I signed up for the Go St Louis Half Marathon a long time ago. I figured since I wasn’t training for a Marathon all fall/winter that training for this would be easier than it was last year. I figured I would actually stick to a training plan and and see a massive PR from last year’s race. Then life happened. We traveled and it snowed and I just didn’t follow the plan. Then I invited one of my out of town friends to run it with me. She was rocking it out in her training until she hurt her knee. For the last month or so her longest run was 4 miles. I knocked out 10 miles on the treadmill 2 weeks before the race and felt confident I could finish and while I wasn’t going to set any course records I was fairly certain I could PR.
Friday morning I picked up Emily from the airport, it was SO good to see her. It has seriously been 6 years or something crazy. From there we headed downtown to the expo. We had to wait in line for about 10 minutes before the doors opened.
One we got in we picked up our bibs and headed down to the floor for the expo. I was in shopping mode, but wasn’t sure I was going to actually buy anything. Then I saw the Lift Your Sole booth and knew I’d walk out with something… I mean check out these tshirts!
I ended up buying the Suck It Up Buttercup shirt. I love that saying and liked the flowers and colors. It was a hard choice, I sat there debating between that one or the motherhood one for awhile but ended up picking the brighter color. They also sell jewelry, be sure to check them out.
I also got to stop by and check out the organicgirl booth – LOVED that they had a sample I could eat on the Whole30. And I got a tattoo, sweet right?
Emily and I both ended up doing a gait analysis with one of the local running stores. They recommended I run in the Brooks Glycerins… Already do! BAM.
Let me tell you- If you think you look bad running… trying watching yourself run in slow motion. Not attractive. Anyway- The expo was tons of fun! Mostly because my amazing husband kept the toddler at home so I didn’t have to push a stroller or chase a kid the whole time. Thanks Babe!
I wrote in my Whole30 week 1 recap about my fueling errors on Saturday… I really should have eaten more carbs than I did. I tried my best, but I just shouldn’t have changed up my diet so much the week before a race. They say to do what you know works, and I didn’t.
Sunday morning I was up at 4:15 to get dressed, get the kiddo ready, and head out the door. I got off schedule a bit- ended up putting my pace tattoo on upside down, shoved a banana/sunbutter/coconut flake conconction down the hatch and ran out the door only realize I left my garmin at home. So I made Chris turn around. Of course. I started to get the nervous stomach a few miles from the exit. I needed a Portapotty quick. We finally found them and the lines were outrageous.
There were a ton of runners and I knew the lines would be kinda long, but we were cutting it close to starting time and I got super frustrated that there were a ton of spectators in line for the bathroom. Couldn’t they wait until after we started? Anyway- we finally make it and get into our corral. This was it, it was GO! time (haha)
No matter how many times I tell myself NOT to go out too fast – I do. We held around a 12 minute pace for the first few miles. That is pretty fast for me. Then comes the first hill just before mile 3 heading through Soulard towards the brewery… I freaking hate hills. I just don’t do good with them. I feel like I can’t ever catch my breath. It’s like thrusters. Ugh. Anyway- we got to the hill and ran through Soulard. I love that those people come out blaring music and cheering in their PJs for us. Makes me laugh.
Then we headed through the brewery, and it smelled yeasty. After we got through there we had a long stretch before mile 4 and my legs were already feeling tired. I was feeling sluggish and knew right away my fueling was off so I popped some Honey Stingers chews. I’m pretty sure having those in my flipbelt saved my race. We kept a decent pace through mile 4, 5, & 6 and ended up with a 6 mile split of 1:21. We were on point to come in under 3 hours according to my pace tattoo (that was on upside down)
Then came miles 6-8. This part of the course was a race within a race, sponsored by the Yurbuds #BeyondtheWall campaign. It was called “Holy Hill” if that gives you any indication of how awesome this part of the race was going to be *sarcasm* So basically these several miles were never freaking ending hills. And I hate hills.
Instead of #BeyondTheWall it should say #WelcometoHell
Here is my fake smile. I was dying inside. Oh and it was HOT. Like the hottest day we’ve had in forever. 75ish. I have NO clue how Mel ran in a long sleeve zip up!
See that hill in the distance? that was the Second HUGE hill as a part of Holy Hill. Awesome. I knew our pace would slow down considerably during these several miles. We were about 5 minutes off from the 3 hour pace by the end of these hills – I thought if we pushed on the straightaways that we could make it up.
As we exited Holy Hill around mile 8 there was the Gu stop… and they were all out of Gu. As we turned the corner there was a lady who collapsed on the side of the road in tears sobbing. These were NOT encouraging events for how the rest of the race was going to go for us. We trotted on through a water stop and came upon the mile 9 marker (which Emily thought we had already passed) and turned on to the long out and back.
This was the turning point of the race for us. Here is the deal – I am NOT the funnest person to run with (which is probably why I run alone). I will always keep going – but I will
jokingly complain a lot of the way. I will talk about all the things I’d rather be doing and how much I hurt. The whole first half of the race Emily kept trying to give me encouragement and tips and I would shoot off something sarcastic back. As we turned that corner at mile 9 things kinda switched. See Emily had a knee injury that took her out of training for awhile. She didn’t expect to make it more than 4 miles, but felt pretty good and kept going. Until mile 9. We did walk/run intervals for mile 9 and then after the turnaround at mile 10 she just couldn’t go anymore. This was somewhere around 2:00 or 2:20. We ended up walking the last 3 miles. She urged me to go on without her, but I couldn’t just leave her there! We were going to finish this together. So we walked. I got a charlie horse in my calf and she had to stop to stretch a few times but we mostly just kept walking.
We finished in 3:33. I didn’t PR, but we finished. Together.
*cue sappy song*
I figure if I was ONLY 10 Minutes slower than I was last year… and I walked the last 3 miles, I am certainly FAR faster and more fit than I was last year.
I now have one month to pick my training back up before the Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Half Marathon. I hear that is a challenging course because of all the bridges you run. Awesome. Any tips for training for another race so close to this one? Also, If you are looking for some motivation to get out there and run be sure to check out the newest #RunFor video! (and check out the other videos too – last week’s was my favorite so far!)
I’m so proud of Emily for pushing through and finishing her first half marathon! I had a blast and know that if I plan on running this race again I’m going to need some more hill training!
Did you run a race this weekend? SO many people were out at this race and I didn’t get to see them – dang crowds!