Race Report: Mankato Marathon-Half 2016

I finished the half distance at the Mankato Marathon on October 16th with a time of 2:10:32.

That’s about 40 seconds behind my PR from 2013 (2:09:53) and a little faster than my last half (2:12). I was hoping to finally beat 2 hours or at least get a PR, but I can’t complain that only 7 months postpartum I raced the same speed as pre-baby. I’ll keep working towards my goal. Sometimes it takes a few failures to learn how to grow.

Here are my mile splits from my watch:

  1. 8:54
  2. 9:25
  3. 9:26
  4. 9:28
  5. 9:10
  6. 9:06
  7. 9:46
  8. 10:18
  9. 10:22
  10. 10:03
  11. 11:29
  12. 11.14
  13. 10:56

I went quite a bit behind the 9:10 pacer, but still was fast the first mile. Then I kept hitting just under 9:30, though my goal was 9:15. I couldn’t get down to that until miles 5 and 6, where there was a huge downhill, so I readjusted and was going to shoot for a 2:05 finish, which would still be a PR. Mile 7 was a hill that slowed me down. Thankfully, that is where the BLC XC team was cheering so I got a little pumped up from that.

Unfortunately, I seemed to not be able to recover after the hill. My legs suddenly started to get heavy. Did I go too fast on the downhill? Or maybe I just started way faster than I should have. I had been going down to 8:30-8:00 min miles in training (not on long runs though) and did an average pace of 9:00 min in a 5k only halfway through my training plan so I thought I’d be able to manage. But I must have miscalculated.

Miles 11, 12, and 13 are a loop that I’ve always had trouble with at this race, another reason I wanted to try and be a bit faster before, knowing I’d slow down there, but I wasn’t expecting to slow down that much. That section is a lot of small hills that crushed me since I had already been seeing slower times and having heavy legs. I tried to get faster but my legs would not respond.

The last half a mile I tried to cautiously speed up because I started getting chills. I’m not sure if that was just being sweaty and the wind making me feel cool or because my body was not responding well. I was nervous about pushing too hard and having something crazy happen like passing out, but luckily, I never felt dizzy and had no issue!

It is a million times more difficult preparing as a mother, especially with an infant. Training had to be at random times, usually late afternoon, when in the past I’d always run in the morning. Sometimes runs would have to be rushed, moved, or cut short to feed or take care of Oliver. Recovery was more difficult because I’d have to wake up multiple times a night to feed and snuggle Oliver. Immediate preparation before the race was hard having to take care of him Even post race, we had to rush to a hotel so I could pump. It is just an extra piece I have to calculate as I prepare. It’s tough, but I’m happy I have such a cute cheerleader.

Following the race, Ezekiel handed Oliver to me so I was able to take a picture with him and my medal while feeling even more triumphant walking around with him in my arms. It was one of the hardest races I’ve run so far, but I’m glad I did it. It is the farthest I’ve gone since giving birth.

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Today my legs are so sore. As much as I hate them, I’m glad I took an ice bath so it wasn’t as bad. My toe hurts the most. For the first time I got a black nail. Now I’m a real runner, right? Hahaha. Probably the new shoes weren’t broken in enough.

If you have any tips for how I can improve, comment below!

Oliver got to race as well in a Diaper Dash that was going on the day before. He looked like he might crawl a little, but ended up laying on the mat. Maybe it was comfortable?

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