Happy weekend everyone! I'm going to use this week's Fitness-themed Friday Five with Mar, Courtney, and Cynthia to recap my latest race.
The Medina Half Marathon took place Saturday, May 28 at 6:45 am in Medina, Ohio. I ran Medina last year, told myself it was a one and done (too many turns! too many hills!), but at the end of March I signed up to run it again. The course is tough, but there is something about the cute town square and great crowd support that made it impossible for me to stay away.
|Swag on the hotel bed. I love the shirt.|
|(This was actually taken after the race.)|
We arrived and parked in the free garage around 6:10. (Parking is a breeze for this race.) I used a porta potty, then we walked across the town square so I could use the indoor public bathroom. The lines for both bathroom areas were very reasonable and moved quickly. Around 6:35 announcements were made to line up. I said goodbye to Alex, started my podcast (Running on Om), and lined up near the 2:10 pacers.
My goal was to finish faster than last year (2:18). In the back of my mind I really wanted something under 2:15... and I knew if I didn't walk I could easily run a 2:10. Even though I'm not in peak shape (no way I could sub-2 on this course!), my baseline fitness is better than last year. Unfortunately, it was 68 degrees with 89% humidity at the start (76 degrees and 76% humidity at the end). So, weather + hills = a tough race
|Course map: Really, the worst thing is all of the turning|
After the national anthem and announcements I couldn't hear, we were off! I maintained an even pace, but got ahead of the 2:10 group. I knew it wouldn't be sustainable in the later hills, but I figured I'd make up time at the start. These first few miles only felt difficult because of the heat. I tried to drink my water every half mile and keep moving and we wound our way through a few neighborhoods. We didn't encounter full sun until the first hill around mile 3. Phew, it was hot.
Miles 1-4: 9:23, 9:32, 9:32, 9:28
Mile 5 was part asphalt and part gravel as we turned off the road to head towards Lake Medina. The lake is beautiful and this part of the course was different than last year. Instead of running out to the road we cut across some grass and ran on a lower path. This switchback/lower trail had a teeny tiny bit of shade, so I tried to hug the right side to stay out of the sun. At 6.2 we crossed a timing mat and came up to a water stop and gel station. I decided to walk and eat my gel. I walked! Already! This is where they took out the steep "big hill," but turns out they just replaced it with a long big hill. We were in full sun and so many people were walking already.
I walked again at 7 and without the excuse of eating my gel I knew it was a bad sign. I texted Alex "7. walking. dying." I realized I was starting to get dehydrated so I drank more water, then began running. The 2:10 pacers caught me around mile 8. I ran with them for a bit, but lost them.
Miles 5-8: 10:06, 9:49, 10:48, 10:43
Because I'm just going to moan about the heat, here's a rundown of things from mile 9–12:
- At every water stop I took a cup of water and poured it over my head. I also drank Gatorade. I think this helped me stay alive!
- I went through every sprinkler or hose offered.
- At 11 I texted Alex: "11. walking. I have to pee. Dry lips. I'm salty."
- Did I mention how hot it was?
- And that we were in full sun for a majority of the second half?
- Everyone around me took short walk breaks. That made me feel better.
- At 11 I looked at my watch and realized even if I walked most of the final two miles I would beat 2:18.
- I'd probably be embarrassed about all the walking if I didn't have my sub-2 earlier in the spring. Like, "Guys I promise I can run a whole 13.1!"
Miles 9-end: 11:17 (!), 10:49, 11:02, 12:17 (!), 9:54
|My first race photo purchase ever! ($8 each)|
I collected my bee-utiful medal and met a Oiselle teammate. I was kind of brain dead, but she (Chelsea) was so nice! I grabbed my bag full of post-race food, then found Alex, and walked over to a shady bench and sat my butt down. We talked to an older dude for a while about the difficult weather and our love for Medina despite the difficult weather and course. After drinking my chocolate milk, toweling off, and changing into flip flops, Alex and I walked over to the beer and pizza after party. There were two shandy options and I have to admit even though I like beer, I don't really like it after a long run, but the grapefruit shandy hit the spot!
|After party for a good cause! (Stand Up for Downs)|
Yeah, it's a tough course for me and I definitely needed hill training. And sure, the weather was challenging. But whatever. I had a relatively good time and I'm proud that I cut 4 minutes off last year without much prep! I'm definitely in better shape overall and I think if I wasn't so burnt out on running in the weeks leading up to Medina I would have finished under 2:10. Dare I sign up for next year's race...?
Final Time: 2:13:58
Overall: 418/789 (53%)
Gender: 196/439 (45%)
Age Group: 43/75 (57%) (grrrrr)
|The medals are amazing. 2015 and 2016.|
Up Next: Alex's goal race: the Clear Creek 10k trail run tomorrow. I have no idea what to expect because there isn't an elevation chart. Luckily, I don't really care about my finish time or overall placement. I'm in it for the sweet fox shirt.