since it was an unplanned half marathon and technically I needed to approach it as a training run for the Tough Mudder. But I will be honest, I had a super secret goal of finishing in 2:10 based on how well I had been running lately.
The first five miles of the race went a little like this in my head. “I’m running too fast, now I’m running too slow, I’m starving!” Yep, for a full 5 miles this is what I struggled with. I rarely do this. Once the race starts I usually get into a zone and just run. Not sure why it didn’t happen this time . . . maybe it was because of my super secret goal. At mile five I finally said to myself, “Why are you doing this to yourself, just effing run.” And it worked! I got into my happy zone and did what I love to do . . . I ran!
Miles 5-13.1 were super enjoyable for me. I enjoyed the scenery, my fellow runners and the feeling of being strong! At one point in the race I ran by a girl I had met while standing in the bathroom line. We bonded over wearing the same shoes and she had told me it was her first half. I was excited to see her and I gave her some words of encouragement as I ran by. It was a nice feeling to not be the newbie half marathoner anymore. The relay exchange was just shy of the 8 mile mark and since I was wearing a relay bib all of the volunteers really wanted me to come off the course. I kept shouting “No, it’s ok. I switched to the half.” After saying that a few times the runner next to me said “I want to switch to the relay.” That made me chuckle a little. Towards the end of the race I passed a pregnant runner who deserves some props. Well, let’s face it. ALL pregnant runners deserve some props. She was rocking that race and I told her I thought she was doing awesome!
It should be noted that this race had LOTS of water stations and many had GU and Powerade as well. However, I carry all of my own stuff with me but I ended up running out of water and I grabbed a cup of water at the last aid station. Hence the reason my race pics look like this. Just one of the many reasons I carry my own water, I can’t drink out of those little cups!
The finish line of the race is on a high school track. As I ran onto the track there were a couple of guy runners next to me who were encouraging the other to sprint to the finish. Which meant they were passing me. Which in turn made me say “Um, hell no!” I had plenty left in me to sprint as well and I gave the guys a run for their money. And yes, I “chicked” them.
I finished with a respectable time of 2:11:43 (that was my offiicial chip time.) It wasn’t a 2:10 but close enough! And it was considerably less than my 2:36:45 that I did at RnRLV. Probably the greatest part of the race was how I felt AFTERWARDS! I didn’t feel like death. I felt GOOD! I am a much stronger runner than I was in December and realizing that makes all my training that much more worth it! Tough Mudder here I come!!!
My new medal!
Did you race this past weekend too? I want to hear about it!