Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Grand Rapids Half Marathon

Sunday was the 10th annual Grand Rapids Marathon and Half Marathon.  Along with thousands of other people from around Michigan and other surrounding states I laced up my running shoes and joined the madness!  It was unusually cold for how it has been as of late and I wasn't exactly prepared for the elements.  I am actually rarely prepared though so no surprise there!  In order to understand how this race went down, I have to tell a story.

I was very ready, I woke up early, ate my breakfast, got downtown with plenty of time- I was set!  Well with about 5 minutes til the start I decided, better use the bathroom before it's too late.  I get in line, make it to the front and low and behold I'm in that damn port a potty and what happens?  The gun goes off signalling the start of the race! 

I ran out of there as fast as I could, around the block to the start corral.  By the time I raced my way through the crowd to the actual start line I was over 2 minutes behind!

I ran guts out the first 3 miles, each one a little faster then the last, beginning with 6:50 on my first mile and gradually picking up til I was at a 6:40 pace.  I wasn't even paying attention to the fact that I had 10 more miles to run!  It was a constant zigzag through the crowd trying to work my way up to the front where I could race with others around my speed.

I finally see someone I know, Eric Zane!  Eric works for our morning show on my radio station, Free Beer and Hot Wings In The Morning.  I ran with Zane for about 4 miles letting him pace me and keep the whole thing under control!

I have to mention at this point I had a lot left in the tank and I started realizing that I could really race this thing!  We hit a hill which aren't exactly Eric's forte and I took off.  My heart was pounding becuase I knew what I was about to attempt would either help me finish the race with a great personal record, or leave me broken on the sidelines walking through the finish.

I had 4 miles left I sped back up into a sub 7 minute pace.  Each mile worked its way down til I was cruising at a 6:45 pace.  Every person I passed gave me more mental fuel to work my way to that finish line.

I finally rounded the corner to the end and saw the finish line!  There were two people next to me and even though logically I knew, "I started about 2-3 minutes after the start, so with my chip timing I am probably still going to beat them by a lot."  I couldn't help but race anyway.  My legs were burning and I continued to sprint the final straight away.

I finished with my best time 1 hour and 32 minutes and I got 13th girl overall!  It was the best race I have ran in years!  Pardon this trip to bragging camp but I was beyond excited!

Here are a few pictures post race, I'll add more as I get them!  If you ever decide to run a 5k, 10k, half or full marathon you should definitely check out this race AND message me, my contact information is listed.  I am more than happy to help ANYONE who wants to start running!

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