Sunday, September 27, 2009

Lake Superior Shore Run Half Marathon Race Recap

Any doubts that I had about being able to finish my first trail half marathon have definitely flown from my mind.

I woke up like a kid at Christmas 15 minutes before my alarm at 7:00.  I was too excited to try going back to sleep, so I immediately woke up and started to fuel!

Breakfast of champions:

I quickly showered and dressed in my race gear.  The husband and I left for the race site at 9 and we picked up his parents on the way.  In the car, I munched on a banana.

Of course, as soon as I got to the site I had to pee.  I found my parents and my grandma while I made a bee-line to the bathrooms.  The line was really long, so my mom and grandma held my place in the potty line while I picked up my timing chip at a nearby tent.  I waited in line for close to 20 minutes!

It was a close call, but I made it in the bathroom and to the starting line with about 2 minutes to spare!

I barely had a moment to take a deep breath before the race went off with a bang!

There was no pacer, so I decided to start in the middle of the pack.  After maybe the 2nd mile, I found myself all alone!  I knew there were people behind me, even though I couldn't see them, and every so often I caught a glimpse of other runners up ahead through the trees, but otherwise I was flying solo.  It was actually pretty peaceful.

I had heard there was a rocky area on the course and was told most people had to walk through it because it was so steep and uneven.  At around mile 4, I hit a rocky, steep climb, but it was a short walk, and the course wound slowly downhill right after that.  I was so proud I had made it past the tough part!

The next 4 miles flew by!  I felt strong and swift.  My breathing was even and relaxed, and I managed to catch up and pass quite a few people.  I found myself dreaming about actually crossing the finish line with a new PR!

Remember when I said I made it past the tough part, earlier??  HA!  

Around mile 8, the trail started to get more narrow and became full of roots and rocks, forcing me to slow down and watch my footing.  Soon, I came up to a small climb of big rocks, similar to what I had climbed earlier.  I attempted to jog through the rocks, but tripped pretty hard a couple times.  I decided it was in my best interest to just walk up the rocks, even though my momentum would be lost.

I reached the top of that cliff only to meet another.  And another.  And another.  And another after that.  I was climbing that rocky ridge for around 15 minutes!!  Any previous thoughts I had about breaking my PR were smashed, but I was mainly frustrated at how quickly my momentum had been crushed.  I just wanted to run again!

When I reached the top of the ridge, I stopped for a second to take in the view.  It was a pretty spectacular site, even though it was a bitch to climb!

After I caught my breath, I headed down down down on another root-filled trail.  I passed an aid station and one of the volunteers said, "Only a couple miles left!" so I knew I was close.  However, I could feel myself getting more sluggish.

After what felt like ages with no end in sight, I slowed down to take a drink,turned a corner, and saw my step-dad sitting on the side of the trail waiting for me!  As soon as I saw him, I knew that the finish line was close, so I picked up my pace again.

I'm coming!

Any second now...

The last 100 yards or so was through pretty deep sand.  It was difficult to sprint through, but I tried my darndest to get to that finish line!

My grandma was waiting for me with a big hug!

I felt exhilarated to have finished my first trail race in one piece!

I managed to get a little dirty along the way.

But I was a very happy camper!

My official chip time was 2:18:52!

Although it was almost 7 minutes longer than my last half, I am very happy with the time.  I had to climb a mountain and walk for 15 minutes!!

This experience has given me even more drive to run more and more races!!  You might even expect another race announcement soon!

Sadly, there were no finishing medals today.  We stuck around to hear the winners and door prizes announced and then went home to clean up.  I scarfed down a chocolate chip Clif bar and a banana with almond butter as soon as I got out of the shower.

I was exhausted, and it didn't take long for me to get horizontal on the couch.  I ended up napping for an hour and a half!!!

I felt so refreshed after my nap!  The hubby and I got ready to go out to dinner with both sets of parents at Lagniappe.

We started with an appetizer of hush puppies.

I ordered a cajun creole penne pasta that came with veggies, chicken, and andouille sausage.

This plate was HUGE!  I don't think I could even finish half of it.  

I also had a side of red beans and rice.

Everything was delicious, but I took a lot home for leftovers.  I was very surprised that I wasn't a terribly hungry beast after all that running!

After dinner, we met a group of my co-workers out for some drinks.  It was a late night, but pretty low-key.  I don't know how I managed to stay up past 1 am!  Must have been the nap! :)

I am currently at my parent's house letting my mom cook me dinner and watching football.  Green Bay dominated today, which is also great news for my fantasy team.

I'm feeling a bit sore today; mostly my ankles, left hip, and upper back.  I'm looking forward to a couple nice rest days, and then we'll see where I go from there!

P.S.  I apologize for the weird formatting of this post.  I tried to figure out what was going on, but I give up for now!  :)


  1. Congrats on a great run!

  2. You and your hush puppies. Reminds of the only honeymoon pics I saw from you.

  3. Hey, I just found your blog! I think it's so cool you're a DPT-- I'm pretty sure that's what I want to do, too :D Great job on that race! It looks like such beautiful scenery. A trail HM sounds tough, but so fun!