Monday, June 23, 2014

Runners Tell All Link Up: Proudest Racing Moment (or...The Half that WAS!)

"Runners Tell All" is a monthly linkup for runners of all ages, skill levels, and experiences hosted by Sunshine to the Square Inch and The Lady Okie. Each month is a different topic, and you can find all the topics listed here.

This month's topic is favorite or proudest running moment. Since I'm still on a runner's high from this weekend's race, that is definitely my favorite and proudest moment.

Here's the back story. I wrote about the race last weekend that was supposed to be a half marathon for me, but wasn't. I was really disappointed in myself, and the race itself. I had joked pre-race that if things went south, I would be looking for an entry into the Garry Bjorkland half marathon (affectionately called "Grandma's" by all the locals. Grandma's is the full marathon, and everyone refers to the entire event as "Grandma's weekend", etc.). Low and behold, a male friend of mine offered me his bib since he wasn't feeling up to it. I really wanted to take him up on it, but was worried about having a male bib and possibly getting caught. It's not exactly "legal" to sell or give away your race bib for Grandma's.

I did a little searching, and found a woman in my town that wanted to sell her bib. The best thing was that she already had it because she paid the $25 to have it sent to her early. Awesome! That very same night, a friend that lives in Duluth offered me a bed to sleep in so I didn't have to get up at 2am to make the drive down there. Sweet!

The very next day, I get a message from the same friend saying that he was concerned that I may have a fake bib. What!?!? I hadn't even thought about that! Long story short, and a lot of googling later, I was 99.9% convinced that mine was real. Come race morning, there was still that 0.01% of me that was worried, but I made it through the bib check gate with no problems.

Race morning was foggy and misty, and only about 50 degrees at the start. A little wet for my taste, but a good temp for running. Because I was supposed to have run a half the weekend before Grandma's, I wasn't really sure how things would turn out. My original goal was to run a sub-2 hour race. But I was willing to set that aside and just see how things went.

The gun went off and the mass of crowds got started. Grandma's is one of the biggest races in Minnesota, and draws a lot of elite talent. There were over 8000 people in the half, alone. I tried to start further up than normal so that I wouldn't have to do a lot of weaving through the crowds. That worked pretty well, and soon I had settled into a good pace.

I was running about 8:40-8:50ish for most of the time. I was concerned that may be to fast, but I felt good and decided to just go with it. Most of the race course is along Lake Superior, and it's pretty flat. Everyone warns about "Lemon Drop Hill", which is really a glorified highway overpass right around mile 9. I was still feeling pretty good there, but one of my calves started getting a little tight.

Right at mile 10, a girl passed me in a bright pink shirt. On the back of it read "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Phillippians 4:13). Hey! That's my mantra! I kept repeating it for almost the entirety of mile 10. Then once I got to mile 11, it was a breeze from there! I cruised through 11, and found another gear for 12. The crowds were huge and loud, they really helped carry me to the end. Here's a pic right around 12.5 miles:

The best part was my finishing time:


I still cannot believe my time. I would have been perfectly happy with 1:59:59. Or heck, just finishing the race! My first half marathon time was 2:03:01, and I feel pretty awesome about shaving 7 minutes off my time by my second half marathon. So yea, I'm feeling proud as a peacock right about now. My legs are sore and I'm still tired, but I'm proud!

Go check out all the other runner's stories!


  1. What what??!! That is AWESOME! Congrats! I can definitely understand why that is your favorite/proudest moment. A sub two hour pace is great. (Personally never done it...I have been SO SO close! Augh. Haha.)

  2. DUDE. Nice work! That's an awesome PR. Well done, you! Great vindication after the race that didn't go so well.

  3. Shaving time off that 1/2 is AWESOME!!!! Glad it went so well for you!