Muddog Half Marathon Race Recap

Half marathon #3 for the year in the books! It was honestly great!! So let us talk about it!

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My mom and I went up on Thursday night to Mt Pleasant to stay before the race. The plan was to go skiing on Friday, however when we got up to Petoskey on Friday it was raining. So what did we do? Shop. Oh darn. 😉

After a LONG day of shopping, we finally headed back to Mt Pleasant to stay overnight again for the race. We hung out in the hot tub for a bit, necessity after a long day of shopping, then called it a night around 11pm.

I got up at 7:30am, 30 minutes after I was supposed to because I set my weekday alarm instead of the normal one. Oh well, I promptly got up and headed to breakfast.

Around 8:15am I headed back to the room to wake my mom and up and get dressed. It was pretty chilly, 20* or so, so I put some layers on. Then at 8:30 we headed out the door.

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Registration was pretty fast. Got my number after waiting in line for a wee bit, then proceeded to wait inside until the race director was basically threatening us to go to the start line. Did I mention it was a bit chilly?

So since my mom was here, I finally got pictures before the start. Good thing too, because the pictures of me WHILE running are definitely not the best. Oh well!

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So we were off maybe a few minutes late.. but nothing too crazy.. I started running and just let my legs do the work. I’ve been doing REALLY well with not looking at my Garmin and that race was no different. Didn’t look at it once, not until the last .1 miles or so..

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The course was pretty ‘dry’ all things considered. These pictures were taken a few days before by the race director, but I think some of it froze overnight before the day so it wasn’t so wet. To be honest it was a BEAUTIFUL day for a race, while it was cold it was SOOOO sunny that I was SOOO warm the whole time.

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So. I said I didn’t look at my Garmin until almost the finish line.. Well that sucked for me for one reason only.. I was 2 minutes off of my PR. My PR is from the Clarkston Back Road’s Half in November clocked in at 2:03:03. Race clock put me at 2:05:00.. yea.. if I would have realized I was THAT close I might have kicked it up a notch. BUT either way I was SOOO happy that it didn’t take away from it.

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So to wrap up. Race was good; wet course, cold outside, sunny, and good.

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Will I do the series again? No. Why? Because I live in Detroit and it takes about 2 hrs to get there, more if you have to drive in the snow. Would I recommend it?! Yes. If you live within an hour or so from Mt Pleasant I would suggest doing the series. ESPECIALLY because you get to see the course evolve from the Snowman, to the Icecube, then to the Muddog.. Given those titles for a reason!

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Icecube Half Marathon Recap

So. To discuss this race I really need to tell you about the whole weekend. So I would advise you to make sure that your coffee cup is full if you plan on getting through this whole thing with me.

So. We left on Friday evening around 5:30pm to head up to Mt Pleasant. We had dinner reservations at Lone Star for 8:15pm. It’s a 2hr and a few minute drive, so we were already pretty sure that we were going to have to go straight to the restaurant so we didn’t miss our reservations.

The ride was pretty painless. We took N-75 the majority of the way, so once we passed Great Lakes Crossing it was smooth sailing! Luckily the boy thought about taking 75 instead of 696 like I would have, or else we totally would have been uber late.

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We got to the hotel a little before 8pm (before we thought we would!) and took our stuff up to the room and waited for our friends to get there. They drove separate since they weren’t staying the extra night, after the race. They got there around 8:10pm and we drove to Lone Star.. And by drove I mean we could have walked..

The other girlfriend and I went in to get our seats, and the boys went to 1. Buy beer. 2. Take their things to the hotel. 3. Drop off the car at the hotel so that they could walk back and we could all enjoy some drinks at the restaurant.

I kept saying before we got up to there that I was going to have ‘a few’ drinks. I mean, it was Valentine’s day afterall. Not to mention that I knew that we were going to go to the casino after dinner, so I wanted to leave myself some room to enjoy myself.

Well. The waitress asked us what we wanted to drink as soon as me and the other gf sat down. “Strawberry daiquiri please.”.. It’s a good thing that both her and I decided that this ‘race’ was more of a training run than anything.. She ended up with a cherry margarita.

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The boys finally got to the restaurant and we ordered food.. And more drinks.. #2: Long Island Iced Tea.

Dinner was delicious. I had a burger and fries.. Pre-race fuel, obviously. Then we all walked back to the hotel, with a slight buzz, to have a beer before we took the shuttle to the the casino. If you need to stay in Mt Pleasant for any reason and want to go to the casino stay at the Baymont Inn & Suites. It was super nice to have a FREE shuttle to the casino!

Anyways. So we got to the casino and the first thing we did? Find the bar. SOOO about those ‘few drinks’.. haha. Let’s just say that I had a few more (seriously, only like three more). Then finally went back to the hotel at 1:30am.. OH, did I mention that this is a RACE recap?!

So, I set my alarm for 7am. Alarm went off and I knew I had to get up and get moving. Luckily the race wasn’t until 9am, so I had some time. Went down to breakfast and had some food, and coffee, to make sure I was.. umm.. ready.

Went back upstairs around 7:45am to make sure that the other gf was up. She wasn’t. Luckily I was able to start moving around and everyone woke up without me actually having to wake anyone up. SO I got dressed. She got dressed. Then we made our way to the car to head to the race. (around 8:30am).

After getting a bit lost and assuming that we were going to miss the beginning of the race, we found the location, got our bibs, and were ready to party.. and by party, I mean run.

The race started a bit late, but they did that to make sure that everyone got through the registration line before the race started. Normally I wouldn’t have been too happy. However I was part of that ‘still need to get my bib’ line, so it was nice.

