This past weekend was sunny and beautiful. To top it off we had plans to run a half marathon with a group of friends. This is honestly one of my favorite ways to run races despite not getting to do the group thing too often. Something about sharing in the race excitement/anxiety and the post-race party is more fun in groups.
Saturday night we stayed with friends in a town nearby Rochester to cut down on drive time in the a.m. Five of the six in the house were running the next morning. We fueled and hydrated (berry mojito-yum) with a yummy dinner and went to bed fairly early as the first wake up call was 4:30 a.m.
The next morning came in no time and we headed for Rochester. We parked at the finish and took the shuttle to Byron where the race would actually begin. There we met up with the rest of our group. Four of the eight had never ran a half marathon before. I always love being a part of other runners first races.
The first half of the course was on country roads and had lots of rolling hills. I was not aware of this ahead of time, but looked at the hills as practice for my 50k and challenged myself to attack those hills. One hill was affectionately referred to as “the beast” by runners near me. The hills really were not all bad and offered a good change-up for the muscles.
mile 5-8:15 (GU)
Around mile 6 we started to near town. The country roads led us to the Rochester Trail system where we ran for several miles. At this point I was so glad for the 7:00 a.m. race start as the sun was beating down hard and there was no shade at all. Warm weather runs have always been a nemesis of mine, but I know my summer marathons are going to be hot so this will only help prep me. Miles 7-12 were mostly on the bike path trail.
mile 10-8:15 (GU)
mile 11-8:20 (My legs felt like lead during this mile)
Mile 12 brought us back to the road where we headed downtown for our finish outside the Mayo Civic Center. At the finish I met the boys who had finished before the girls. Ryan ran a half marathon PR finishing seconds in front of me. Considering he ran his first marathon three weeks earlier and was still experiencing muscle soreness, I would say he ran a phenom race.
I was doing my best to run a controlled race. My legs did not feel bad, but they also did not feel fresh during the race. This could be due to the full marathon three weeks earlier or it could be from my sporadic training since the marathon. Either way, I didn’t want to do anything to flare up the sore spot on my calf or to drain my legs before the 50k. I was surprised to run a 1:48:52 while running controlled. I did not put it all out on the course, nor did I want to. It was also very warm during this race (sixties at the start, upper seventies later) which I battled through like a trooper. I was definitely happy with my time.
What made me even happier though was my friend Katie who was running her first half marathon at this race. Her race was a long time coming and she had trained once before for a half only to not be able to run on race day. She had wanted this goal for a while and today was her day. I was so proud of her when she crossed that finish line. Her beaming smile all day said it all. That smile is so much the reason why runners run. The pure joy and personal satisfaction accomplishing a goal brings each person. Way to get it, girl!
The post-race food was amazing. They had every kind of snack food you could want. Bagels, bananas, oranges, granola bars, fruit snacks, carrots and dip, apples and caramel dip, chips, pretzels, and so much more. I enjoyed the yogurt, fruit and granola they offered and grabbed a Muscle Milk to try in Banana Creme, which I have previously always passed on as I thought it had milk in it. Turns out it is lactose free and a great recovery drink even for those who can’t enjoy milk pain-free. It tasted yummy, too.
After some post-race yum it was time to snap some photos, stretch and celebrate everyone’s runs! They had an awesome back drop perfect for just such an occasion.
After a quick change into dry clothes in the car that also involved wet wipes and dry shampoo we were ready for the post-race party; it was awesome. They had a fun live bad and all-you-care-to-drink Grain Belt for runners. We stayed for a few hours listening to music, rehydrating, and sharing our race stories.
After our post-race fun it was time to shower, rest and relax before heading out for dinner and another live band with some of the friends who ran with us. What can I say? I LOVE live bands! It was a great end to a great day.
Post-race I have very little muscle soreness which means I ran this race just like I should have. Here is the weird thing though, my right hammy is a bit sore and the calf spot that has bothered me since I got a cramp in it during the Wisconsin Marathon is sore, too. Both are on my right leg. My left leg has litearlly zero soreness, tiredness or pain. The right leg is where it’s at. Has anyone else ever had this happen? What can/should I do? How do you get a sore-from-a-cramp-spot unsore? I’ve gotten massages from the husband, stretched and foam rolled with little success.
Med City Half Marathon (will update when they post official results)
Time: 1:48:54-Sarah 1:48:24-Ryan
Pace: 8:19-Sarah 8:18-Ryan
Age Group: 17/145