GCM Half Marathon: Race Recap

Well, I guess it is time to recap the GCM, right? It has been more than a week since I ran the race, right? I mean, hell, by now, I have a one mile race recap to write too.
But anyway, let's get to it, and be ready for a potentially long one.

I was up at my mom's house and brewing coffee at 5 am for a 7 am race. I made my breakfast, which was coffee, a honey stinger waffle, and two scoops of Gen UCAN (I like the cran-razz best). I forgot to pack my shaker bottle, and so I had to stir up the UCAN, which is not super easy. It was a little bit clumpy. But I drank most of it.

I left my mom's house right around quarter to six. I wanted to have time to run a warm up, I had 1-2 miles planned, just shaking out my legs, making sure that they were feeling warm and ready to run. I parked in my usual place at the College of Engineering. It was early enough that there were plenty of spaces over there. The start line was in a new location, so I figured I would run in that general direction, nice and easy. When I jogged past Savage Arena, the location of the expo from the previous day, I went inside the arena for a last minute "real" bathroom stop.

After the bathroom, I finished my run over to the start line, ending my warm up with about 1.6 miles. I immediately got into line at the port-o-potties, went the last time, then got everything set up to go. I hung out outside of the corrals, got my headphones all squared away and my podcast started before getting into my corral. As more people started to pack into the staging area, I was able to be close enough to people to feel comfortable taking off the jacket I had worn and discarding it on the side of the corral. Sorry little sis, if you read this, it was your high school softball jacket.

It was not long before we were listening to the National Anthem, waving at the Mercy Health Life Flight, and heading down Bancroft Street toward Westwood.

Mile 1: 7:34
Mile 2: 7:19

After mile 2, we turned onto Secor, which was a bit of an uphill, but it was early in the race and I was early in the race and feeling good. My race plan was in tact on overall pace due to a slow first mile and a fast second (yeah, shouldn't do that... oh well!).

Mile 3: 7:19
Mile 4: 7:14
Mile 5: 7:21
Mile 6: 7:14

I was cruising through Ottawa Hills, feeling great and happy overall with my paces so far. I was definitely holding myself back a bit as we went through the section of the race where you see some of the later runners as you loop back down Indian Rd and past St. Ursula Academy. The next few miles are through Ottawa Hills, and there are a few rollers in there, but nothing to worry about at all. We went through the first relay exchange point (the only one on the half course), and then headed out of the neighboorhood onto Central Avenue where the half and full split. I was with the 3:15 marathon pacer, and starting to pull a little ahead of her at this point.

Mile 7: 7:16
Mile 8: 7:22
Mile 9: 7:13

I was still feeling pretty good at this point. I took a gel at mile 4.5, and another at mile 9. I am thinking the every 5 mile frequency works better for me than the every 6, so I wanted to make sure to get the benefits of the second gel before the end of the race, and so I took it at 9 instead of 10. Cruising back through Ottawa Hills into Old Orchard along a much straighter shot back to the University than we took out. When I got through the 10th mile, it was GO TIME.

Mile 10: 7:10
Mile 11: 7:01
Mile 12: 7:02
Mile 13: 6:49

Yeah, I was HURTING through the end there, but I was so proud of myself for getting it done.

Last 0.10 NAILED IT. (about 6 min pace)

I crossed the finish line in 1:35:33, 7:17 average pace. A HUGE PR. I was so happy. So pleased. I cannot believe all of the work that I put into this race worked out so well.
Caroline also ran a BIG PR in Toledo.

So there you have it. A successful race. Where my A goal was destroyed.

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