2016 (49th) Churchill’s Half Marathon recap

Hi!  If you haven’t heard yet, I’m giving away two free entries to the Glass City Marathon (5K, half, or full)… more info on that here!

When we crossed the finish at this race, we discussed with Walt Churchill that 2017 was going to be the Churchill’s half 50th!  Yep, Walt, the man who started this race 49 years ago, is at the finish line passing out the medals when you cross that line.  How cool is that?

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To take a back a few hours, this race is not only the oldest race in our area, it’s also a unique race because it’s a point to point race.  Around 8am we loaded on the bus which took us to Start Line.  It was a cold morning (29 degrees!), so the warm bus felt great!

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I decided to wear arm warmers, short sleeve and capris – but also to wear a top layer because it just felt freaking FREEZING outside.  Those sunglasses were very handy.  Full sun during the race!

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Representing GCM!! LOVE that race shirt.

 

Even better is the fact that we get to wait inside a high school for the race to start.  Lots of tables to sit at in the cafeteria and clean bathrooms!  The marching band even provides entertainment for the runners as they wait!

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I met up with fellow Glass City Marathon Ambassadors…

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Gotta say, us ladies are all wearing Newtons!! Yeah team!

 

And the ladies from our Moms/She Runs this Town group…

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I have made such great friends in this group!

 

At 9:00am, the race started and we were off.  I didn’t really have a goal for this race other than to run sub 2 hrs.  This race has challenged me in the past with it’s hills starting around mile 9.  The hills are very similar to some of those on the Boston course.  I tried to get some training in on the hills, but for me, it’s never enough.  That hill training also seems to make my glute issue flare up again (that 12 miler last weekend felt like I had run 22!!!!) so I was concerned how that situation would hold out today.  Alan joined me for this race becuase he has also been struggling with glute pain, but today he was merely my running buddy and not my pacing partner.  (whew, the pressure was off!!)

As we went through our first mile I took that dreaded first glance at my watch.  Isn’t that the worst??  I mean, you have a feeling if you’re running too hard or too easy just by the way you feel out of the chute.  I felt like I was running slow.  It didn’t feel easy, but I feared I would be disappointed.  I expected to see a 9:30 on my watch.  Dang – it was 8:23!!  That was a little fast, but I was pleasantly very surprised.  On a good day I hoped to run 8:30 pace so I told Alan to slow down a little a few times in that mile.  My early miles clocked in very nicely… 8:27, 8:22, 8:20  Around mile 2 I also peeled off my top shirt so the cooler feeling was perfect!

By the time I reached my first water stop I was having issues drinking because I just don’t drink from cups anymore!  I mean, I usually carry water and I didn’t for this race (due to it’s “whatever” goal) so the concept of getting liquids only in my mouth was causing me some problems and I got water on my front, and up my nose.  Mile 4: 8:36  

The next miles were clicking off nicely too:  Miles 5-7: 8:25, 8:33, 8:35  Another water stop put me at 8:45 for mile 8.  I had to stop and chug!  I really missed carrying water :(

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At mile 9 we started into the up and down hilly area.  Mile 9: 8:33, Mile 10: 8:44, Mile 11: 8:59.  Mile 12 was my slowest as we tackled the steepest hill of the course = 9:21.  I had forgotten that I should expect a minute slower for that area.  For the sake of “keeping it real”, I will tell you that at the end of that hill, I walked for 5 seconds at the top of the hill!  I was exhausted and spent, and gave myself just 5 seconds to pull it together, and get back at it!

My final mile was 8:45 (phew, so tired!!!) and I managed to make a feeble attempt at a finish line sprint at 8:26 for the final .1 miles.

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Finish line photos… ugh, the struggle is real!! (haha, nice pic)

 

I happily accepted my medal, and headed to the beer tent to celebrate with friends.  Very excited to see they were serving Glass City Glory, the beer I named.  (what, you haven’t heard that story yet??)

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My time was 1:53:52.  While it wasn’t close to a PR (1:47), or even a time with a “1:4x” in it, it was a best for me on this course and I was happy to run a great time without having any concern for my pace.  That gives me hope!!  It was also great to have Alan run with me and NOT be pacing me.  Love the guy, but a person can only hear “you need to speed up a little” so many times during a race before wanting to punch someone.  hahaha!!

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Oh, and we put some fun signs out along the course too.  Love a little encouragement along the way!!  This one was for Todd, the race director.  Thanks for the challenge Todd!

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This is at the start of the steepest hill. So true.

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How about you…

Q:  Did you run Churchill’s?  How was your race?

Q:  What are your ideal racing conditions?

Q:  Did you enter my giveaway yet?? :)  You can enter =>  here

 

6 Comments

    • The contest came down to “BQ Brew” (my husband’s entry), “26.2 Brew”, and my entry. I think mine was all encompassing for the range of events. Very fun to have won!!

  1. Alan Willford

    What? I thought you loved when I would constantly tell you that we needed to slow down, speed up, or were going to miss the goal if you didn’t push yourself harder! ha

  2. Congrats on a great race! I love the sign – it made me smile. I can imagine seeing it during a race brought smiles to many tired faces.

    My husband was never one for running unless it was a group activity (like Army PT) or there was a “purpose” to it (i.e. playing soccer), but we discovered that, as much as I love him and love running…the two didn’t mix. His INSANELY long stride made it look like he was walking next to me and he would ask me if I was doing okay, or tell me I was doing great and it made me want to smack him. I find I do much better as a solitary runner. :O)
    Megan @ Lazy Runner Girl recently posted…Belated Weekend ReportMy Profile

    • It is hard to find a good running partner. My husband runs a lot faster than me, but he’ll slow it down for my races. The slower pace is sometimes hard for him on the longer distances. It’s a different stride for sure!

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