Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon Recap

Wow. I ran 13.1 miles two days ago! It actually feels quite longer than just two days.

I was really nervous in the days leading up to this race.  I had never run longer than 11 miles and even then, it was not all running. I was scared. I mean, I was really scared!

I spent all of the week leading up to the race reading up on how to fuel correctly for the race.  The weekend before, during my long run on Sunday, my legs froze up and I just didn't have the energy to make it to the end of the run. I actually had to have my hubby come pick me up from where I stopped. I didn't even have enough energy to walk the three blocks into the neighborhood. I was afraid of this happening at the race so I spent the week eating carbs and keeping track of my food. The scale didn't like my but my legs were happy, for the most part.

Also during this week, I had some pain in my left shin. I was worried that maybe I had injured myself during that long run on Sunday. It was just an achy pain that was persistently there and wouldn't go away. My run on Wednesday was to test out my leg to see if the pain stayed. It was hard the first mile but after that I was able to actually push myself. I felt no pain in this shin during the race. I was ecstatic!

Now getting back to the race.  The weather forecast was not looking good for Sunday morning. After dinner on Saturday night, I had a quiet night preparing for an early wake up call. I organized my things and was ready for the sky to be raining on me the whole way. That night, the thunder was loud and the rain was heavy. I was actually becoming worried that the race organizers would cancel the event due to the weather.  I thought I would have actually wished for it to be cancelled. But then I would have to find another half marathon to run in the following weeks. Thank goodness I didn't actually need to worry about this because as of 6am, the race was on and the rain was letting up for the day. Great! I had to change what I was wearing that morning.


My Mom and Dad took me down to Wayzata for the start of the race where we ran into my sister and my friend Becky. The clouds were actually starting to clear at this point and peeks of blue sky were seen. After a little bit of chit chatting and some hugs, I lined up with my pace group of 2hrs 30mins. My plan was to stay with the pace group as long as I could and would try to keep them in my line of site so that I could finish the race with a good time of under 3 hours. The pace group consisted of pretty much first timers and some walkers. Once we were let go, I was only able to stay with the pace group for maybe the first mile. They were actually keeping a much faster pace than what I had been training for and didn't want to tire myself too quickly. I decided quickly that I wasn't going to be forcing myself to finish this race in a certain time. I was really there just to finish the race!

The weather was humid and overall cloudy but the course is gorgeous. The route winds through very rich neighborhoods of Lake Minnetonka. Many of these houses are worth multi-millions and were nice to look at and dream about. The course was tree lined and not closed to traffic. I found myself bringing my biking terms into my running. When I yelled "Car Back" I got some strange looks from some of the runners ahead of me. Hey! I didn't want them to get run over by some lady in her Cadillac.

This race was really well supported. Being at the back of the race, I was worried that there wouldn't be any water left at the water stops. I really had nothing to worry about. There was plenty of water and Gatorade at each of the four stops. I took advantage of the stops for water and made sure I fueled at the same time. The fueling kept my legs from cramping. I only felt cramping once and I knew at that point I needed to take in more nutrients.

I had a great cheering section on my side. It was also great to see and hear total strangers sitting along the route to cheer us on. There was a group of kids at around mile 10 that were offering high fives to all us slow pokes at the back. It was uplifting. My cheering section consisted of my hubby, my mom and dad, my sister, my mother-in-law, and friends Christina and Becky. I got a nice ass slap from Becky right before the finish line and my sister ran with me the last mile.  Ann from Twelve-in-Twelve was at mile 11 like promised to push me through those last couple of miles. I knew I would need her there at that point because I was tired and I just made sure I pushed and ran right past her. She has been at two of my races now to cheer me on. I really hope to make it to one of her races to give the support right back.

I finished the race with a time of 2:46:57. My official times can be seen here.
Amy Albrecht @ Minnetonka Half Marathon 2012 | RaceDay
But the 10k time is not correct. I would say that timing mat was more at the 9 mile mark. (I thought it was the strangest place to put a timing mat.) I also have posted my Garmin information. I am really happy about the overall consistency of my splits.

I would recommend this race to anyone for a first half marathon. The course was gorgeous but was filled with rolling hills. The communication with race officials was good with the weather conditions. Parking was a little less than desirable since the Bay Center has been torn down and the parking lot was unavailable this year. I feel like this was my hometown race. It was nice seeing people I knew  and knowing the course.

I'm hoping to do another half marathon in the near future. I'm looking for one at the end of June or beginning of July.


So if you are contemplating a half marathon, I would say do it! It was challenging but so rewarding and worth all the training.


Sunday, May 6, 2012

13.1 in Pictures

My half marathon was great today.  I had a great cheering section with my parents, my hubby, my sister, my mother-in-law, two of my greatest friends, and Ann. I plan on doing a complete recap in the coming days but wanted to post some pictures that were captured. Plus I have no way of getting these from my mom's computer to my own back in Madison. So here they are. 

 Becky and me before the race


Me walking from the staging area to the starting line


Around mile 4 where I was shedding clothing

Looking strong here


Part of my cheering section after the finish line. 

Like I said, I will be posting a recap in the coming days. Thanks again to everyone who came out! In case you wanted to know, my time according to my watch, was 2hrs 46 minutes. Nearly 15 minutes under my goal of 3 hours!