Gooood morning/afternoon/evening to you all! Today I am going to recap my experience with the City of Lakes Half Marathon. If you are unsure what I am talking about, check out my announcement on running the race here and how I felt about the run the week before here.
One word to describe the experience: HARD.
Besides my knee pain and the bottom of my feet feeling like they were on fire, I think it went really well. I had two goals for this race. To finish in under 2:30:00 and to get an under 12 minute average mile. Well, I accomplished both!
But first, lets talk about the couple of days before hand. On Friday, I went out for a last 4 mile run and it went really well! I had no knee pain and I ran the fastest splits so far this training. It was a great ending to help me feel like I was ready to concur the race. On Saturday, I got all of my stuff ready. I knew which pants I was going to wear and I had decided to wear my old Asics.
For a little bit of energy during the race, I picked up a Honey Stinger in Gold. Turns out that was a great idea on my part! Saturday night I just couldn’t calm my nerves and felt almost nausaus from thinking about it constantly so I had a beer. So worth it. After that I was in bed by 9:30pm and slept until about 2am. From there I tossed and turned every 45ish minutes until it was time to get up. We were out the door by 6:30am to make sure to get a parking spot and get ready!
This sunrise was just beautiful as well. Sign of a good morning coming!
After we arrived, Bill and I waited for the couple that I was running the race with. Now don’t read that as us running the same pace but that is crazy! I was definitely the slowest person of us all! At about 7:45am we took our obligatory group photo and we were off!
Grant, Rachel, I
The first few miles went by super quick actually. I got to about mile 6 running a 10:20 mile. You guys, that is super fast for me. I think it had something to do with all of the people that were running around me and the adrenaline.
The above picture is the route of the race. Bill took up his spot at between the 6 and 13th mile. I ended up passing him 4 times which was super awesome. There were quite a few hills during this race as well. The first time around they weren’t too bad but the second time around was a lot harder. The thing running through my head the whole time? Little steps, Ash, little steps. I was doing okay until I hit mile 11. At that point, my pace slowed up a lot and I started walking. Since I knew what time it was and how much mileage I had left, I knew that I was allowed to walk a little bit. Mile 11 and 12 were the hardest for me. This was the longest I have ever ran for goodness sake! Once I saw Bill on mile 13, I kicked it into high gear and finished super strong. I would have loved to see how fast I was actually running that last little bit. Bill was also able to get this sweet picture of me during the race.
I believe this was the second time that I saw him so I was still pretty fresh on the running part. 🙂
I ended up finishing in 2:28:23 with an average 11:26 per mile. I accomplished both the goals that I set for myself and I couldn’t be happier with the results. Even if I did walk quite a bit at the end.
After the race, I met up with the other two runners and Bill. We headed to grab our “swag” and chomp down on a banana. I was starving! I actually went from just fine to starving around mile 9. At this point, I took my Honey Stinger and immediately felt better. After getting our “swag” = pint glass and metal, we headed home for me to shower and RELAX. I relaxed all day and was in bed by 8pm. No shame over here.
Overall, I would say that I liked doing this race but will not do it again. I just felt that the atmosphere could have been better, there were barely any spectators and the swag was not that great. I mean come on, we all just ran 13.1 miles!
I am signed up for one more race this fall. I (along with two other friends including Rachel from the photo above) are running the Twin Cities 10 mile run. I am really looking forward to this one as we are running from Minneapolis to St. Paul and I have heard the atmosphere is great. The “swag” is also better ha.
So there you have it. My take on the City of Lakes Half Marathon.