I hope everyone had a great 4th of July and found some cool runs to run and races to race. I decided to do the Hungry Duck half in downtown Brighton, MI. This was my 4th half marathon and it was on the 4th, that’s like double rainbow special. Also a quick shout out to my dad the big H.D. for getting off of work at 5:00AM and getting to Brighton to watch Chase since Jamie had to work and there was no way I was gonna get a PR pushing the little guy.
This was also the first half marathon that I have ever planned and trained for. If you have been following my blog you would remember that I just kinda showed up the day of or learned about the race the day before. I always used them as training runs. My wife Jamie even dropped me off six miles from the finish line and followed me while I ran the end of the race. I heard it was hilly and I didn’t want any surprises.
The Hungry Duck was the first race I actually had a plan for. Magic Mike Anderson and I had been planning to run this thing at 5:15 pace. He had a PR of 69:35 and mine was 69:34, 5:18 pace. I had my leg speed like always and he had strength since he was running 130 – 140 miles per week. There was no way we weren’t going to both rock this.
Mike and I said “Let’s stick to the plan for the first 8 miles then just go nuts from there.” You set it up this was because you’re both racers and everyone wants to win but you need each other to get through the bulk of the race. Corey and I had done the same thing in the Steeplechase several times. Work together for 6 laps then race the last 600 meters.
Race day was here and I was not nervous at all…I had been so excited to run this race I was like a kid at Christmas. I even texted Savedes “I feel like I paid for this PR already, I just need to go pick it up.” My dad was here and Chase was behaving to an extent. The weather was almost perfect.
I did make one last minuet decision and NOT wear racing flats. My foot had been bugging me a little so I wore my trainers. I know a shoe like that could cost me 2 seconds per mile and over 13.1 miles that’s around 26 seconds. I also thought not finishing because of foot pain will suck even more.
HOT DAMN…runners take your mark. Let’s do this! The horn blows and we take off. After a solid five seconds Magic and I are all alone. You immediately begin to analyse your body, making sure your breathing is good, the legs don’t feel heavy, no little ache or pain in the joints and tendons…everything seems to be good. Mike and I begin to make small talk. He had a Gramin on so I kept telling him to make sure we don’t go out in 5:00 min mile and blow up. We wanted to keep the first between 5:15 and 5:20 just get things going.
Up and over the overpass, turn down the dirt road for a quick out and back, 5:15 first mile BOOM! Right back out to the main road and everything seems good. Mike was a step behind me and I noticed that our pace slowed a tad. So I said “Hey we just slowed down.” Mike comfortingly replied “I’m done.” I hastily shouted “Are you F–King kidding me.” Mike replied “Nope.” I thought to myself “FML and that’s what happens when you run 76 miles in the three days leading up to the race.” I looked up at the first hill, put my head down, and took off.
68:12 5:12 pace 1Min. 21 Second PR
Running the last six miles of this course, two days earlier, made such a huge difference. When you are tired and getting rocked by hills, it’s nice to know how many you have left, so it’s ok to max on this hill because you have half a mile to recover before the next one. It just keeps you in such a better mental state when you are fatigued.
I also made the correct decision with the shoes. My foot started to hurt at 10 miles and I knew had I wore flats it would have started much sooner and the pain would have become excruciating. It was soo cool running to the finish seeing my dad and son there. Chase was in his stroller wide eyed and smiling from ear to ear. I was so happy. I don’t think he had ever seen me finish a race before.
I would love to see a picture of me finishing with Chase and my dad there on the side lines…but I think all of those people taking pics of the race must have forgot to upload them anywhere on the internet. If you happen to have a picture please send to me over Facebook.