Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Glass City Half Marathon: Race Recap

Well well well, Glass City Half Marathon, we meet again. The site of many "firsts" in my racing career. My first real goal race (although it ended up being a training run for my first marathon.) My first sub-2 in 2012. A DNF due to pregnancy in 2013. A 2014 PR. A brand spanking new (spoiler alert) 2015 PR. And that being in a boot for 2 weeks prior to the race. Yes, I still ran light miles during those two weeks, but outside of workouts, I have been in a boot. I didn't want to mention that on here for fear of jinxing myself or something.

(And before you ask, YES I have been clearance to get OUT of the boot for workouts).

So I arrived on the University of Toledo campus at approximately 6:15 am (7 am start time) after my mom dropped me off at the college of engineering. That is where I parked the previous year, and so I knew that it would be a good place to get dropped in order to best bang for my buck (read: mom would be able to get back OUT of the parking lot, and I didn't have a terrible walk!)I headed immediately for Savage Hall to use the INDOOR facilities. I went twice, for good measure, and then headed outside to meet up with some of the birds at the elite tent.
(Deloris, me, Jen)
Granted, Jen was the only one of the three of us who could actually USE the elite tent, but it was a good place to find each other. After snagging this pic, Jen went to go warm up and Deloris and I walked to the corrals where my high school friend Alisha joined us. We chatted together for a few minutes and then Deloris headed a bit further back and Alisha and I talked plans for the race. I told her what I wanted to do, and she talked a bit about being sick and not training exactly how she wanted. It wasn't long before the race started and we were off!

Leaving the campus of the University and heading into Old Orchard, we passed Alisha's mom immediately (I could hear Alisha behind me yelling to her - "Did you see Emily?") and ran through the neighborhoods of my high school friends, a few of which I saw as we ran past their family homes. At about 1.5 miles into the race, we crossed Secor and entered Ottawa Hills, where the majority of the race takes place. Now the "hills" here are nothing like those of Cincinnati, so I was comfortable, but it is the hilliest portion of the course, if you can call it hilly. We ran past St. Ursula Academy, and I considered stopping to pee, but I had set a goal and I did not want to miss it for a potty break.

Mile 1: 8:04
Mile 2: 7:54
Mile 3: 7:53
Mile 4: 7:54

Mile 5-ish is where the first relay exchange is. I was kind of in the zone by then so I was not really noticing ANYTHING that was going on around me. I noticed a pair of Stride short minis (in the punch) and since I have been tossing these into and out of my cart for WEEKS I decided I was going to catch this girl. I spent the rest of the time weaving up and down the streets of Ottawa Hills chasing those shorts (if it was you wearing those shorts, reach out to me!) and when we crossed Central Avenue to go into Wildwood, I was excited. I kicked up the speed then (although looking at my splits you cannot see it because over the mile I didn't actually go any faster) and caught this girl. I complimented her shorts, and sped by. Just past the 8 mile mark the half and the full split directions with the full going into Sylvania and the half headed back to the University.

Mile 5: 7:56
Mile 6: 7:57
Mile 7: 7:58
Mile 8: 7:51

After we turned back on to the bike trail, I kept my head down and kept running. They had mile markers out there for the marathon, which were the 21 and 22 markers, which made me realize how different they would be feeling when they hit that part of the course. I was feeling good, running the race I had planned, conservative pacing. We went back into Ottawa hills and ran what felt like the hilliest miles of the course, but if you look at elevation, it is probably not. I was starting to feel a little tired, but I was able to keep pushing back through Ottawa Hills and back into the University. It was a good race. I eavesdropped a little on a few folks that were running slightly ahead of me, and was able to catch and pass them.

Mile 9: 8:03
Mile 10: 7:59
Mile 11: 7:51
Mile 12: 8:05
Mile 13: 7:51
Last tail end: 1:01

My official time was 1:44:17 for a 7:56 average pace. I am so pleased with the race! I ran exactly how I hoped to run, and honestly, look at those split times, they were pretty damn good and even. I am SUPER pleased with the race.

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