Thursday, April 6, 2017
2017 Parkinson's Half Marathon Race Report
On April 1, I completed my first half marathon of the year. I had completed the Parkinson’s Half Marathon several times in the past several years and I always enjoy it. The race was moved up a little earlier in April this year, but they had just as gorgeous of weather as always. It is always a very well organized event and has really grown since the first event a few years ago.
My husband and mother-in-law were going to be walking the one mile walk my Baby Diva in the stroller. There was also a 5K event that I had several clients and friends running. I also had several clients running the half marathon. It was going to be a great morning.
By mile 9, I was playing the numbers game. I knew that I was way ahead of pace. I tried to calculate my finish time, even though I was slowing down slightly. I figured I could come in under 1:58 – or maybe even 1:57 at this pace. Could I do more? My typical finishing times pre-baby #3 were 1:58 and some change. Last year I ran this event in 2:02. This route is super flat and conditions were beautiful. I was determined to take advantage of this. I pushed forward.
I ended up crossing the finish line in 1:54:01 with happy tears in my eyes. Those last two seconds could haunt me. But, I am extremely happy with my time. I have put in so many miles this winter with clients at my studio (127 miles in both January and February and close to 150 in March). I was ready for this. And to do it for myself. I knocked eight minutes off of my time from the year prior. I didn’t PR, but came pretty close. I hadn’t ran that fast since an event in early 2011. I quickly reunited with my family and friends. And soon I had an emotional moment with my husband. Running – and pushing yourself – are extremely moving. Only you can make that happen.
This year, the event had special meaning. I reconnected with a high school classmate this spring, who had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. I hosted a virtual 5K for classmates, clients and friends to help raise funds for his service dog. We raised $350 in March and I presented Mike with a check prior to the race.
We obtained our packets from 1855 Saloon prior to the race. I never have found it beneficial to drive to Cottage Grove the day prior to obtain my packet. Then, we hung out in the cute coffee shop while my family had coffee and I used the bathroom (a few times). I then headed out to meet clients and friends before the race started and then to the start line at 8:00.
After the National Anthem, we were off. We headed out 1.5 miles through residential neighborhood and then onto the Glacial Drumlin path. The crushed gravel is always tough to get use to during my first outing for the year. This year, there seemed to be more holes and divots than usual. It wasn’t very muddy, only a few shaded areas.
We headed out on an out-and-back course and turned around at mile 7. It’s always fun (and distracting) to wave to familiar faces on this course. I was consistently clocking times way faster than my training pace – typically 8:10-8:30. I was feeling great and going with it. I was laid up in bed for two days, Wednesday and Thursday, leading up to the race. A bad cold had hit me hard. I still felt it in my head, but otherwise felt strong.
I carried my water with me and took Gatorade at every aid station that it was offered. I was excited that they offered it in grape flavor – yum! I took Honey Stinger energy gels at miles 4-5 and 8-9. I chewed several sticks of gum to keep my mouth fresh.
I played a couple songs several times the last couple of miles. I was in a groove. After enjoying a flat course, the final half mile of the race is up hill. I saw spectators and pushed up it as if it didn’t exist.