The Marquette Marathon & Half Marathon take place in Marquette, MI. This year, the race fell on my dad’s 54th birthday- September 3rd, 2016. My parents had been planning to run this race as their first marathon for a long time. Two other athletes I coach would also be running Marquette as their first marathon. I knew it would be great to be there to support everyone. I decided to wait until August to sign up for any of the races. I realized the half marathon would be my best option 5 weeks out from TC Marathon. It would serve as a good “test of fitness”. Jason did the 5k 😉
The week leading up to September 3rd, 2016 was a whirlwind. It was Jason’s 30th Birthday & WE SIGNED ON A NEW HOUSE!
Friday September 2nd rolls around, and we are able to hit the road after working most of the day around 1:30pm
The drive took about 7.5 hours, and we lost an hour from a timezone change. We got to our hotel around 9pm.
So much for carbo- loading. We ate gasstation food then stayed up until 11pm. It was not ideal for racing the next day, but I tried not to “get inside my own head”.
I was very aprehensive going into this half. Why?
March 2016- 1:29:02
June 2016- 1:31:30 (2.5 min slower)
March 2016- 1:32:30 (3.5 min slower)
May 2016- 1:33:30 (4.5 min slower)
Every time I have “raced” a half marathon since I set my PR 18 months ago, I have SLOWED down. I almost convienced myself to “not even try” and just “do it as a workout”. I was feeling discouraged, but I decided I would rather fail again than not try.
Ever hear that “running is a mental sport”? It really is.
Gun goes off, there were at least 30 people in front of me including many women. I was going to “run my own race”.
I was informed that the women’s winning time last year was 1:19. Placing, in my mind was 100% out of the question. I tried to go SLOWER than I usually do at the beginning and not even pay attention to anyone else.
I set the screen of my garmin to only see my heart rate, and I just ran what felt “comfortable, but hard”
Mile 1- 7:09 – Slow slow slow. this was all in a dirt trail. Footing was weird. I was not expecting that kind of terrain, but I decided to just go with it
Mile 2- 6:49 Passed a person or 5. Pace felt very easy, and my heart rate was still in the 148-153 area. Just getting warmed up 😉
Mile 3- 6:49 Passed 2 women and gave my mom a hug who was at mile 8-9 of her marathon!
Mile 4- 6:50 There were some rolling hills here- still completely on a dirt trail. It was starting to get a bit harder, so I eased up on the effort level.
Mile 5- 6:39 Ran past my dad in his marathon! I also caught up with some guy who was going at a great pace, and I decided to run right next to him. It was great to have a passing partner.
Mile 6- 6:31 The course has a 3-4 mile downhill section here, and I was feeling freaking amazing. I was in such high spirits. It felt incredible & still running next to that guy 🙂
Mile 7- 6:26 I could not stop smiling! Neal Collick (Superior Runner) who Jason and I met at the Boston marathon in 2015 was taking pictures along the course, and I think I shouted something like “I love this course”
Mile 8- 6:10 When I saw this mile click in, I was half confused and half estatic. Did I seriously just run a 6:10 mile? I started to wonder what sort of time I was on pace for. When I changed my garmin screen, I realized that if I just ran the next 5.1 miles @ 7:00 pace, I would meet my PR
Mile 9- 6:23 We turned off the downhill section, and I KNEW I needed to dig deep if I wanted a 1:28. This was the time I needed to GO
Mile 10- 6:30 It was about 10:06am right now. It was getting really hot. We were no longer in the trial, and I was starting to feel nausea. I needed to keep pushing for just 22 more min! I fought the pain
Mile 11- 6:56 Everything was hurting so bad. I was afraid to push too hard through here because I knew it was an uphill finish, and I needed to conserve for that
Mile 12- 7:02 The nausea was getting bad, and I just tried to dig as deep as I could!
Mile 13- 7:20– 150ft gain the last 1000 meters. It was SO brutal, but I was determined to PR.
FINISH- 1:28:10 6:43 per miles 1st woman 15th overall
When I heard the announcer at the finish line “here comes our first female in the half marathon”, I thought there was some sort of mistake. I had literally no idea that I was in first place. It was a cool surprise
After 18 months, I finally ran a personal best in the half marathon! Hard work always pays off even if it takes longer than you hope/expect.
Don’t give up on a dream just because of the time it will take. The time will pass either way. Wouldn’t you rather spend it working towards it?
After finishing, Jason and I immediately went to cheer on my parents who were at mile 18 of the full marathon! It might for a great “cool down” adding on an additional 3-4 miles.
We then went to the finish to cheer on my athlete’s Jessica & Amanda! These girls went from non-runners to MARATHON FINISHERS! They BOTH work full time AND have young kid(s) at home! They are a true example of hard work paying off. It’s never to late to pick up the sport!
We were also able to watch my parents finish their first marathon! This is the craziest thing. Back in 2011 when I started running compeitively, my family was border-line confused by my insanity. Why would someone run every day? Eventually my mom wanted to run a 5k.. A 5k turned into a 10k.. A 10k turned into a 10 miler…I remember she used to say “I could never run a half marathon”.. Then she got diagnosised with cancer.
She beat cancer after 6 months of chemo and a lot of surgeries. It sucks. I won’t sugar coat it. Cancer sucks, and it sucks for everyone involved. No one should have to deal with it, but she did, and she came out stronger!
I think both of my parents came out stronger from it because within a few months of being “cancer free”, my mom ran her first half marathon & my dad (who had never ran a step in his life) ran his first 5k! Obviously, the caught the running bug. It has been neat to coach them and see them transform into marathon finishers. It’s funny because now I am looking at them thinking THEY are the crazy ones. LOL
It was SO awesome watching 4 people I coached finish their first marathon. It is such an amazing accomplishment, and something they will remember for the rest of their lives! Its a life changing experience, and I think it makes you more confident in yourself and others