Sunday, July 22, 2012

An Epic Weekend

Spent the weekend in Chicago to run the Chicago Rock n Roll Half Marathon on Sunday.  All I can say is WOW!!  What an awesome weekend.  Had a couples weekend with Becky and Russell.  First of all this weekend was special to me.  I'll get to that in a minute.  We had been planning on this couples weekend for quite a while and it was finally here.  Melissa and I got to spend it with an amazing couple, Becky and Russell.  What a lot of fun. 

One of the reasons this weekend was so special was because last year this race was the first half marathon I had ever ran.  I wore a sign on my back because I ran that race for Becky last year.  Becky was one of the reasons I started running in the first place.  I always saw all her posts and it motivated me to get off my butt and run.  My hope was just to be able to keep up with her one day. She wasn't able to run that race because of being diagnosed with Melanoma.  This year was different.  She was there and ready to run!!  A year later and we are ready to run!!

I have been in what I call a slump for sometime now.  Hadn't had a PR in the half marathon since I broke into the 1:30's for my one and only time at the Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon in November 2011.  It was 45 degrees that day.  Lets just say this day would prove to be about double that temperature.

We got to go to the expo which I was extremely excited about.  Not only was I going to get some cool free stuff but I was going to meet my running idol Dean Karnazas!!  I hope I didn't do something stupid while talking to him.  Finally got the chance to talk to him.  He was really nice.  Got to talk to him for a few minutes.  He signed my bib, personalized a poster and told me I was AWESOME!!  That's cool, even Dean thinks I'm Awesome.  Must have been the shirt I was wearing!!  That is something I will never forget.

I want to first give a shout out to my wife Melissa.  She finished with her second best Half Marathon time ever and her best time this year with a 2:35:45.  So proud of you honey!!

Becky finished with a time of 2:16:35.  You Rock Becky!!  You're a run nerd too!!

On to race day.  You know I have had my good pick of races.  Sure know how to pick the hot ones.  Today was no different. It was looking to be 90 degrees again today.  I was going to take a different strategy with this race.  Take it a little slower at the beginning and not try to run a PR for the 5k like I usually start the half marathons.  Ease into it and see what I could do.  I learned this from the Ultra Marathon and it worked well.  Started off really good.  About mile 4 however I just wasn't feeling it but I kept pushing.  The longer I went the easier it got till I finally hit mile 10.  This is the mile I tend to loose it at.  I always have a PR in my sights but for some reason the last few races I had nothing left after mile 10.  Probably because I went out way to fast in previous races.  This day would prove to be different.  3.1 miles left.  Only a 5k and that is exactly how I treated it.  Last 3 miles were.7:35, 7:13 and 7:19.  Some of my 3 best miles of the whole race.  I finished the race with a NEW PR!!  Finally out of my slump.  It's crazy too because I haven't done any speed work whatsoever for over 2 months.  Whatever the reason, it worked and I felt great after the race.  In fact, the best I have ever felt after a race and I could have went more.  I felt Awesome!!  Finished with a 1:37:31 which was a new PR by over a minute.  Finished 351 out of 14881 overall, 47 out of 995 in my division, and 295 out of 5883 in my gender.  I would say I had an Epic Day and an Epic weekend.  One I will never forget.

Mike