Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon: Race Recap

Time: 2:39:44 (Garmin distance 13.23, so 12:04 pace)

I signed up for this race back in December. Training officially started the beginning of February. That means I’ve been thinking about and planning for this race for over 4 months. That’s a long time to prepare for something, especially something that involves physical torture. I mean, who in their right mind thinks, “You know what would be fun? Paying a decent chunk of money to run 13.1 miles over hilly terrain for no reason other than to say I did.” Oh yeah, me.

But you guys? I did it!!

Silly Nicci, thinking this would be fun!

Silly Nicci, thinking this would be fun!

Prince does not understand why someone would do this.

Prince does not understand why someone would do this.

The course was gorgeous. I ran from Wayzata, MN to Excelsior, MN, two beautiful towns on Lake Minnetonka. The weather was fantastic. There was a pacer perfectly timed for my pace and unofficial time goal. I was ready. I was excited, I was a little bit nervous. Thankfully Tim was there with me to cheer me on and take these fabulous pictures of me!

.01 miles in and still smiling!

.01 miles in and still smiling!

Almost immediately the hills began. In case you were wondering, every hill that exists in the world was on this course. I thought Goldy’s Run was hilly, but that was NOTHING compared to this. It was abundantly clear right away that I need WAY more hill training. Because wow.

Even Prince was shocked at the number of hills!

Even Prince was shocked at the number of hills!

I stuck with my pacer for the first 6.5/7 miles or so, although looking at my splits, she was going quite a bit faster than she was supposed to (and according to Tim, she crossed the finish line alone, having lost the entire pace group). But once I hit mile 7, it was all downhill. And not literally. Literally it was all uphill. Mentally I was shot.

When I saw Tim around 7.5 miles, I was rather delirious and thought I was Usain Bolt.

When I saw Tim around 7.5 miles, I was rather delirious and thought I was Usain Bolt.

Prince did not agree.

Prince did not agree.

Honestly I don’t remember much of what happened between 7.5 miles and 11 miles. I remember thinking at one point that if I could just get to mile 10 I knew I could make it the rest of the way. I told myself I could walk all the uphills, but there were so damn many uphills I spent most of my time walking.

The last two miles were also spent with lots of walking, which is a bummer because that was the flattest part of the course. But my muscles were so tired. My calves started cramping up. I started getting a weird twitch in my toe that shot all the way up to my shin and almost took me down. At one point a woman passed me and yelled encouragement to me to keep running and keep up with her. I stayed with her for a bit before losing her on the last uphill of the race.

Thank St. Sebastian that the final .3 miles were downhill, so I was able to actually run to the finish line. What sucked, though, was all the spectators on that section yelling “You’re almost there! The finish is just around the corner!” BUT I COULDN’T SEE THE CORNER! I started giving up hope that the corner actually existed. When I finally saw the rumored corner, it took a few seconds to see the finish line, which led to a few seconds of panic. But then, there it was. THE FINISH LINE!

I was literally feet away from the finish line at this point. I was also yelling "Dude, I'm gonna die!"

I was literally feet away from the finish line at this point. I was also yelling “Dude, I’m gonna die!”

I crossed that finish line with a giant grin and a “I did it!!!” It wasn’t my best run. It wasn’t my prettiest run. But dammit, I finished a half marathon, and that’s pretty freaking awesome!

Prince gets the feeling.

Prince gets the feeling.

Once I finally found Tim I burst into tears. I cried, “That was the worst thing I’ve ever done! That was so hard! I am never doing that ever again!” I managed to calm down enough to walk to the lake, when I heard a voice inside.

So I did:



Will I run another half marathon? Maybe. I want to take some time off hard core training and do some fun runs. I already have three, possibly four races coming up in the next two months, so I’d rather focus on those than train for another big race. Maybe I’ll shoot for one in the fall? Or maybe once everything settles down in my body I’ll change my mind and do the one I was hoping to do this August. Who knows.

For now, I’m happy with my one half marathon finish. I’ve come such a huge way to get to this point. Hell, I haven’t even been running a full year and I’ve already accomplished so much! Today was a huge confidence boost to me to know that if I set my mind to it, I can truly do anything!

Oh, and in case you didn’t get why Prince made so many appearances, it’s because he lives on Lake Minnetonka (or used to).


5 thoughts on “Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon: Race Recap

  1. I love that area. It is so gorgeous. But yeah, freaking hilly. But well done! I remember my first half and I cried from mile 11 to the finish line and all these racers who were doing a marathon were passing me and then, when I got across the finish line, I was so done in that I spent the rest of the day puking from a migraine. But I’ve done seven more since then!

  2. Pingback: Lola’s Lake Waconia Half Marathon Relay: Recap | Running Short

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