Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Kalamazoo Half Marathon Race Recap

So, it's totally normal to have a friend text you the day before a half marathon and offer you a free bib, right?
No? Just me?? Amy registered for the KZoo half forever ago, but sadly she wasn't feeling great and couldn't run. Well, if you know me you know I couldn't very well say no so after some schedule re-arranging and a WAAAAAY to early alarm wake up call, I was off to Kalamazoo, Michigan to run the Kalamazoo Half Marathon.

Like I said-- WAY too early for the WEEKEND.
I got to Kalamazoo after about an hour and twenty minutes with plenty of time to grab my free bib (thanks again, Amy!!) and head to the start line.

I had to park about 1/2 a mile away, but it was easy to find. The porta potty lines weren't crazy long and before I knew it I was in line near the 2:00 pace group and we were off!
At the start line...
The race was overall pretty good, though it looks like I basically fell apart at the end (spoiler: I only kinda did). I stuck with the 2:00 pace group for the first 8 miles with no real problems. My legs were noticeably heavy and still sore from all those damn walking lunges I did earlier that week, but beyond that I felt pretty good.

Mile 1: 9:05
Mile 2: 8:49
Mile 3: 9:00
Mile 4: 9:03
Mile 5: 9:03
Mile 6: 9:02
Mile 7: 8:58
Mile 8: 9:01 (took a few sports beans here)

Then, the 2nd half of the race hit. And, the elevation and hills REALLY hit.

Yeah, about that hill. WOWZA. And, it didn't get any easier from there. I recovered a bit at mile 10, but my legs were pretty shot and the ENTIRE UPHILL second half did not help. I tried to hang on to the 2:00 pace group, but just couldn't.

Mile 9: 9:38 (huuuuuuuge hill... uggggh)
Mile 10: 9:28 (took a freezer pop from the crowd here)
Mile 11: 9:32
Mile 12: 9:51

Mile 13: 9:41
Mile .18: 1:40
Hand of heart finish for Boston
Official Time: 2:02:02
So, I let the 2:00 pace group go on and ran MY race. I was comfortable, but my legs were crazy heavy and sore.
I crossed the finish line and it read 2:02:02, which is my official time (forgot to turn the Garmin off forever after I crossed. Whoops.) but I don't really think that's 100% accurate as there's NO WAY I crossed the start line right at 0:00 on the clock. I think my time was likely more like 2:01:40ish. But, whatever. What does a few seconds matter. Obviously I'm not breaking world records over here. Though, I did break a PR (with no real training and a last minute race) so that's pretty sweet.
I could have been pissy with myself for kinda losing it at the end, but given the hills and the complete uphill finish and my lack of "training" I was 100% OK with the race. In fact, I'm REALLY proud I managed to stay so consistent (though totally different "consistent" the first and second halfs). One thing I wasn't SUPER happy with was my fueling. I really need to figure out what works for me and be more intentional about fueling during 10+ runs. Bleah. Working on it.
The race was fun! Super organized. Good crowd support. CRAZY hilly course, but had I actually looked at the elevation chart before hand I would have known that. I'd definitely run it again!
Thanks again for the free bib, Amy!! Sorry you were sick and couldn't run. Glad I could PR in your honor! :)