Lake Effect Half Marathon was something I have been looking forward to for months. Hollie was going to be staying with me for the weekend, and then meeting up with Heather, Brittany and others for the race Sunday. It's not always easy having your close friends not live near you, so a weekend with them was certainly a bright spot.
I never planned on racing this race, it's early in the year and the weather is known to be non-ideal for a race (come on it's Syracuse...in February). I also raced a 10k the day before, so I was planning on using the half as a training run for Boston. My goal for the race was to come at or around my marathon pace. It was a smart plan, run hard but more importantly have fun and enjoy my time with my friends.
The weather was uncharacteristic for this race, it was blue skies and sunny with little wind and NO snow.The first mile I was obsessively checking my watch, telling myself to hold back and stick to the plan of straight 7:15's. I hit the first mile in 7:13, perfect. After that I was really struggling to hold that pace and constantly was trying to slow myself down, I hit the point where I wasn't even running relaxed because I was so focused on my pace. Mile 2 was 6:59, I was thinking a million and one thoughts during this, but still tried to back off to marathon pace. Then mile 3 hit, 6:51. I was not very good at this pacing thing on Sunday.
Mile 4 was 6:52. This is where I tell you, I used my God given right and changed my freaking mind. I had no reasons NOT to run this race harder. Boston is still 8 weeks out, my legs felt good, I had nothing stopping me from pushing myself. So at mile 4, I made the decision to go for it. I knew that this was a slightly long course, so a PR would be harder but not impossible.
|Coming back after the first out & back. That is when I de-gloved, but ended up carrying them the rest of the race.|
|In my own little world.|
Playing with my gloves.
Mile 11-12 I was hitting the point where I was tired but not overly worn down. I was ready for the finish but knew that I still had some pushing to do. Mile 11 was 6:42 and 12 was 6:45 so I had picked it up a few seconds per mile.
When I hit the mile 12 marker I knew it was time to push more. I could see the 4th place girl a ways ahead of me (thanks for wearing neon pink!), and I wanted to close that gap as much as I could. One of the guys I was near tried passing me and held me off until about 12.5 when I had closed the gap with her to about 50 feet. He realized I was trying to catch her and gave me a thumbs up and cheered me on as I passed him. Mile 13 was 6:35.
|I am focused, not angry. I swear.|
According to my chip time of 1:30:22, I earned myself a shiny new 20 second PR. So much for not racing. But I will say this a million times over, no I didn't go into the race with a plan to PR but I also didn't accidentally PR. I made a conscious decision around mile 4 to stop holding myself back.
Obviously I am incredibly happy with this. A half marathon PR this early in the year, and when I certainly wasn't shooting for one. This makes me very excited to see what I can do at my next half in a month (without racing a 10k the day before like this time), and then again in May when I have my goal half for the year (Helloooooo sub 1:30). The other thing I am really happy about was how much fun I had, all while pushing and running hard.
|#4 & #1 :)|
One of the best parts was all of the people. Seeing your best friend lead the race, and eventually find out she won, her success makes me incredibly happy and proud of her. Can we also applaud her for raising over $2500 for Ophelia's Place!?!?!
|Carrie & Myself|
Being able to cheer on my friend Carrie while running and also being there at the finish after she got a hard earned PR!
|Heather, Hollie & Myself|
Cheering and spending time with Heather too, my word I love these girls.
|Heather, Me, Hollie, Brittany|
Also finally meeting Brittany IRL, and getting to go to fabulous brunch together.
Sunday really just was an amazing day. It reminded me why I love running, why I love racing, and just how awesome the people in my life are. It also told me that my half marathon PR is going to get crushed this year.
Have you ever changed your race goal, mid-race?
Do your close friends live nearby?
Fantastic run ! 1/2 in February! Nneexxtt!ReplyDelete
Congratulations on your half and new PR! And for Hollie on her win and fundraising. It looks like you, Hollie, and Heather and Britney had fun hanging out at the race too (that's my favorite part of races... socialization!). It looks soooo cold out there though, yikes!ReplyDelete
I've changed my goals mid-race but usually for the worse, not the better (because I *wasn't* feeling well).
Thanks Amy, it definitely was a great time all around. It looked really cold but it wasn't horrible, heck it was a heat wave compared to recent temps! :)Delete
I have also changed to a slower goal mid race, sometimes we just aren't feeling it!
Woohoo congrats on the PR!!! And congrats to your friends as well. Sounds like it was an awesome day!ReplyDelete
I haven't changed goals so much mid race but have picked people I wanted to catch up to and pass. My close friends live close by however any one I know who likes running working out or racing doesn't live close and most I haven't met yet IRL.
