Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon 2016: Recap

Official Time: 2:34:12 (Garmin distance 13.26 so 11:38 pace)

Those smiles aren't lies! We really felt that good!

Those smiles aren’t lies! We really felt that good!

A couple months ago my sisters tried to convince me to run the Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon … again. If you remember, that was my very first half marathon. It did not go as well as I had anticipated. When I finished that race I was in tears and stated that I would NEVER run that race again.

So guess what I did this weekend? Yeah, I’m a sucker.

I had 13 miles on the schedule for today (which, yes, I know I’m WAY behind in my training logs AND I’m way behind in race recaps. It’s been a busy spring!), so the thought of a supported long run was tempting. Plus my sisters were running the relay, so just as I would want to start to fade, I’d get fresh legs running alongside me to push me along. So I figured, why not?

The week leading up to the race wasn’t great. I’d started strong, have just run 13.1 miles on a treadmill the week before (with stops at 4 and 8 miles to break up the monotony a bit) so I was feeling pretty confident. Then I got pink eye, and it rained an entire week and I just didn’t feel like running. So I didn’t. And when I tried to run my scheduled 5 miles on Saturday I only managed 4.5, wondering how in the hell I was gonna get through the race on Sunday.

Spoiler alert: I PRed. And not just a little PR, either. I took over 5 minutes off my time! AND my fastest miles came in the 2nd half!! I may have missed a few of my training runs this cycle, but the ones I’m hitting are paying off.

I felt pretty good through the whole race. I took it nice and easy on the first half, continuing my run/walk intervals of 1:30/:30.  Even with all the hills, it was nice to know that I’d only have to run for 90 seconds of the hill and then I’d get a walk. My 17 week pregnant sister ran that half with me and kept me from going too fast.

LM2016finish

SO grateful for these ladies for getting me through this race!!

By the time I hit mile 7, my plan had me speed up slightly. Thankfully that was past the relay exchange, so I had my other sister with fresh legs running with me, pushing me to hit those quicker paces.

I kept thinking about the last time I ran this race and how the wheels fell off and I walked a lot and had some major issues with cramping. This time I stuck to my run/walk intervals and didn’t take any unscheduled walk breaks (other than water stops). I had no cramping whatsoever. It was a wonderful race! The runner’s high I felt afterwards lasted a LONG time!!

Splits:

LM2016splits
This is a HARD course. It’s ridiculously hilly. Like, there aren’t many FLAT parts of the course. You’re constantly going either up or down! So the fact that I was able to keep a consistent pace throughout PLUS run faster in the 2nd half gives me ALL kinds of confidence for my goal race (next month!! EEK!) That course doesn’t have nearly as many hills, PLUS I’ll have 7 more weeks of training under my belt.
LM2016LM

Obviously I purified myself in the waters of Lake Minnetonka.

The shirt is REALLY nice! And I totally wore it to work.

The shirt is REALLY nice! And I totally wore it to work.

Looking ahead, I don’t have any more races until Garry Bjorklund in June, but I do have a few more LONG (for me) runs. As in one more 13 and TWO 14 milers! I just have to actually do my scheduled runs, which seems to be a problem for me this cycle. On the plus side, there’s still time to increase my fitness before then, I just have to stick to it!

Oh, and it wouldn’t be a post about Lake Minnetonka without any mention of Prince, so here ya go:

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