13.1 Mile Game of Chase: Minneapolis Half 2013

The past few weeks been very tough both physically and mentally due to my lack of great running, heck I was ready to hang up my running shoes last month and be done racing! Saturday night I had truly decided not to race but just try to enjoy the run. I was finally feeling like I could run pain free and wanted to be smart and save any speed for next weekend's marathon. When I woke up (too early) on Sunday morning my head was not in for a run, it took a lot to convince myself not to roll over and go back to sleep! I managed and we got an early start for the 6:30 start only to arrive with just a few minutes to spare thanks to a messy drop off/parking area.

We rushed to the massive lines at the port-a-potties and I listened to everyone around us worry about getting through in time. I knew I had a chip and would not make it far without needing to stop so I stayed. We then walked the 1/2 mile to the start and saw it had started 9 minutes earlier! Oh well, let the fun begin...how many people can I pass as I run?

The start was slightly crowded since the race combined both full and half marathoners until those of us running the half split off at the end. I just ran, got a good playlist going on my iPod and focused on me, not those around me (don't worry I still knew what was going on around me), not the spectators and surely not the pace groups. I just ran what felt good. I tried not to look at my Garmin and frequently missed my splits (have yet to look).
Photo from Team Ortho
The course was new this year and I loved it! I have only previously run the full marathon complete with the brutal hill that was impossible to run positioned in an awful spot at Mile 19, yuck! But I did mange a 2nd place finish in 2011. The course wove through old neighborhoods, through downtown and finally along the river.

I fell into a pace that felt good (okay I peaked at times and was consistently 7:40s-7:50s), my goal was first to run pain free and second marathon pace. I began with small amounts of Huma Gel at each water stop: 4, 6 & 8 finishing one gel by that point. I continued to run past people searching for friends who were running as I went along, I passed pacer after pacer and it felt good not to worry about what their signs said knowing I was running my own race and they did not matter. Mile 6 was back to back hills which brought a little leg pain and cause me to slow for a short time to shake it off and feel better. Before I knew it we were crossing the Stone Arch Bridge and there was Mile 12
Photo from Team Ortho
Time to push, but not too much...No Injury! I run faster and can start to hear the finish line, as we run downhill before a turn to the finish, there it is done! I did it! I had fun, I ran pain free and this is what I needed mentally, no one to mess with my head. My time (while still 10 minutes off where I want to be back to was where I needed to be) 1:43:46 average 7:56 pace, exactly where I want to be on Sunday. In the end I passed 1805 people and was passed by 0! Kind of fun and new perspective.

I grabbed ice for my leg, just to be good, and walked back to watch for Matt who was running the half thanks to a friend's bib transfer (a perk of this race is they allow bib transfers). I wasn't sure how his race would be considering he had just done his first sprint tri of the year the day prior after 3 weeks off running due to a knee injury. He managed a decent race too (6 minutes faster than his half 3 weeks ago).

We finished and he went to grab beers at the post race party only to find out they weren't opening until 10a and it wasn't even 9am, what?! I guess the half marathoners are out since we all started at 6:30. Instead we walked back through campus to get the car and head home, it was chilly out anyways (notice the blanket in the picture?).

After the race I summed up my feelings in a running group I am part of and thought I would share parts here too since I know I am not alone in my frustrations...
"... Today I ran for me, no one else, without focus on the end I stayed in the moment and remembered why I love this so much, why I run and how much crossing the finish line and seeing the excitement on O's face when she gets to cheer me on......I needed to get back to that place and away from the negative. Sometimes the only answer is to focus on the world around you, get out of your head and just enjoy the run. A run brings clarity and answers and is often the only thing we need. Remember why you run, who inspires you and bring back the joy when it gets tough" :) ♥
Now that you know my pace and goals, make sure to go enter a guess for my marathon time on Sunday. Happy National Running Day! How are you celebrating?

Comments

  1. Congrats on an awesome race, Jen! I love your final quote and perspective.

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    1. Thanks Laura, it really helped me to have this race :)

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  2. That looks like a beautiful fun race!!! And I love the quote. :)

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    1. Thanks, it really does sum up my thoughts and frustrations lately :)

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  3. Even when you're not pushing yourself, you are still incredibly fast (in this slow runner's point of view!) Congratulations on finishing and finishing healthily!

    Happy National Running Day!

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    1. Thanks :) It took me a long time to get here with my running and it makes it that much nicer to be where I am now.

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  4. Awesome race!!! So cool that you ran just to run and enjoy! I'm working on getting back to that - somewhere in the past few months I've lost my joy in running.

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    1. It really is tough when the joy disappears, I think it happens to me big time every few years and just takes a good race/run to get back to the place I need to be, hope you get there soon :)

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  5. I think you'll get a 1:42 :)
    emma @ amomrunsthistown.com

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    1. lol, I'm running a full marathon on Sunday so while I would be thrilled with that WR time I don't think it will happen ;)

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  6. Bummer about the after-race party, but it sounds like you ran a great race! Cool medal, too.

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    1. Thanks :) I think I owe hubby a few beers now since this is the 2nd time he hasn't gotten one post-race!

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  7. Congrats on a great race! I love your perspective at the end:)

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  8. Nice race, Jen! Passed by no one -- pretty awesome :)

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    1. Thanks Hyedi! It was kind of fun way to run a race :)

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  9. Great race! And recap.

    I'm finally getting to the point where running does bring clarity.

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    1. Thanks. Running is usually my best time to think :)

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