Minneapolis Half Marathon yesterday, what a race, what a course. I'm going to say it first things first, I didn't finish how I wanted to today. I'll get to that, but it's not like I wasn't prepared. The night before, I got a good nights sleep (The race started at 7:00, I was up at 5:30 a.m.). Plus, I attended a potluck with my training buddies (pictured below) full of lasagna, Gatorade, delicious breads, salad, brownies etc. We talked strategy, goal times, past races, and got ourselves pumped up and carbed up!
The bottom line is: I didn't pace myself the way I should have, and the weather didn't help. I know what you're thinking, "What??!!!? The weather this morning was beautiful!!" And it was. beautiful for spending a day outside around the lake, or a leisurely walk or rollerblade, but for running a half marathon, IT WAS HOT. Trust me, it could have been A LOT worse (i.e. driving rain or any Minnesota weather in January), but it didn't do me any favors. It is summer now though, so I need to be able to handle the warmer temps and not use them as an excuse.
The course was hard. People weren't kidding about the hills, I did my best to run them at a steady pace, in part for training for the San Francisco Women's Marathon I'm training for in October. That course is going to be nice and hilly. Also , I didn't want to give up on hills, because I had patterned a lot of pacing to be able to handle running them better, so I wouldn't loose as much time, turns out I didn't pattern my pacing enough.
Despite my complaining about my time, I still beat my time for the Monster Dash Half Marathon last October (my first half) by about three minutes, which is awesome! I've just come so far in my training for running and strength training since that race, that I expected better out of myself. I've decided I will need to do another half marathon sometime in August or September to prep me for San Fran, and have me feeling more confident.
There were SO many great fans out for this race. So many familiar faces, my former colleague and web guru Chris was there to take this picture as I ran across the Stone Arch Bridge.
My former college roommate Emily was there around mile 11 to cheer me on, just when I needed it.
Randomly, I saw Jen from Prior Fat Girl and her adorable dog Iggy twice along the course, including right at the finish line.
Throughout the race, I was lucky enough to have my fiancee Ben and our dog Cooper cheering me on at several spots, I think I counted at least five different places! Ben is not a morning person, but he really is a dedicated partner in my fitness journey, especially as I become more dedicated to running. He dropped me off at 6:30 in the morning, then went home and changed and was back at mile three with a bag of ice and my camera. He even snapped this picture of Cooper loving being a race spectator.
These races would not be the same without the spectators, so I have to give them a hand. The spectators at these races keep us going when things look bleak. Seeing a friend or loved one along the way gives you a burst of energy and adrenaline you can't get anywhere else. I am so thankful to the people who came out.
Not to get all sappy, but some men send flowers, or are constantly showering their women with "I love you's" every other word, but Ben truly shows me he loves me when he's there for me on days like today. Not a lot of people would get up and sacrifice time or sleep like he does, for something that never directly benefits him (OK, I get buffer and hotter by doing these races, so it does benefit him. ;) It just shows, how having a support system can really help you achieve your goals. I poke fun a lot at my future husband on this blog, but this post is for him, he is my constant supporter and fan, on the course and off.