Freedom Half Marathon

The Freedom Marathon and Half Marathon was the second in a series of 3 Independence Holiday fun runs. The race director was a super nice guy Steve Walters who is one of the most inspiring runners I know. Steve currently hold 8 stars in Marathon Maniacs. He runs a lot of marathons usually at least one a weekend. One weekend he ran two marathons in one day. Not only is he a serious runner but he’s a very, very nice man. So when he announced he was the RD for this race series almost everyone I knew signed up for at least one of the races.

Originally I was planning on running the full marathon. Between work and vacation, I wasn’t able to dedicate as much time to training as I needed to. In Europe, I spent a fair amount of time stressing about the race which was one week after we came back. Running is my way to help deal with stress. So if I’m spending a lot of time stressing about running, that seems really stupid. So I decided to drop down to the half. I sent Steve an email while in Europe and he graciously allowed me to change my race.

After we got back from Europe, I felt a lack of motivation to train. I did run several times in the week before the half marathon but not with the passion I have in the past. To be honest, there are just other things that have my attention right now. I’m thinking about grilling, camping, hiking, and traveling now.

Saturday was overcast and slightly chilly – my favorite running environment. The race took place on the Spring Water Corridor – which I’ve spent numerous hours on running and biking. I hung out with Jodi and Gina before the race. Jodi was running the full and Gina was there supporting the runners. Esther also showed up. It was great hanging out with the ladies just chatting and catching up on the latest news.

Esther and I ran together for a few minutes and then we split off. The first 6 miles went great. I felt really good. My iPod freaked out and the battery was suddenly dead. But that was okay because the birds were chirping. I was closely monitoring my pace and was hitting about a 11:20 pace. That was definitely going to help me PR this half. Mile 7 and 8 were at a 11 mile pace which made me really happy. I was chasing a group of people that had a nice consistent pace.

Then after that I really started to feel the mileage. My glutes and hips started hurting. Part of me couldn’t believe it. In less than ten months I had run four marathons and a 50k and here I was hurting at mile 9?!! But the other (larger) part of me knew this was the result of my lack of training.

I felt like I really struggled after that. Each mile was a bit slower but finally I saw the marker for one more mile. I really tried to speed up but just didn’t have a lot in me. I wish I would have had someone running with me to help motivate but at the end of the day, you have to motivate yourself and not rely on others. I ended up PR the race with a finish of 2:24:20. I really think that with a few weeks of hard dedicated training, I could run a half in 2:15. My dream is to hit a 2 hour race. Time to get on my way so I can get some stuff done so I can run a short recovery run tonight.

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