The race itself wasn’t very eventful. Luckily the pavement was of this crazy thing we call ‘clear’ (aka: not snow covered), and even the backroads weren’t too bad. Around mile 3-4ish I raised my arm out to be parallel with to road.. yup.. the snow ‘mountains’ on the side of the road were definitely taller than my shoulder.. To be honest, some of the time they were over my head.. I’m 5’6″. It was insane.

That portion that last race was SUPER rough (miles 4-9ish) wasn’t so bad this time. It was still icy, but it seemed like someone intentionally left some snow on the edges of the road to allow us to run on snow! I know they didn’t, but it definitely seemed that way! It was beautiful!

All in all this race was good. Pace went from 10:38/mile last race to 10:02/mile this time around. DEFINITELY had more to do with the road conditions than it did how I was running. Finished in 2:11:44 according to my GPS.

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Afterwards, since the other gf had already been picked up (she did the 5k), I got my sweatshirt and headed back to the hotel. Showered longer than I needed to, the heat felt amazing, and then we went to lunch. Panera! Which honestly seems to be the thing I always end up having post-race, and I’m not mad about it at all!

After lunch I took a LONG nap. Then the boy and I got dinner and headed back to the casino. Not as many drinks as the night before.. BUT we finally decided we were over gambling our money and went back to the hotel to hang out in the hot tub.. Of course we took beers. It was glorious! We met a few people that we ended up talking to and drinking with by the pool for some time, then decided to go back upstairs, eat some leftovers from dinner, and pass out.

All in all the weekend couldn’t have been any more perfect! It was SOOO nice to have a hotel for before and after the race! I’m hoping to talk my mom into wanting to stay for the last of the Winter Warrior series in March with me!

Hope I didn’t bore you with too much detail!

 

What is YOUR next race?! 

Detroit Women’s Half Marathon Recap

HEY YA’LL! So I’m sure you all aware that last weekend I ran the Detroit Women’s Half Marathon! Due to poor planning on my part I wasn’t able to prepare a race day post like I normally do.. I know, I suck.. SOOO instead I’m going to wrap it into one.. Well, give you the logistics of the race as well as how it went!

Let us start with the ‘race day post’ and just give you a lay out of the race. The race was run on Belle Isle in Detroit, MI. There we did 2.25 loops of the Isle to get the whole 13.1 miles in (13.16 by my GPS, but we’ll get to that later.) So check it out.

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So there it is. We started at the lower left of the Isle then you can follow the arrows/numbers from there. NORMALLY I really hate either ‘loop’ or ‘out-and-back’ races, but for this race I really enjoyed it. It was nice knowing exactly where I was and knowing where the turn was to go in for the finish. Though since it’s an island you can bet that at the turns it was WINDDDYYYY! Mostly at the ‘top’ (Lakeside Drive) turn.

So, race day.. I got there at around 7am to wait for everyone I was meeting. I know I’d told you that I’d talked both of my sisters into running, but I forgot to mention that I’d also talked on of my best friend from high school’s moms (Wendy) into running it too. ALSO a friend that goes to school with my boyfriend (Rachel). It was three of the five of our first halves (Wendy, Rachel, and my little sister Marilou.)

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We found someone to take our picture, sadly when Wendy was finding her daughter.. It was a bit chilly pre-race (I actually didn’t end up rolling up my sleeves the whole race… Guess who finally after 23 years knows how to properly dress herself?! THIS GIRL!)

 

 

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Alright, anyways..  they started a few minutes behind (10 or so) because people didn’t know that you needed to get to a race early.. Well, more like there was congestion getting onto Belle Isle.. But I mean, that’s why you plan to get to a race close to an hour before it starts.. or in my case, as early as you can so you don’t freak out about being late.. This day I figured an hour was sufficient, especially since I knew I was going to be in my car just hanging out for a bit.

 

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Anyways, so we were off! I started running with Rachel around a 9:40pace.. We both said that we were going to run our own pace. Luckily for us ‘our own pace’ just so happened to be the same pace. I wasn’t going to take off, and neither was she. We even helped push each other a few times.. She would get a bolt of energy and keep the pace where it was, then within the next mile or so it was my turn to do the same thing. This was ALL without talking about it, it just happened.

 

Let me tell you. It was AWESOME having someone to pace with! I don’t think I would have ran that fast without her! I ended up around a 9:34 pace, and I think she was right behind me with a 9:39 or so! It was so awesome! Wendy finished before Rachel and I! She was just under 2hours!! That’s my next BIG goal.. a half under two hours.. I think I’ll just try to finish Clarkston, but for next year under 2hrs is a goal!

 

My older sister finished just under three hours I believe. I saw her when I went to my car to grab more clothes. It was beautiful running weather, but I was chilly after I was done.. Next year they need to make sure that they have those shiny blankets that help keep your heat in when you’re done running.. That was probably the only FAIL on their part.

 

I saw her again when I went to the DMC tent to use their foam roller. I knew they had one since I went to the EXPO to pick up our race packets. So I had to run over and cheer her on.. On lady said, “You have too much energy”.. It’s true. I was pretty hyped after finishing.

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So after my older sister came in, either of us had seen my little sister, so I shot her a text. I knew she had her phone and it just seemed logical. She told us that she was coming up to mile 13, aka: close to the end. I knew that she had to be between the turn at mile 12 and the end so I took off to meet up with her. It was her first half after all, I knew she was hurting (she’s had knee surgery AND she didn’t train), so I wanted to encourage her to finish strong.

 

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She did! She ran over the finish line, then walked straight to the DCM tent for some ice.

 

All in all, the race was great! We had a fun time, the weather was nice and it was a great experience for everyone!

 

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