October 6, 2014

Run Like A Girl Half Marathon 2014

The last half marathon that I ran was October 2011 when I first moved to Fargo, ND - The Fargo Moorhead Half Marathon. Three years had passed since I had run in a half marathon; granted I  ran my first marathon in April of this year, but three years with no races is really inexcusable (IMO)!

I had planned to run a few other half marathons prior, too many to list out, so although I would have liked to have trained "better" for this race, I knew I just needed to bite the bullet and do it!

I have been documenting my 6 weeks of training as well as my CrossFit workouts (HERE), but overall most of my runs were simply distance. I did no hill training or speed workouts, which would have made me better prepared for the race, overall.

My Performance
My Garmin crashed a few months ago, and I have not bit the bullet with buying a new one. Instead, I did buy a new watch & heart rate monitor-only, the Polar FT60. I recommend the heart rate monitor, and of course, like the color! I say all that because I am unable to provide mile-by-mile breakdowns of my half marathon performance; rather, just an overall summary of the race.

I ran the race in 1hour 50 minutes; with an average pace of 9:08.

The competitor in me was not that thrilled with my results; however, when I look back at some of my previous race results I am proud!

Madison Half Marathon
Madison, WI
Madison Half Marathon
Madison, WI
Madison Mini Marathon
Madison, WI
Dick Lytie Spring Classic
Green Bay, WI
Jacksonville Bank Half Marathon
Jacksonville, FL
Fargo-Moorhead Half Marathon
Fargo, ND
Run Like A Girl
Columbus, OH

The race day was chilly, about 50 degrees in Columbus. Right before the half marathon began it started to drizzle which was foreshadowing the hail storm that would ensue mid-race. I am glad that it was hail rather than rain because of the temperature. I actually enjoy running in the rain when it is warm out, not so fun when it is freezing. In my books - Cold Weather + Rain = No Fun. If it had not drizzled/hailed, I would say that the temperature was pretty ideal for a fall run.

Quick Car Selfie En Route to Columbus Commons

Pre-Race with Mr. Prince
I was feeling really good for the first 7 miles, when all of a sudden side cramps (or stitch) hit me on my right side! They were pretty painful... Coach Kemp had to get back to campus by noon for practice, so I knew there were no options for walking during this race!

I was in a little panic because the pain was worsening as I was running. I first tried breathing in deeper while running, which is the first recommended intervention, although that did nothing! Besides deep breathing, it is recommended that one stop running and walk to support deeper breathing overall. Like I said above, stopping was not an option.

For 1 mile I dug my hand under my rib cage and just did a deep tissue massage while breathing in and out. I probably looked quite funny, but they did begin to subside by about mile 9. When I saw the 10-mile marker, I knew I was smooth sailings from there. I got another tinge of side-pains at mile 11 but was able to run them out.

My speed did slow around miles 7-9 when I was dealing with the side cramps, but then I picked it back up after mile 10 when I knew I could push through to the finish line.

I am fairly certain that the side cramps were the cause of shallow breathing and some anxiety about my training. My longest run was only 9 miles so at about mile 6.5, negative thoughts began surfacing. For me, mileage between 4-7 is pretty "easy" when I am not seriously trying to train for a race.

I too was nervous because on Thursday I had a horrendous run. I had to call Coach Kemp to pick me up because I was having some major stomach issues. The issues started in the morning, and by the afternoon I figured I was in the clear. Unfortunately, they resurfaced after a solid 4 miles of running, and therefore, had to cut my 7-mile run down to 5. Overall, my lousy run on Thursday placed a hint of stress for my race day performance. Some say bad runs prior to the big run are good luck! Ha, maybe so. I opted to not run on Friday before the race last minute because of fears of yet another bad run pre-race day.

I got ever more excited as the route neared downtown. I was so happy that we ran along the street that Coach Kemp took to get to Columbus Columns. I am such a visual person, so having had experienced driving on the street, and being able to physically gauge how much further I had to run to get to the finish line really gave me a surge to sprint the last 1/2 mile.

Finish Line Dash

Finish Line Dash Part II

I am unable to provide any commentary about the post-race festivities since we had to jet out of town. Coach was cool with me getting a free bottle of wine and taking one last photo before darting off to our car.

Overall, it was a fun Saturday for Team Kemp. I was able to run a half marathon, Prince frolicked with humans, and Coach Kemp promptly arrived for the inaugural men's basketball practice of the 2014-15 season (and he noted it went well).

Impressions of the Race
Besides my side cramps, I really enjoyed the race and recommend it to others. I am not certain of the number of runners for all races, but it was nice small to medium in size, but well organized.

The race is marketed for women, but I did see a few (ok, 3 to be exact) male runners along the way; many all of whom were running/walking with women. My competitive nature got a little peeved at one couple, lol. In my head I was thinking that the male was an ideal "pacer." I got over that quick, but it did cross my mind.

The location of the start/finish line and parking was perfect! The race was held at the Columbus Commons and parking is adjacent as well as a Sheraton. We opted to stay at the Hilton Easton, located in Gahanna, a suburb of Columbus. Our drive to downtown was pretty quick, maybe 15 minutes.

They too are dog and children friendly! Prince enjoyed watching and interacting with anyone who would show interest! And, the race started with a Kid 100 meter dash!

I too loved that we ran along the river on the Columbus Bike Trails. I am envious of those living in the downtown Columbus area, and kept imagining myself running along the trails on a daily basis - rundreaming of all the possibilities.

The route was a little hilly, but no extreme highs. Although I despise hills, I actually enjoyed the valley-type run as it made it interesting for me. 

And last but certainly not least - all adult finishers received a bottle of WINE!


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