It’s done. I’ve joined the club. My journey to the sub 2hr half marathon club started one day when I decided (on a whim) to run a half marathon. I had no idea what I was in for, and had only run 6.2 miles prior to signing up. In 2010, I trained myself and enjoyed every minute of it all to myself at the Inaugural Monster Dash Half Marathon.
2010: Inaugural Monster Dash Half: 2:24
Ran it again in 2011 with my brother and my time improved.
2011: Monster Dash Half: 2:09
I knew I could have run it faster because I had not trained as well second time around. The improvement was enough to make me wonder what life was like on the other side of 2. I ran four more half marathons to find out:
2012: Inaugural Chicago Women’s Half: 2:01:31
2013: ING Miami Half: 2:01:18
2013: Oak Brook Half: 2:24 – Oops, What happened there? Worst. Race. Ever. .
Because that race was awful, I trained so hard for Naperville. It was my last chance in 2013 for my legs to prove they were capable. Race week my friend sent me goal pace text messages every day that read: “8:45”. My mind was ready. I sprinted, I ran hills, I boxed, I jumped boxes, I practiced fast feet drills from my track days. I cross trained with spin class, I hit PRs with weights on leg press and squats. I built a better body to run faster.
and…***drum roll please***
2013: Inaugural Naperville Half: 1:55:03.
In addition to my improving time, it looks like I have a thing for inaugural races. I love the smaller ones (Miami being the only exception of course)
When you run for charity, as I did for Naperville, you can’t help but think about all the people who donated to your cause. How could you let them down with anything less than what you consider an epic race?
The race itself was excellent. Maybe the ridiculous cold weather has something to do with being able to sustain a faster pace for longer. The course was beautiful, slightly hilly and packed with spectators with great signs. The weeks before the race, I worked hard to avoid the mistakes, aches and pains I experienced with the Oak Brook half, which were primarily due to dehydration. I foam rolled my calves almost daily and worked on the minor tibialis anterior pain I experienced upon dorsiflexion – again all related to dehydration. I drank water and electrolytes like it was my job. The thing is that when you want something so badly, you won’t let anything get in your way when it’s dangling right in front of you. So what’s next for 2014? Is there another club I want to get into?
Maybe the 1:45…we shall see. For now, I’m retiring my racing legs with a smile.