I wasn’t sure if I was going to run this race. I started out on an 18 week training plan for the Glass City full marathon, but in the last 6 weeks of the plan I had developed a hamstring injury which caused a painful glute. It really slowed me down and made running a challenge. Running went from a fun thing, to a dreadful thing. I decided to drop down to the half marathon, and cut back on distance, and eliminate speedwork. The week prior to the race was super busy, and a good distraction from the race. On the night before the race I still debated going. Would this race just make the hamstring issue worse and it was a bad idea? Race morning was going to be cold, dark, and I would be going by myself because Alan was injured. But in the end I decided to give it a go, with no expectations. This was my 12th year running Glass City… my 6th half marathon here, and I’ve also run the full marathon here 6 times!
I set my alarm for 4:40am and was out the door by 5:20. Parking at the University of Toledo was quite easy at that time, so I was glad I got there early. The temps were 39. Did I pick the right outfit? I decided on warm arm sleeves with a shirt under my Run Toledo singlet. I also wore knickers, which are always a good medium between shorts and leggings!
Race start was at 6:30am, but at 6:15 I was still waiting in line for porta potties. The line wasn’t super long, but it was only for 5 potties, and the line was slow. One of the race volunteers, my friend, reminded us that there were potties near all of the corrals at the start line. I asked if the lines were shorter, and he said “yeah, they’re good”. So I hopped out of line since I still had to leave a bag at gear check.
Much to my chagrin the lines were twice as long down the street by the start line! But, they were for twice the number of potties… so, a win? At least they were moving faster. However, time was ticking away and when the start gun went off, I was still waiting in the potty line. By the time I was done, all of the corrals had already started. It was unavoidable, I had to use the potty! I went to the start line and was one of the last people to start the race at 6:37am.
Starting in the back of the race really turned out to be a blessing! Sure I had to weave around people, but it was going to keep my pace slower which would be a good thing. I had zero goals for this race other than to not make my inquiries worse, so I was taking it easy, not paying attention to my pace. I was shocked when my first miles clicked off at 9:07, 9:00, 8:55! I didn’t think I was going to be faster than a 9:30 pace at this race and I was feeling good. No pain! What a great surprise!
As the miles clicked off my pace remained pretty consistent. I wasn’t paying attention to my watch, mostly just running around people in my path. It was a fun rush of energy to pass people and also see my friends who were pacers. I think I ended up passing people all the way through the first 10 miles of the race!
We made our way through the hilly parts of the course and my pace slowed just a little, but I don’t remember the race feeling hard at any point. It’s really fun not to be pushing myself!
As we got down to the final 5K I started thinking maybe I should have paid a little more attention to my pace because I was going to be close to a 2:00 finish. Doing the math, my Garmin average pace would get it, but I was .11 miles ahead of all of the mile markers – probably due to my weaving all over to go around people. I sent a text to my family to let them know I would be sooner than my originally anticipated finish time of 2:05-2:15.
And then, the finish line was in sight!! Time for a sprint.
I crossed the finish in the Glass Bowl stadium with a chip time of 2:01:05. Maybe I shouldn’t have walked through some of the water stops!! I usually carry water, but in the theme of “not stressing it”, I opted to just use the water stops. (side note, I’d rather drink from my own bottle! Not a fan of chugging water on the go!)
My outfit selection was perfect for the day. I kept the arm sleeves on until mile 11 and wasn’t too cold or hot during the race. I was so thankful that I wasn’t sore during the race, and heck, I could even bend over to untie my shoes after the race (something unheard of after running a full marathon!!).
I was super happy to see my husband, daughter and her boyfriend cheering me on as I crossed the finish. This year the half marathon got a different style glass, so it’s nice to have something other than a mug from this race (no joke, we probably have 30 mugs from Glass City events! They are in every space in our kitchen!!) I also got to see friends in the after-race party space. Always fun to toast the race with my friends! (although it is kind of odd to drink beer at 9am! 😆)
The shirts are really nice too. As you can tell, I am super happy with this race and the fact that I was able to run strong, and NOT injury myself more. That’s a win all around!
This race gives me hope for the upcoming year! I can only hope I get the same amazing weather on all of my races in 2023. It was a great redemption from last year’s event, which finished with temps in the 80s!!
Q: Do you like carrying water for a race? If so, what is your gear of choice?
Q: Did anyone else run the Glass City marathon, or another race this past weekend?