Jeff Winter City Of Lakes Half Marathon Race Recap

I’d like to preface this post by saying that a good night’s sleep is everything. Every F’in Thing.

There are a few ways I can tell I slept like a log. First, I had the most vivid dreams. Second, my #Fitbit alarm woke me from a deep slumber. Third, when that alarm went off, I literally hopped out of bed. Finally, my husband told me I’m way to chipper for 6:00 am.

Yeah…that is a good night’s sleep.

And let’s just add that a September morning in Minnesota that starts out with sunshine and temperatures in the 40s CANNOT be beat. If it didn’t just all come together for me this day…with one exception…good ol’ Aunt Flo. But I didn’t let her deter me. There were no symptoms whatsoever, so I just shrugged it off. In fact, some of my best runs have come the same morning of that time of the month. No biggie.

I wasn’t sure if my husband would even come to this run. He had taken the girls to a late movie the night before and had to pick them up, too. But, he stumbled out of the bedroom at 6:00 am, a half hour after I got out of bed. He was even cordial enough to sleep in the guest room knowing I needed my Z’s. What a guy!

I pretty much had everything ready to go. I just had to print out a map to the start line and make a thermos of Bulletproof Coffee for the morning. Because I knew now that he was tagging along, I saved my throw away jacket for another time and brought a along a better one since I had a human coat rack and bag check guy driving me there.

We arrived in plenty of time, but the parking was a little scarce so my husband dropped me at the start area where I could collect my bib and chip. It was an abrupt drop off, so I had to chug down my Energybits and Sports Legs capsules and think quick to be sure I had everything I needed from the car. I was quite sure I was OK. Well, I’d have to be, I guess.

There were no lines at the bib area and plenty of potties but I was grateful I didn’t need them. The chip we got was the kind that attaches to your sneaker with plastic ties that gets ripped off at the end of the race to be turned in, so I dropped to the cement to put it on. I hadn’t put on my singlet yet because I had my Delaney bib on the back, and still needed to put my race bib on the front. I didn’t want to mess up the bibs with my jacket. So after I got that chip on, and attached my race bib to the singlet, I shed my jacket to put on that tank. Damn, it was chilly! Back on went the jacket in a hurry. And just then, the hubster showed up. We walked off to find the start line.

Start Line Photo

Start Line Photo

There was plenty of lead time. About 15 minutes to spare…so we did some people watching and enjoyed the scenery. This race was going to be run around two of the most pristine lakes right in the Minneapolis metro, Lake Harriet and Lake Calhoun. My husband always used to tell me, “If you want to get mugged, go ahead and run around that Lake Calhoun!” I don’t know…I just don’t see it. The route is gorgeous. And the views are spectacular, especially on a morning like this with an amazing breeze and bright sunshine.

The MDRA Elite Running Crowd

The MDRA Elite Running Crowd

He took my picture and mentioned again my outrageously great mood (thanks to the outrageously good night’s sleep), and we discussed and admired some outrageously fit older people running this event. It was another MDRA sponsored run, and you could tell these runners were here for business. There would be no age group placing for me today. My goal was to get through the 13.1 miles with little fanfare. I was hoping to practice my nasal breathing and work on a negative split, plus keep the ol’ ticker down below 190. I don’t know why my heart rate gets so high during race events. I just have to assume it is a cortisol effect or something. Who the hell knows. But it can’t be good. If I can average 180 or less, I’m pretty happy.

I’ve also been questioning whether I could maintain an 8:01 pace for Chicago. I figured if I had a good run today, a 7:30 average pace should be about right. I’d drive out of Minneapolis a happy girl knowing that I just have to get through the two long runs in my schedule, and Chicago should be a proverbial piece of cake.

So, I had all this stuff on my head at the start line…or did I? I don’t think it was. I was just hanging with the crowd in a very narrow start corral and before I knew it we were off and running. I was a little worried about not being up front, but this was a fast group. It didn’t take more than a half mile before the speedsters were already way ahead of me, and I had plenty of elbow room.

I’m grateful I didn’t warm up too much before the event. This forces me to start slow…and I did…and I didn’t care. By mile 3, I was just about up to pace. Then I just told myself to settle into it. I did this every 2 miles or so…speeding up just a notch, then settling in…speeding up just a notch, then settling in.

This run was a two looper. Sometimes I don’t mind that, especially on an unfamiliar course. I learned a lot on the first round. There was a killer hill at mile 2, (about mile 8 on the second loop) and one just before mile 7 (the finish on the second loop). I quickly filed that information in the ol’ noggin. I was able to regergitate it on the second go around and play it smart. I wasn’t overly winded at the end, yet I was able to pour it on. And I didn’t start out too fast as I was able to speed up every two miles or so. My brain was functioning as it should. I even felt the ketones kick in every time I asked my body for more. Literally amazing!

Passing the hubster.

Passing the hubster.

I passed my husband on round one and waved as he snapped some photos. It is always nice to have someone you know cheering you on. There were quite a few on lookers at this event, as it was in such a popular area, especially on a beautiful Sunday morning. Honestly, one of the best races I’ve run in a long time. I had no complaints.

Two lowly Energybits.

Two lowly Energybits.

I fueled somewhere after seeing my husband as well. I had 20 Energybits and a Sports Legs capsule in a baggie ready to go. It wasn’t until I was in the car I realized that two got left behind.

My husband got this beauty, too!

My husband got this beauty, too!

I had no trouble picking up my stride and flying in at the end of the race. It was pretty exhilarating, and seeing that I again finished under 1:40:00 was a great bonus!

Runmeter Data

Runmeter Data

We went and found the food afterwards, where I donated my Great Harvest Gluten Filled Cookie to my human coat hanger, and I grabbed my loot. I asked for an extra medal for Delaney, and they were happy to oblige! Thanks so much, #MDRA!

Jeff Winter City Of Lakes Half Marathon

Jeff Winter City Of Lakes Half Marathon

Small expectations, big relief. Chicago, here we come!

3 Responses to Jeff Winter City Of Lakes Half Marathon Race Recap

  1. Kim Hatting says:

    WOW! You are fast! Great recap…love the idea of having the bed to yourself the night before a race! I have a snoring husband (who is in denial), so I seldom get a good nights sleep before my early mornings. Human coat rack… 😉 Good luck in Chicago!!

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