This race in Traverse City, MI is so popular that the half marathon sells out within hours. So back on December 1st, 2017, my friend Christine sent me a Snapchat showing her waiting for the countdown to register for the race. I hadn’t planned on doing the race but I messaged her back with, “Girls weekend?” and that was it. I was signing up as soon as registration opened and we both got in! Lucky for me she had done the race twice – one year she ran the 10k and last year she ran the full marathon as her first ever and I went there to support her. This year we would both do the half marathon.
We drove up to Traverse City this past Friday. We stopped in Clare where I got to experience Cops and Doughnuts for the first time. (Get the peanut butter filled doughnuts and mint chocolate chip cookies, you won’t be disappointed!!!) Also on our way we were able to catch up with our friend Matt, who was running from Midland to Traverse City and then running the Bayshore marathon! (Approximately 150 miles total including the marathon.) This was his third attempt at doing it. We found him in Cadillac where he decided to take a nap and then we made the rest of our journey to TC. We picked up our race packets, headed to dinner, and soon after got to bed because 4am was going to come VERY QUICKLY.
It’s quite amazing how on a regular work day I am definitely not a morning person. My husband basically has to kick me out of bed after I’ve hit the snooze ten times. But on race day I’m up and at ’em, in a great mood and ready to go. It was still dark outside when we got to the high school and boarded the bus to the start of the half marathon.We then had 2 hours to kill before the race start, hanging out with our friends in a field, watching the sunrise.
We knew that we were in for a tough race. First of all, the race starts on a big hill. Luckily, once you get past that, it’s mostly flat except for a couple little rollers towards the end that feel quite like mountains. What was worse, though, was that it was over 70 degrees at race start. And humid. I was having flashbacks of both Detroit marathons and the Capital City River Run half marathon.
The race course is absolutely beautiful. It definitely lived up to all of its hype from my friends that have run it before. The scenery definitely helped distract from the fact that it was so hot and humid. When the marathoners started coming our way I saw so many familiar faces. Shouting out to my friends gave me an extra burst of energy each time. I was feeling pretty great until about mile 8 or 9. Then the heat started to really get to me and I felt awful. I was exhausted, overheated, and disappointed that I did not think I was going to reach any of my goals. Luckily I had my friends Christine and Nick with me who kept pushing me. I know that if they hadn’t been there I probably would have walked the last few miles of the race.
I started to see familiar territory as we finished up the last mile of the race. I had walked out last year to run in with several of my friends who did the half and full last year. I knew I didn’t have too far to go, but still it felt like forever. As we got close to the finish line, I got frustrated with the girl running in front of me and told my friend Christine, “Go!” and we pushed hard to the finish. I stopped my watch… it said 2:39:55. I was so exhausted, so hot, so miserable, so sweaty… and somewhat disappointed. I knew that it had been a very difficult race and that I had really given all that I could give, but I couldn’t help but feel a little of disappointment in missing my goals.
My goals for this race were A: finish in 2:30:00. I knew before the race even started that it wasn’t going to happen. B: finish in 2:39:04 to beat my unofficial PR. C: finish in 2:39:46 to beat my official PR. Unfortunately I didn’t meet any of my goals. My official finish time was 2:39:54.8 – only 9 seconds off getting a PR. All things considered – that’s pretty awesome. I’m not in good of shape as I was a year ago when I got my half marathon PRs, and the hot, humid weather was tough. So to be within seconds of my PR is amazing.
After the race we enjoyed lunch with friends in downtown Traverse City and then later in the afternoon we went bar hopping with friends from our local running group. It was an awesome time! Sunday morning we had a delicious brunch and did some shopping before heading home. Traverse City is such a beautiful town and I know we barely saw much of it so I definitely want to experience it again some day.
My next race is in two weeks in Ludington, where I will be enjoying another weekend with the girls and racing a 10k with my friend Paula. Our friend Kendra is joining too, she’s becoming quite the awesome race mom!!!
Look out for my May training recap coming later this week… I’m feeling really good about everything I’ve been up to lately, although as always there’s room for improvement. Summertime is full of races and I’ve got some goals to share!