Sunday, November 16, 2014

Madison Half Marathon

A couple weeks ago I wrote about my 10k race, which was done as part of training for the Madison Half Marathon on November 9th. I finished up my training pretty successfully. I took some extra rest days and had a 2 day scare with a sore quad, but overall I followed the plan. My longest run was 12 miles, which was also the longest I have ever run at once. I'll admit it was a little rough to do and my pace wasn't promising anything special for 13.1 miles.

Photo Booth at the Expo/Packet Pick up
The day before the half marathon I was wondering why I ever signed up for something that started at 7 am on a Sunday morning. Why was I torturing myself??? Luckily I had my dad with me so I couldn't back out. He drove all the way to Madison for the race and we had a great time with him and my step-mom, Nancy.

Waiting at the starting line!
 The weather was a little chilly (around 34 degrees) and I wasn't happy about giving up my warmer jacket at the starting line. When it was finally time to line up I found the 2 hour finish pace group, since my goal was to finish in under 2 hours. I was nervous about starting out too fast and the pace group was awesome for ensuring a steady start. I stuck with them for around 4 miles and then felt comfortable enough to run ahead a little faster.

My slow start paid off and I had a much faster second half of the race. I was able to pass a lot of people, which felt great. Overall I thought it was a pretty easy run and finished in around 1:56 with an 8:53 minute per mile pace. The pace challenged me a little, but I didn't feel like I was in pain or struggling to keep it up at all. It was a fun run and I wasn't nearly as upset about getting up so early and running in the cold while I was actually moving. I was VERY happy to see the finish though and don't see any full marathons in my future.

Finisher's photo and beer!
 The race was extremely well organized and definitely one I'd consider doing again, although I'd also like to do a warmer half marathon! I might have to pay my Dad back by traveling to Michigan to run with him there. We now have snow on the ground in Madison, so I'm thanking the snow gods that the half marathon was last weekend instead of this one and enjoying no training requirements for the time being!

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