All along I had been planning on cheering on my fellow running buddies at the Martian Invasion of Races held in Dearborn, MI (5K, 10K, Half, Full and Kids Marathon). I knew I had a busy weekend already and I really didn’t think it would be a good idea to throw in a race as well. However, we all know how easily it is to have your arm twisted and get sucked in to the excitement of an upcoming race. So, on Wednesday evening I signed up to run the Martian Half, knowing full well that it certainly wasn’t going to be my best race ever.
Why you ask? No, sorry Garbo, don’t think the 3 miles a day is getting to me. I want that mug. Lack of taper or cutting back on miles to blame? Uh, maybe a little. Lack of sleep, too much beer and dancing in heels until 2 am? Uh, maybe a lot. Sure, not exactly the best pre race day preparation, but it was my little sister’s 28th birthday and there was NO WAY I was going to be a party pooper! Not to mention, the Killer Flamingos totally ROCK and there was NO WAY I could cut out early to sleep. Seriously? So, we partied it up ALL NIGHT LONG! No regrets! A few bottles of water and off to sleep for a few hours. . .
Saturday 5:45 am – Alarm, snooze, alarm, snooze, alarm, snooze, alarm. . . okay, okay I have a race to run. One more bottle of water, half a half a bagel (you know the thins ones?) with Nutella, lucky racing outfit (see profile pic), packed “baby shower” clothes (yeah, probably should’ve done that before race morning), shoes on w/ chip attached, bib pinned on and out the door. It’s a good thing that I have perfected the morning run routine on the weekends. I barely remember a thing about getting ready or driving to the race for that matter. . . total auto-pilot. . .
Arrive at the race start, missed the full marathoners taking off by about 15 minutes. Met up with a few running buddies, potty, run a warmup mile, potty and line up for the start. I was feeling okay, but really unsure of how this was all going to work out. I felt confident that I would be fine, but how fine? Well, I was just going to let the race dictate that once I got going (hoping for 8:20s). I found a place at the start line where I figured I “should” be.
Gun goes off. . . and I find out after crossing the mat that I underestimated where I should’ve lined up. Lots of passing, trying to stick to the tangents and get down to where I wanted to be. I felt like I was going too fast because I was passing so many people, but G was telling me otherwise. I guess I still don’t give myself enough credit when lining up. I settle into a good groove and mile 1 comes in at 8:23.
So far so good. Looking around for people to “pace” with but, I keep passing them. Mile 2 – 8:16
Hmmm. . . still feeling good. But a little concerned that I may be going too fast for so early in the race. But, it feels comfortably hard. Let’s just stick with it. Mile 3 – 8:16
Uh oh! Stinkin’ cough! Burping beer now. . . this is where I crash, right? I’ve barely gone 5K. . . come on! Time to suck it up! Mile 4 – 8:25
Are those Army men at the water stop up ahead? Better pick up the pace and clean up the form. Dang! They are looking good! Water? Yes, please. . . and thank you for serving! Thanks to the boost from the hotties and the fast runners coming in the opposite direction I was feeling better already. Mile 5 – 8:18
Got caught up in looking for friends who had made the turnaround and noticed I was slacking in the pace a bit, but not by too much. Mile 6 – 8:23
Okay. . . the turnaround should be here somewhere. . . oh, there it is. It seems a little too far out, but who knows, right? I’m trucking along halfway done and feeling better as I go. Weird. . . G just beeped Mile 7 in at 8:04, but the little martian man marker is NOWHERE in sight. Hmmm. . .
I was hoping that Mile 7 had been abducted by his fellow martians and returned to the mother ship, but alas about 2 minutes into Mile 8 I see Mile 7? Now I realize that I may have had a few beers the night before, but I know I had cut most of the tangents and that I hadn’t been weaving 1/2 of a mile too much. Whatever. . . pace is still good Mile 8 – 8:11
Seeing 8s on my Garmin isn’t playing mind games with me. Neither is seeing sub 8:20s. This pace isn’t half bad. Just Dance! Mind wanders about how much fun I had the previous night and how much I love to race! The weather is PERFECT! Mile 9 – 8:16
A Gu would be SO nice! Gu stop? I think there may be one coming up? Oh, yeah! There is a wonderful man yelling “GU!!!” Yes, please! Strawberry Banana – Junblack’s favorite flavor! I channel my inner JB. Mile 10 – 8:12
5K to go! So soon? I could keep this up all day. Well, not really. . . I was starting to feel a little dehydration (hmmm. . . wonder why?) Hang in there! Why are these markers not lining up right? So confused, but totally on pace for a sub 1:50. Which makes me more confused? Mile 11 – 8:18
Two more to go. . . I said I wanted sub 8s for my last two miles, so time to give it all I have left. Uh, who put that hill there? Short, but steep and I just floated up it and passed a few people who had stopped to walk. No walking here! Mile 12 – 8:22. Guess it slowed me down a little.
Speed up! Speed up! C’mon legs! You are acting like you danced around in heels all night long! Oh, wait, that is exactly what happenned. But, seriously. . . we are going to PR! Move it! Mile 13 – 8:06 Not quite sub 8, but close.
.1 to go? Nope. . . try .48 in 3:43 (7:42 pace). I gave it the best kick I had left at the end, though I had no clue where the half marathon clock was. My watch was stuck on lap pace/time, so I had no idea what my time was. 1:51:19?!?!? WTF? How does an average pace of 8:15 equate to a 1:51 time? Oh, I ran 13.48 miles? I then hear murmurs of everyone else comparing distances. Seems I’m not the only one confused.
So. . . technically I PR’d. The course was “re-measured” at 13.4 miles officially. So 1:51:19 for a 13.4 mile race is a PR!!! At 13.11, G had me at 1:48:30 which is almost a 3 minute PR!!! Final stats from the race:
Overall – 419/1836 (22.8%)
Females – 88/913 (9.6%)
Age Group – 16/189 (8.5%)
All in all, I’m completely happy with how the race turned out. The fact that I was “unprepared” and “untapered” and still managed to put in an effort of the caliber I did is a HUGE confidence booster. I wanted to “test” my GMP out for most of the race and it felt good. I have no doubt that I am completely capable of maintaining that same pace over 26.2. Of course, you won’t find me at the bar or dancing around in heels until Post Bayshore!
Showered at a friend’s house, went to a baby shower, went to a going away party, ran 5 with the group and my little sister on Sunday morning, played with my nieces, had b-day cake, napped and then out for the 3rd night in a row to see an acoustic duo. And today. . . I’m exhausted! Hmmm. . . wonder why?