My first half marathon was not quite 5 months ago. While training for that race, I met my incredible friend Staci who ran my first half with me. We kept each other going during that grueling 13.1 miles. I finished my first half that day in under 3 hours, which was my goal, and she got an 8 minute PR. And after that race she casually suggested that I should run the Detroit International Marathon with her. And I laughed. Because at that time I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to run another HALF marathon, let alone 26.2 miles. I could not imagine WORKING OUT for that long – I am a slow runner! Oh man… one thing you have to learn as a runner… NEVER SAY NEVER.
Because yesterday marked 4 weeks until I’m running that first full marathon with her. And I also ran my second half marathon yesterday. Let me tell you all about it…
Thanks to all of this marathon training, I honestly was not very nervous for the race at all. There was a little bit of nerves – because I wouldn’t have anyone to run with – but overall I felt really confident about the race. I was pretty confident I could get a PR, even if it was only 30 seconds, I didn’t care.
The best part of this race was that I was going to hang out with a ton of my running friends. Thanks to our Facebook group, I have grown close to quite a few people in the group, especially the admins Matt & Paula. This race was a big deal for both of them, too – Paula had run the same race exactly 5 years prior and was looking for an amazing comeback, and Matt was running his very first 26.2. We had another member in the group running her first marathon, and still another running her first half. It was awesome to be able to spend time with so many people from the group – we met for dinner the night before the race and watched the MSU game, and then we caught up with each other again the morning of the race. We actually all started the race together, too, since the marathoners wanted to start off slowly. We broke apart not too long into the run, with me going to my trusty 2:1 intervals.
My first mile went by and I felt amazing! And I was like uh oh I better slow down! My pace for my first half marathon was 13:10… I did my first mile of this race in 12:09. So I told myself to slow down but apparently the adrenaline rush wasn’t having that, because I did my second mile in 11:53! After that I slowed down, but stayed very consistent. Miles 4-8 I kept at about a 12:20-ish pace, then slowed to 12:36, then hung around 12:46-ish for miles 10-12. I remember thinking at mile 5… holy crap, I’m at mile 5 already?? This is going great! Around mile 11-ish I started to feel a really weird pain behind my knee (which I found out today at PT was actually an injury) and that definitely slowed me down. I was feeling some serious pain in the home stretch, and my time showed it.
The course was amazing, by the way. It was mostly flat, and it took you through some very cool sightseeing areas around Lansing! We started near the capitol building, then headed towards Michigan State University’s campus. We passed Spartan Stadium and the Sparty statue. The race course then headed onto the river trail, which was absolutely gorgeous and offered some much appreciated cooler temps and shade. We ended up back in downtown Lansing at Adado Riverfront Park for the finish.
Despite slowing down some… I still maintained an average pace of 12:30, an improvement of 40 seconds per mile, and overall shaved 8 minutes and 19 seconds off my half time! YES, that is correct… not only did I get a PR, but I kicked some serious pavement!
Overall, everyone from our running group did amazing! Whether they were running the 5k, half marathon, full 26.2 or as part of the marathon relay, everyone had awesome races. It was an awesome weekend with some wonderful people. I love the running community!
And it definitely boosted my confidence for my marathon… which is officially LESS THAN 4 WEEKS AWAY!!!