Consider this a flashback Friday post. I wrote this recap months ago (like a week after the race… which wad the first Sunday in May), but never downloaded the photos to add to the post. (I swear photos, or lack thereof, hinder 90% of my blogging efforts.) Yep. Epic Laziness. Anyway, on to the four month old race recap.
I should probably preface this post with the fact that I always recommend proper training for a race because (spoiler alert:) I was stupid under-trained for this race and would never recommend that to anyone…
So this past Sunday, I ran the First Midwest Bank Southwest Half Marathon (Or something like that, the name had changed a time or two in the last few years.) There were a ton out reasons to run this race: it is nice and close to home. One of my good guy friends was running. The race director is the owner of my local running store. I’d always heard great things from other local runners. I volunteered at it last year. I got to run past my dentists office. My dentist had run this race herself. The list went on and on, but I’d never actually done it before.
So one (of the only) gorgeous day in March, when it seemed like the weather was finally breaking, I signed up determined to make this my race. I was going to dominate. Then the weather got shitty again, and my training was basically non-existant.
Story of my life.
I thought about dropping down to the newly added 10K. That probably would have been the smart thing to do considering the half would be roughly the same number of miles I’d logged in training. But since I survived my first half fairly under trained, and my overall fitness was much better than it was in 2010, I decided to throw caution to the wind and do the half anyway. If all else failed, I could walk.
Before the race even started, I ran into my friend M. We chatted about being under-trained and how much winter sucked. We headed to the way back of the starting corrals and ran into another high school friend who was running her first half ever. M and I decided to stick it out together for a while and do run walk intervals. We actually ended up doing the whole race together, and in the end she even got a PR!
The race itself went far, far better than I ever expected it to. While we griped at the 10K turn around that we should turn back now, I actually felt really good until somewhere around mile 10. My body didn’t hurt too bad, and I was mentally in it 100%. I guess it’s just another sign that strength training, cross training and general fitness are equally add important as running when it comes to training for races.
The course is an out and back down a main street that they shut down. It runs through a lot of forest preserve so it’s absolutely gorgeous. It’s mostly flat-ish, but courses always seem hillier to me than they’re ever described. The road itself was in rough shape after the particularly harsh winter which made for some interesting pothole dodging.
We finished with a time of 2:39.17. It’s not my best time by any means, but it certainly isn’t my worst either. I survived the race without injury despite my lack of training, and I actually enjoyed myself!
All in all, I call this race a huge success.