Thanks for the kind words Shelley, you are awesome! Picking people off in races is fun and motivating to keep you pushing!Delete
This looks like such a fun weekend/race. You and Hollie both killed it. Just think what you can do on a course that isn't long! Seriously, congrats on the PR :)ReplyDelete
Thanks Shannon! Now we need to find a time and place we can ALL meet up, now THAT would be awesome!Delete
I am so proud of you for racing and honestly I think that if you choose to run Syracuse half marathon you will PR. I had such a great weekend and wish it wasn't over now.ReplyDelete
This is really awesome and I truly couldn't be happier for you! Unexpected PRs are seriously the best and it's such a good sign as to how well Boston is going to go for you! I'm glad you had such an amazing weekend :)ReplyDelete
Thanks Sarah!! I'm hoping you are right and it's a good Omen for things to come!!! :)Delete
You are an amazing athlete. I am so lucky to have met such a generous and talented running friend. I am thankful...truly thankful for everything you have shared and taught me about this sport and hobby. I would not be sitting here today if you had not given me that last minute pep talk about pace and patience. It played over and over until I reach mile 8. I owe this PR to you and Joey. You both convinced me I could do it if I tried my hardest and put it all together. Thanks again. And congratulations on your PR. It is well deserved and earned. :-) CarrieReplyDelete
Awee, you officially have me tearing up over here lady! You have been training so hard and I am so proud of you! Patience pays off, and I can't wait to follow your journey and chase that Marathon PR in a few months!!!!! *hugs!*Delete
Huge congrats on the new PR and getting that girl at the line!! You really are going to crush your half when that becomes your focus race!ReplyDelete
I think it's awesome that you made the decision to change your race plan based on how you felt -those are the best kind of runs/races sometimes!
Thanks Kim, my competitive nature helped me with that last push for sure ;)Delete
Mid race changes happen, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse I am just happy I was having a strong day!
what an incredible race and what an amazing duo! taking care of business!! so exciting for you for your boston training, congrats again!!! oxoxoReplyDelete
Thanks Fabulous! Can't wait to read about you getting that new Half PR this spring, because I KNOW you have it in you!Delete
Dang girl, you always impress me!ReplyDelete
Ahhhh you crushed that race and are easily going to crush Boston and go sub 1:30. Going to be a great year!ReplyDelete
Congrats on the PR! I can't believe you wore shorts in the cold. Although, I do agree that compression socks keep you quite warm. And a congrats to Hollie as well for the win and fund raising. Awesome job ladies!ReplyDelete
Carla, 30 degrees felt like a heat wave haha! Thanks for the support lady!Delete
Congrats again on the PR! I think you made the right decision to go for it! Almost every marathon plan I have has a "race a HM" in the middle of it.ReplyDelete
You're going to crush your half PR this spring!
Glad you had a fun weekend!
This is an amazing recap Laura! Congrats on that PR! Just think of what you can do on fresh legs!!! The same thing happened to me a few weeks ago when I PRed. I had run a half the weekend before so I assumed the race would be tough. I kept slowing myself down until finally I told myself to just go for it. I PRed by 2 minutes! :-)ReplyDelete
Congratulations!! Sometimes the best races are the ones you don't plan for but just let happen. What a great run. you've got to feel good about that one. Sounds like you're in great shape for Boston. And I love an out-and-back course sometimes for the same reasons!ReplyDelete
Goodness you are a BEAST! Congrats on the PR!ReplyDelete
That's so awesome! Congratulations on the PR! Yes, I have never managed to go into a race and not end up going all out....actually, I did once, but that was to help a friend out and I stayed with her the whole way! Looks like you made the right choice though!ReplyDelete
That is so cool you got to meet up with Hollie and your other friends! Thats so cool! I love catching up with people after my races! Good job on your place too! After the Philly marathon I missed the awards ceremony for being the first Philadelphian, which was annoying (I was in the medical tent so I guess I am excused), but thats normally the funnest part!
Oh my goodness, amazing!! I'm so inspired!! Huge congrats, Laura!! That sub- 1:30 is totally within your reach.ReplyDelete
Ha - so much for not racing for sure.ReplyDelete
Congrats on the PR!
I think some of the best races happen when you head into with no expectations. Your splits are crazy, awesom race!! Oh and Saturday March 8th - Skyzone! :)ReplyDelete
Oh sure, another blogger who "accidentally PR'd" ... ;)ReplyDelete
Girl, I am so proud of you. I don't know how you do it, but you are just entirely unstoppable. Such good memories from this weekend, can't wait for the next one.
Congrats. I just saw this post while googling Lake Effect Half Marathon. I drove about 3 hours for the race and it was a great experience. I too got a PR (mine by over 6 minutes). I was somewhere between you and your friend. I actually followed the 3rd place woman for the whole race, but she was slightly faster. I ended up running miles 5 to 13.1 on my own.ReplyDelete
I knew going into the race that I'd PR on a nice day and maybe even a crappy one. I'll be back next year and I'm actually kind of hoping for some snow (which is why I originally signed up for the race). It was a top notch event all around and I'm glad others enjoyed it too.