Monday, March 27, 2017

March Madness Half Marathon 2017 {race recap}

Last Sunday (3/19), I ran the March Madness half in Cary, IL. Ive never ran it before, because why would I put myself through the torture of a hilly course just for fun? In all reality, I decided to do it this year as a training/see where I'm at for Boston run. I was excited as I could be on race morning to wake up early to drive more than I have in the past 6 years combined.

I woke up early, had an applesauce and nutrigrain bar for breakfast- the store I went to the day before didn't have any Belvita Biscuits. {sad face} I took the Churro Dog out and then got the zipcar for the hourish long ride out to Cary.

In thinking about race goals, I decided if I ran around a 1:45, that would be great! I figured a more realistic time would be 1:47 due to the hills and because I didn't know what I would be capable of.

Bib pickup was quick so I just sat in the car for a while before the race started. I also had another nutrigrain bar an hour before the start. About 20 min before the start, I left the warm cocoon of the car, hit the portalets one last time and then walked over to the start.

It was low 30's and calm for the morning. I struggled a lot with what to wear and decided on wearing my Nike hyperwarm under my singlet- because I had worn something similar for a half last year and felt ok. In hindsight, I should have ditched the long sleeve. I just really hate being cold for any amount of time.

Without fanfare, the race started on time with a "GO!" And we were off. Half a mile into the race I look at my watch and am shocked to see 7:30's- and also shocked to see so many people ahead of me and continuing to pass me. (This is a very competitive field) since I felt good, I just went with it and continued cruising. The first few miles are net downhill- I kept this in mind so that I wouldn't push too hard and blow out my quads.

Around mile 4.5, I took a gu. I carried expired Osmo drink with me too. (Expired as of January, but still tastes fine, whatever) I felt really good the first 5 miles and decided once I got to mile 8 that I would start pushing the pace a bit more.

Going into this race I didn't know how the hills would be- I looked at the elevation profile, but that didn't mean much to me. I kept thinking they would be like the hills in my Mom's hood in TN- which are so steep I have to walk up them. I was pleasantly surprised that they were nothing like those heinous hills and that I could run up these without too much discomfort. I really enjoyed the names of the hills- sneaky hill and substantial hill were my favs.

At mile 8 my iPod died. I hadn't used it since the Carmel Marathon a year ago, and while it was charged, apparently doesn't hold much of a charge anymore. It had a good life of 7+ years but I was all F*CK!}*~%}!+|€~+{~ because the later miles of a race is when I need music most. I kept singing something in my head on repeat as I ran down the road. Mile 9+ I took my other gu. Around mile 12, I tossed my bottle of Osmo. It was somewhere around mile 9 that I realized I could PR, so I decided to keep flying on the downhills and pushing hard on the ups.

I crossed the finish in 1:42:34, and was so happy! I didn't expect to PR in this race since it was hilly and I was treating it as a training run. I'm just over the moon to know my Training is going in the right direction for Boston.

Post race, I met up with Eric and Lauren for a little bit before heading to Wildberry to meet Kim. Brunch with Kim at Wildberry was the perfect end to the day!

My calves were pretty sore for a few days post race, likely due to the hills and also wearing my newtons which I hadn't worn much lately for training.

I was just so happy that I executed this race so well.

Housekeeping/final thoughts:

•Ate Gardein Mandarin Chicken the night before the race.

•Had a salt tab 20 min pre race

•Gu at mile 4.5/9

•Sipped the bottle of Osmo until mile 12

•Completely overdressed. I shouldn't have worn the long sleeve. The runners world clothing calculator thing said I should wear shorts and a tank, I should have listened.

•I now know a sub 1:40 should be relatively easy to achieve now. Yay.

I would definitely do this race again! It was so well organized and I had a lot of fun. The course was pretty- and it was super challenging (compared to the pancake flat lakefront).

See you next year, maybe.


  1. Great job! Always good to know the work you are putting in is paying off! You are going to rock Boston!
    Colder races are tough because even standing around for 10 minutes makes me way too cold and I have a hard time warming up.

    1. Thank you! Cold weather races are so hard due to the waiting around! I should have worn a garbage bag to stay warm. Lol

  2. Congrats again on the PR! Glad to hear that the training you did in your mom's neighborhood made the hills in Cary seem a lot easier. Those splits are fantastic. Love the 7:18/6:08 finish! Are you thinking of carrying a bottle of Osmo in Boston?

    1. Thank you! The hills in my moms hood are brutal! If I just go in with that mindset- that other hills could be possibly be that bad, then I'll do great. It's all about perspective. I'll probably bring Osmo with me in Boston too. And eventually order fresh Osmo.

  3. Congrats! I am impressed you PR'd on this tricky course!

    I bet we'd be pressed to find many hills around here that you have to walk cause they're so steep. Go to Kettle Moraine for that :)

    Are you going to get new Osmo for Boston? What shoes will you wear?

    I am happy I got to see you after! And that your quads weren't destroyed!

  4. Congrats!!!! I've never tried salt tabs BEFORE my race/long run. I'll give this method a try for sure once I start logging longer runs.

    1. Thank you! I think it's a good way to preemptively ward off salting out... maybe. That's what I'm going with anyways. I'm all about figuring out new and better ways :)

  5. Congrats on a PR and on a hilly course! I hate being cold too, so its always hard at the start of a race finding that balance of what to wear.

    1. Thank you! The waiting before races kills me this time a year. Even going outside to run in the cold makes me turn around and run inside more than I'd like to admit. There should be heaters at races! Haha

  6. Congrats on your PR!!!!

    I think I'd rather be warm than cold during a race/run. You can always remove layers. Plus, being cold is kind of miserable and awful.

    1. Thank you! Cold is the worst for me. I don't mind running slower in warm conditions. I hate having to worry about my hands and the raynauds plus being cold during runs. It's miserable!