Monday, October 27, 2014

On the Run: Brooksie Way 1/2 Marathon 2014

*This is a long-overdue post from a race on September 28th.  Sorry for the delay!

The Brooksie Way Half Marathon fell on a day that I needed to run 22 miles.  My final long run before the Free Press Marathon.  While some might think it crazy to tack on an extra 9 miles to my race, I figured it would be a good training opportunity.  Plus the race would get me more than half of my long run, making the total miles pass more easily.  I did the same thing last year for Brooksie, with a successful result, so why not?

I got to the race super early.  There was a large contingent of RUNdetroit Flight Club members running so Justin and Alia had the store tent set up near the start line.  I was able to leave my bag there while I ran through the campus of Oakland University, trying my best to avoid hills.  (It's a hilly campus so I wasn't entirely successful.)  I took it slow, running those miles at a 7:59/mile pace.  

My hamstring was a little sore already so I was nervous.  I wasn't sure what to expect from that, plus Brooksie is a hilly course.  This year it was changed due to construction.  The first half is pretty flat and usually there are rolling hills throughout the second half.  Instead of rolling hills, however, there was one HUGE hill.  It looked pretty bad on an elevation chart.  I knew what to expect from rolling hills but had no idea what to expect from this new hell (yes hell not hill).  My hill training hasn't been up to snuff.  I was hoping to run the race in 1:30 but I would just have to see what happened once I got out there.  

Right from the get-go things were not looking good.  I was sore and people were passing me.  I felt like everyone was passing me!  Men, women, children.  Everyone.

By mile 4 I was ready to give up.  I wanted to hop on some kind of wagon and ride it to the end.  I managed to pass a girl on the Clinton River Trail but before I knew it she passed me again.  Doh!  Things were not going well.  Then around mile 5 I was heading around a curve, down a hill, into downtown Rochester, when I was suddenly closing in on 2 women.  And then I was passing them!  And then I chicked 2 dudes!  That gave me some motivation.  Maybe things would be okay after all.  I had a big smile on my face as I passed some spectators on a corner, turning toward the park that leads to Paint Creek Trail.  

What really gave me the boost I needed was when I passed the halfway point and one of the volunteers shouted to me, "3rd woman - and 2nd is just ahead!"  I'd had no clue I was that close.  In my mind I was 20 women back so to hear I was 3rd was shocking!  And I could actually see 2nd place.  I gradually picked up the pace over the next mile, took a CLIF Shot, and by mile 7 I had passed her.  

Things continued to go well from there.  Of course there was THE hill at mile 9.  It looked bad on the elevation chart.  In real life?  It was HORRENDOUS.  I felt like I was barely moving!  It had 3 false summits.  The worst part was actually when I got to the top and tried to get my legs moving again.  It felt like I would never pick up the pace again.  Eventually I did and ended up running the last mile of the race at 5K pace.  I think because I just wanted to be done!  

I held onto that 2nd place spot and finished in 1:30:41.  58th overall.  Then I hung out with the other RUNdetroit runners who had finished the 5K and 10K while we cheered on the half marathon finishers.  Here we are at the end!

RUNdetroit Flight Club members
After that I had 2 more miles to run, which were probably the most brutal 2 miles I've ever run.  I basically complained for every step of the way!  But then I was DONE!  And I was oh so happy to be finished running for the day!  Last long run?  DONE!  Last race before the marathon?  DONE!  I should be getting my award in a few weeks.  I'll post a pic when it arrives!  



vanilla chia pudding, banana (pre-race)
Vanilla CLIF Shot (mile 6.5)

Dangerous / Big Data 
Water Fountain / tUnE-yArDs
Lazaretto / Jack White 
Lately / Soul Asylum 
Gotta Get Away / The Black Keys 
The Walker / Fitz & the Tantrums 
Shake It Off / Taylor Swift
Bitter Rivals / Sleigh Bells
Supermassive Black Hole / Muse 
Little Numbers / Boy 
Sixteen Saltines / Jack White 
The Innocent / Mayer Hawthorne
Machu Picchu / The Strokes
Mercy / Duffy
Dear Rosemary / Foo Fighters 
The Monster / Eminem ft. Rihanna
Can't Hold Us Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
Kiss With a Fist / Florence + the Machine
Runaway Baby / Bruno Mars
Best Friend / Foster the People
Fast in My Car / Paramore
Get in My Way / Robin Thicke
Discipline / Nine Inch Nails
Blood for Poppies / Garbage
Brave / Sara Bareilles
Riptide / Vance Joy

Coming Soon: Detroit Free Press Marathon race recap!