After picking up the girls at the airport, we headed straight to the expotique (aka packet pickup). There was a good assortment of booths and fun photo opps (with half naked men). Kudos to race organizers for allowing size exchanges on the race goodies. My tank immediately looked small, so I exchanged for the next size up. The jacket was super cool and fit perfectly in my normal size.
|Lindsay, me, hot dude, Kim, Patty and Lisa sprawled across the front.|
Reuniting with these ladies was - by far - the best part of this trip!!
Five states were represented amongst us... IL, MN, VA, OR and TN.
We met up with another bunch of ladies from my Sole Sisters running group for dinner at Eagle Street Grille - where we had thee most friendly sassy waiter. There is absolutely no
|A fine bunch of runner girls!|
I haven't run a half marathon since May, so this was a nice easy "get back in it" race for me. My intent was to use it as a fun training run. As we lined up just in front of the 10 min/mile mark, several of the ladies discussed their time goals. I looked at my bib #2122 and decided 2:12:2 would be today's goal. Ha! Not very strategic, right?! But I hoped to stay around the 10 min pace, preferably below.
The starting gun was exactly 10 minutes late according to my Garmin. (Not sure why, but late starts are a pet peeve of mine. I tried to remain patient, not one of my finest virtues.) I had debated on whether to even wear my watch, but eventually did so with a determination not to look at it. I wanted to just run what felt comfortable. Of course at the start, the adrenaline made that faster rather than slower.
Mile 1 - 9:17
Mile 2 - 9:17
Mile 3 - 9:14
Mile 4 - 9:32
Mile 5 - 9:37
Mile 6 - 9:49
The first six miles were a simple out and back. Starting temps were much cooler than expected (low 70's), however the humidity hung in the air. I began a trickling sweat immediately and it only got worse as the temps increased throughout the run. The first half of the course was mostly under shade, but the rolling hills surprised me. My quad muscles had an odd ache from the time I got out of bed (most likely due to that trail running the day before). As I took each incline, my quads reminded me of why one should rest the day before a half marathon. I know better. Out and backs are not my favorite in a normal training run, but I do enjoy them in a race. I get to see all my compadres, no matter if they are in front of behind me. Each time I pass a friend, it gives me a little boost in my run. And it's rather entertaining to watch others greet their friends as well.
Mile 7 - 10:07
Mile 8 - 10:12
Mile 9 - 10:03
Mile 10 - 10:01
In looking at my splits, it's easy to see my "comfortable pace" slowed as the miles ticked away. By time I reached mile 7, I felt... done. The shade went bye-bye and I quickly got hot and miserable in the bright sun. Some serious head games started battling back and forth. To shut myself up, I flipped on the ipod that I had stuffed down my bra in case of emergency. For once, I was happy to have music pumping in my (one) ear, giving me a second life.
Throughout the race, I stopped to walk thru every single water stop. This is a first for me... I usually run straight through during a half. I was constantly thirsty today and reminding myself to run comfortable. I'm nowhere near PR form or time, so there was no reason in my mind to push it. By the end, I was grabbing three cups through every stop - 1 water to drink, 1 water to dump over my head and 1 of the little blue drink - Gatorade, I believe?
Mile 11 - 10:33
Mile 12 - 11:00
Mile 13 - 9:17
The second half of this half marathon felt flat for the most part. There was one big hill inside mile 11 that I remember having to stop and walk. I used the excuse "finally a river view" to stop and take a photo... which oddly never took? When I hit that #12 sign, I was suddenly in a big hurry to get this thing done. I grew closer to Lindsay, who had been in sight nearly the whole race. Eventually, I caught up to her and we ran much of that final 1/2 mile together into the finish.
Official Chip Time 2:09:22
average pace 9:53
Overall Rank #842 out of 2195
Division Rank #216 out of 494
State #15 - Minnesota in my quest to Race All 50
|As yet another hot man filled my glass, I said, "Don't be stingy. I like champagne!"|
We didn't linger long in the post-party. I was soaking wet and wanted to change clothes. I hurried through a shower and was on the road quickly back to my family. We had plans to go river tubing that afternoon, and I was looking forward to relaxing in the sun with my feet soaking in the cool water.
My final take on Women Rock MN...
Personally, I loved the event. Weather out of anyone's control, it was a decent race. I had zero problems and found everything to be very well organized. Pre-race communication was good. If you read through everything, the answer was there. There were mentions of sponges and water towels being added to the race, but I evidently missed those stops along with the GU. I was actually surprised at the amount of spectators - all the men with kids made me smile. If I had a dollar for every time I heard Go Ladies! or Go Mom!, I'd be rich. At the finish, we received a grab bag with food and plenty of water... and champagne! I'm not sure what else was at the post-party because I didn't stick around. I had expected more river views based off the course map, but that wasn't the case. While the early hills were challenging, the final mile was pretty sweet to have easy/flat/fast. I registered early - back in February for the best price. Race entry was $75 + the $15 optional tank top that I selected. There were several price increases along the way, which their website could do a better job of outlining those dates. All in all, I thought the race was worth it. Good event and great swag!
|All the goodies I brought home... running jacket, champagne glass, Sexy Men calendar, racerback tank, and a gorgeous finisher's necklace. The "W" stands for Women, although my mom reminds me it will always stand for WUCKI (my maiden name).|