The only reason I signed up for this race is because I was able to do so for free and a friend, Jim, signed up to do his first ever half-marathon. If I am going to be at a race supporting someone, then I guess I will race as well.
I did this race last year and didn’t have the best time. It ended up being insanely hot and I thought they needed more water stations… all of which added to a bad race time when I had been expecting to do better. So I was rather angry after the race last year… and a year later… then anger lingered still.
But with training being almost non-existent over the past several weeks, I went into the race this time with an entirely different view point.
My race plan was to run/walk from the very start. My second goal was to finish the race before Eric and Jim did. The Half Marathon starts 30 minutes before the 10K so I thought this was a decent mini-goal.
Packet pick-up was easy and I was glad that this year the packet pick-up was at Fleet Feet instead of having to hike to the Lakeshore East area in some obscure location that is always difficult to find. I also really dig the race shirt this year.
Eric, Jim and I had come up with a plan for meeting up in the morning. We got to the race with plenty of time to spare. It was a tad chilly though but I knew it would warm up. We snapped a quick picture and then Eric headed to gear check and I walked Jim to his start corral.
I was giving him some advice since he had only done one race before and it was a trail race. Road racing is a bit different. Plus this was a significant distance. I had complete confidence that he would do well since he had done with a 13 mile training recently but still figured he could benefit from some experienced racing advice. To be honest, I was far more excited about his race than I was my own.
At 7:00 I wished Jim good luck and then headed to gear check. I didn’t WANT to part with my warm jacket but knew I needed to. I then headed back to the race start line to watch the rest of the half marathon start. As I was approaching I heard that Corral E was next to go and Jim was in F. I was excited that I would to get to see him off! He waved at me and was off and running.
I looked down at my watch and it was 7:30 and they still had a few corrals to release before the 10K would start… so I would be starting my race late. And in my mind, I just KNEW Eric would catch up to me…. which admittedly did not thrill me.
Eventually we lined up and took off 15/20 minutes late. Meh
The first water station came before the 1 mile mark. I happily walked through the station with my water and as I was walking toward the trash can a biker came towards and yelled, “Move! You’re on the bike path!” Umm… no $hit Sherlock. My next thought was you need to share jack @ss, the path is not JUST for bikers and there is a race.
Grrr… ok now I am tad angry and my loathing for SOME bikers continues.
But I started running again. About a mile later, I knew it was just going to be a horrible race day for me. My stomach was NOT happy and I was walking more than I would have liked despite my race plan of run/walk. I was, now, completely convinced that Eric would pass me.
I kept on moving with my unhappy stomach and was definitely feeling the soreness early on due to my lack of training. Oh yea… my 10 miler next week is going to go so well…
At one point, I saw the 1:45 pacer pass me and I kept waiting for Eric to going flying by me with a smack on my butt.
I finally made it toward the finish line. There is a pretty steep, although short, hill right after the 13 mile marker. I walked up it and saw Chris spectating. I waved to him and then took off picking off every single person in the area.
Ok, fine, I probably could have pushed it more during the race but I just didn’t care about the race enough…
I looked at my watch after crossing the finish line and saw a time below 1:15. That morning I wanted to be near 1:10 but mentally prepared myself for closer to 1:20 so being under 1:15 was great in my opinion considering my lack of training.
I got my medal and post-race goodies and then my main goal was to get to Chris to make sure he stayed put since he managed to be spectating in our meet-up spot. I told him that and then went to grab my bag. And I was surprised at how quickly I received it. They definitely seemed to have a pretty decent system.
I went back to Chris and he said that he saw Eric go by a few minutes ago. Ok good, I DID stay ahead of him.
Eventually Eric made his way back to Chris and I and we waited for Jim. We saw him heading toward us and shouted out to him.
After Jim met up with us, we went to check his official time and we all figured while there, we would do the same. I checked mine and saw 1:16 when my watch had said 1:13… cue anger. I didn’t have a time goal but damnit, I wanted those three minutes!!!! Further, my watch has NEVER been off by 3 minutes before… 3 seconds maybe but NOT 3 FULL minutes.
We decided to head to brunch and I hoped that the official time would reflect 1:13.
Brunch was yummy and lots of fun reflecting on the race. Afterwards we parted ways and I headed home for a shower and a nap and the Hawks game. I ended up sleeping through about half the Hawks game… oops…
This morning I checked the official results and there was 1:13 time!!! YAY!!!!! My official time and watch now match exactly!!!
My official time – 1:13:48 for a 11:53 Pace
My overall experience with this race is a lot more positive this year! They had more water on course even though the temps were a lot cooler and the medal was also a lot better this year. Not sure if it will make the race schedule again but I am glad I did the race this year.