6pm: Dinner at Olive Garden. I indulged in breadsticks with alfredo sauce, and a small portion of pesto rigattoni. Only water to drink this week!
8pm: Got all my race gear together, I felt calm and not stressed. I’m used to packing up SO much gear for triathlons that I couldn’t believe how little I needed. It was amazing! Clothes, headphones, blood glucose meter, GU’s and glucose tabs, all in my trusty Solomon Trail gear belt. (50% off at TC Running in MG!)
9pm: Joe went to the get the boys from the Gym Parent’s Night Out, while I laid in bed and watched A Day in the Life: Western States 100 mile endurance race. Nothing like a little motivation from some bad ass women.
5:15 am: Alarm set. Strangely enough, I woke up right away and got out of bed. WHAT? My clothes were laid out, and I wore sweats and a long sleeved shirt over and planned to throw them in the bag check. I went downstairs and got a travel mug of coffee, a banana, a pb&j, a nalgene of water and my lemonade UCAN packet.
5:40 am: Left for Wayzata Middle School to catch the bus
6:00 am: Arrived at the school parking lot. I was surprised at how many cars were on the roads leading to the bus that early. When I arrived the parking lot was almost full! I made my UCAN, and left everything in the car to hit up the porta potty. I went back to my car, drank some UCAN and ate my banana. My blood sugar was 220, which might seem a little high to some, but for me that is perfect knowing I’m going to exercising 2 1/2 hours.
6:15 am: Jumped on the bus to head to the start line
6:20 am: Arrived at downtown Wayzata and started walking down the street towards the start line and pre-race hang out area. I wanted to find the bag check first, and on my way there I ran into my friend Linda who paced the 11:00 mile. It was so refreshing to see her and start chatting.
The race didn’t start until 7:30, so I decided to walk around a little bit through downtown Wayzata to stay warm. I was starting to shiver while standing in one place. I ran into my co-worker AJ who was running with Joe’s race bib since Joe injured his knee. This was AJ’s first half as well. We walked together for a while and found a little hallway to keep warm. I ate about half my pb&j, forcing it down.
7:15 am: I walked back up the hill to the back check. I took off my sweats and long sleeved shirt and dropped my bag off. Said good luck to AJ as he went to find the 10 min/mile pacer.
7:25 am: I found Linda in Wave 4. She introduced me to her friend Aubree who would be running 11:30 min/mile. I wanted to stay around an 11:30 for the first 4 miles as warm up. We slowly made our way down the corner to the start line as each wave ahead of us took off.
7:45 am: We’re off! The start seems like such a blur. I really don’t remember it.
Miles 1-3: I tried to just talk to Aubree for the first 5k. She was great and kept asking how I was feeling or how the speed was. I was happy to have someone to talk to. This was her 38th half, and she runs one almost weekly during the summer! She said her plan was to walk through all water stops, and the first one was quickly approaching at mile 3. We were at 34 min when I saw the water stop, which was 10 minutes earlier than my planned first GU (I take one every 45 min to maintain my blood sugar). I didn’t need water, but I like my GU’s better with water so I figured it was time. I ate about 3/4 of it, and just carried in my hand thinking I might finish it.
Mile 4: I saw my friend Amy who came out with her 2 kids (19 months and 2 months!) What a rockstar friend she is! It was so fun to see her and take a mid-race selfie! Ha!
Miles 4-9: At 4.25 I felt my kick. I turned to Aubree and the rest of the group we had kind of created along the way and I told them it was time for some tunes. As soon as I put in my headphones I took off and ran my own race. At mile 5 was another water stop, which was perfect for me to finish that GU I was still carrying. These miles flew by. I felt amazing- like I wasn’t even trying. My watch kept saying 10:40-10:50 pace which is amazing for me! I enjoyed every minute of these 5 miles!
Mile 10: I didn’t hit “the wall,” but I wasn’t flying anymore. My legs/hips started to feel tight. My friend Linda had told me earlier to celebrate hitting 10 miles, and cheer for myself. I couldn’t do that though, all I could think of is how I was going to finish 3 more miles, and how to run them strong. I did not want to walk, especially after such a great first 9 miles. I decided it was time for my 2nd GU, which meant I had to use my own water which is a bit trick to get out of my belt. As soon as I finished my GU and water, I saw the mile 11 water stop. Of course 🙂
Miles 11-13.1: Tough. It’s so strange how 2 miles can feel like eternity! I kept telling myself that this is all MENTAL, which is the exact reason I’m running. To remind myself how mentally strong I am. This was the test right here- these last 2 miles. This is where I can prove to myself what I set out to prove. I kept my mind occupied with doing the math to see if I could actually finish in under 2 hours. It was making me laugh about why basic math was so confusing to me 12 miles into a race.
Finish: I turned the corner in downtown Excelsior and saw the crowds lined up on both sides of the corral. I immediately saw Joe and the boys. I went to the side to give them high fives and went on to cross the finish line. 2:29:42! Blood sugar after finish was 180. Only 40 point drop is an accomplishment in itself.
- The funniest part: Seeing random people jump out from the woods/bushes after having to go to the bathroom
- The most unexpected part: How badly my 2nd toenails would hurt afterwards.
- My favorite part: No race anxiety the day before or the morning of!
- My biggest take-a-way: I’ve long heard people say the phrase “trust your training.” I never understood that until this race. For triathlon, every race has been so different than any of my training. How can I swim a 1:40/100 yds in training, but a 2:15/100 yds in a race? Today, my race was exactly like every other training run I did. I knew my body, I knew my paces. Aside from the last 3 miles, I was finally able to trust my training.
- Something I’m glad I did: I’m glad I left my long sleeve shirt at bag check. It was a hard decision since I was a tad chilly, but 1 mile in I felt great temp wise.
- Something I would do differently: I wouldn’t have walked through the water stops. I think I did that only because thats what Aubree said she was going to do. It was 50 and full shade, so it’s not like I needed the hydration. Not to mention I had my own water for my GUs. It was frustrating to see my Garmin pace charts and have two huge gaps in pace for the 3 and 5 mile water stops I walked through.