My third half marathon is in the books!
The day started out a bit shaky. I woke up a few minutes before my alarm was supposed to go off because I heard thunder. Not what you want on race day. Luckily that storm moved through fairly quickly and there was a break in the rain, but the forecast was showing a chance of showers all morning.
The race is local, but it was still a 45 minute drive. My sister, a friend, and I got to the race at 6:30 a.m. so we could pick up our bibs. Getting there early had the advantage of getting a good parking spot just a block from the start/finish area. We hung out in the car for a bit after getting our bibs and it’s a good thing we did because it started to rain (and thunder and lightning). We kept checking the Lola’s Facebook page for race updates and around 7:30 they officially delayed the race 30 minutes (new start time of 8:30).
I knew we might get rained on, so I came prepared with a garbage bag to keep me at least somewhat dry at the start line. Getting my garbage bag ready in the car helped us pass the time. I was apparently pretty entertaining. My sister took this pic before I got the arm holes added. 🙂
A little after 8, we headed up to the start. I lined up just behind the 9:55/mile (2:10) pacer. My A goal was to run 10 minute miles, but they didn’t have a specific 10 min/mile pacer (the next pacer was 10:18). I figured if I could hang out in between these two pacers I’d at least be on track to reach my B goal of a sub 2:14:45 half. (My C goal was just to finish. :))
The race got underway and I hung with the 9:55 pacer for the first few miles. After a couple miles, my legs were not warmed up yet and I noticed that the pacer was pretty far ahead of me. I was starting to think I’d never catch up, but several downhills actually helped me catch up again. Then around mile 4 the course leads you from roads to some grass/trail. Which I did not like. It might have been fine on a nice day, but with the rain it was muddy and slippery. I definitely lost some speed through that section and I completely lost the 9:55 pacer. I pretty much gave up hope of catching up to her again, and focused on doing my best to maintain a 10 min/mile pace on my own.
I felt good throughout the race, but OMG were there hills! I was not prepared for that. They weren’t small hills either, several were pretty long and pretty steep.
The majority of the course was around Lake Waconia. Well, technically it was around the lake, but unfortunately you couldn’t really see the lake very much. The course was on roads around the lake but lots of trees actually blocked the view. It was a grey, rainy day, so the lake wasn’t exceptionally beautiful but I was still expecting to see more of it.
Around mile 11 I felt really good about the fact that I only had 2 miles left. I also noticed that my legs didn’t feel as tired at that point as my first two half marathons — a definite improvement! Pretty soon, the finish area was in sight and I kicked it into high gear for the last .30 miles. I crossed the finish line, stopped my watch, and was shocked when it said 2:10: 41! I figured my official time would be a little higher, but I was way closer to my A goal than I thought I was going to be and no matter what it was a PR!
My official time was 2:11:02! So happy with my time and how well I did in reaching my goals even with the rocky race-day weather and hilly course.
We grabbed our food from the post-race party, hopped in the car, and headed home. When I was finally able to take my shoes off, this is what I found…
A shower and nap felt so good that afternoon. The next week will be about rest and recovery. Next race on the docket is the MN DAR Flag Day 5k on June 14 (which there’s still time to register for!). Will probably be taking it easy for this race as I’m guessing my legs will still be recovering from all the hills!
Have you ever had a race delayed due to weather?