Grandma’s Marathon 2012: My Second Half Marathon Experience
Grandma’s Marathon 2012 is in the record books. Runners, volunteers, spectators mark your calendars for June 22, 2013. The 37th annual Grandma’s Marathon.
Last year I ran my first 1/2 Marathon, and wrote about my experience. This year was entirely different.
After running my first half marathon without training in 2011, I knew that I wanted to train for the 2012 half marathon. I mean, 13.1 miles without training again? I wouldn’t recommend it. At all. Going down stairs and trying to sit was nearly impossible for weeks afterward. Every inch of my body was sore. What was I thinking?
This year I decided to follow the Grandma’s Marathon Garry Bjorklund 1/2 Marathon Novice Training Program. Thankfully I had a co-worker who was also training for the half, and we trained together. Now, even the novice training program suggested running 6 days a week. Which I didn’t quite make. Six days a week is a lot of running! I diligently kept track of how many miles I ran and almost always made time to run at least 3 days a week. Not quite the suggested 6, but as a wife and mother of three with a full time job I did what I could. After the first couple weeks of running, I knew I was hooked. I actually started to look forward to getting to the gym and hopping on the
As June 16th quickly approached, I set a goal for myself. I knew I’d try to run most of the 1/2 marathon, and I wanted to finish in less than three hours. For most runners, that would be a pretty easy goal. But I’m carrying a few extra pounds than most runners. But thanks to my running I dropped a few of those extra pounds!
Saturday morning I woke up at 2 am. On the couch. I don’t know what happened, but my husband and I sat down to watch a little TV before bed, and next thing I knew my hip was killing me and I had a horrible crick in my neck. I rolled over, set my alarm for 4am, and tossed and turned for a couple hours. (Yes, on the couch. I knew that if I climbed into bed I’d never want to get out.)
I felt a lot better than I did last year about running. I knew that I had trained this year, and that I’d do better than I did last year. My goal last year was to avoid being hauled off the course for being too slow.
As the bus pulled up to the 1/2 marathon starting point at 6:05 am, I was more excited than nervous. I had someone to run with this year. I was wearing an amazing lime green shirt. I had some pretty awesome shoes. And I felt ready.
Next thing I knew, the people ahead of me started moving. We were off! And I was so far back, I didn’t even hear the gun. I wasn’t scared or nervous this time. I was ready.
By the time I hit the 5K mark, I knew we were going at a pretty good pace. I actually crossed the 5K mark with a time comparable to my Fitger’s 5K time, and I still had 10 miles to go!
Unfortunately, I had to make a porta potty break about 5 miles in. That added about 7 minutes to my time. I stopped and said “hi” to my kids on Superior Street. Gave them all a sweaty hug, took a picture, and I was off again. That added a few minutes to my time.
The first time I really walked was through a water station downtown. I knew that my ability to drink water up to that point was bad. Not because I couldn’t, but it’s hard to run and drink at the same time. But I also knew that if I didn’t, I could end up seriously dehydrated.
As I came around the corner by the aquarium with the Vista in sight, I knew my spirits would be lifted by Jeanne and the sweet sound of Mix 108!
I ran past the William A. Irvin, and knew that I was less than a half mile from the finish. I allowed myself to walk for 30 seconds, so I could finish strong. Once I passed under the Lake Avenue bridge, I knew it was almost over and I picked up my pace. I felt so much better at that point than I did last year. The cheering down the last stretch was so loud I couldn’t hear my music. Although I am not an elite runner, or even considered a “great” runner, the crowd was still cheering for me and everyone around me. It was awesome! And just like that, it was over. I was done. After running almost every single step of the 13.1 miles, I was done, and I felt great. Better than great! I stretched, got my finisher shirt, and made my way to the food!
I made my goal of a time under 3 hours. My official chip time was 2:46:20. Last year I finished in 3:09:12.
I’m officially hooked on half marathons. Now with my second ever Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon under my belt, I’ll be back again next year. With a goal of under 2:20!