When I started running post pregnancy, I had no idea what to expect. Am I going to be a suckier (not a word) runner than before? Am I going to be able to train for races with a baby in the picture?
Mandatory James picture. He is saying "Good job, mom...but let's get the heck home! It's cold!"
It turns out that I'm a BETTER RUNNER and, yes, I CAN train for big races with my baby (in fact, I felt extremely weird running without him today)!!!
The Run Like A Girl (RLAG) half was a true test of my abilities. When you stroller train, you have NO IDEA where to start guesstimating a potential pace. I went into this race wanting to break two hours. My personal record (PR) is 1:57 and some change (Memphis half marathon in 2006...when I was "young"). In fact, even if I was able to go faster, I told myself I was going to stay around that pace so that I could kill the Columbus half in two weeks. What have I learned? You can't tell a runner to take it easy during a race!
Pre-race selfie! We were SO COLD!!!
I had my mapper on during the race to have an idea of our pace (poet and didn't know it) but ended up only checking it 2 or 3 times. I was so focused during the final stretch that I didn't stop the mapper. I've been stalking the website ALL DAY waiting for the results! Without further ado, my official time, per whoever does RLAG, is:
Holy Crap! I smashed my PR!! We placed 46th and 47th out of 664 runners and, I think, 6th in the 30-34 age group! I would like to think we broke 1:50 because Jackie stopped her watch a little after we finished and it said 1:50...but whatev! LOL. A special shout out to my girl/running partner, Jackie, for finishing her first half!!! I am SO PROUD of this girl!
Not only did we get a free bottle of wine...they gave us celebratory shots of wine!
In case you want to run this half in the future, here's my race review (if you don't care about racing, you should just skip this part because it may be boring):
I'm not one to care too much about the race swag bag but you do get a t-shirt, protein bar, head band and a small cold pack among other things. Also, when I picked up my packet from Front Runner, I was given a free headband (not the one in the swag bag) that had "13.1" on it because I bought something while I was there.
The weather was about as sucky as it can get (unless snow was present). It was SO COLD (I think it was around 40 degrees). According to my weather app that morning, it wasn't supposed to precipitate. I might delete that dang app because it was raining and HAILING almost the entire time! AND it was windy!! I'm thankful I wore long tights. I just wish I had gloves because my hands were freezing.
As far as the course is concerned, it had a couple of back-and-forth loops of which I'm not a huge fan. We started at Columbus Commons and connected to a trail approx 1-2 miles into the run. I remember wishing we hadn't connected to the trail so early because I felt like we needed more time for the runners to thin out. It was really hard to pass the groups of runners on the trail.
We ran 4-5 miles out before making the first turn and running back the same path. It was even harder passing people on the trail after the turning point because we had to dodge runners coming towards us. Once we were back on the city streets, we ran a mile or so and connected to another trail. We did another loop (I feel like this one wasn't as long). It turned around at about 10 miles and then we headed back towards Columbus Commons. The last 2 miles were on city streets. (side note: there are hills but, because you turn and repeat, for every one you go up, you get to go down).
I liked that they had mile markers at every mile and police at every major intersection. They seemed to have plenty of drink stations (although I didn't take advantage of them at first because it was so cold and I couldn't feel my hands) and port-a-potties. The down side was minimal spectators except at the start/finish (part of that due to being on trails)...BUT, when there were spectators, they were very encouraging!
The finish felt organized. They immediately gave medals and directed us to food/water/wine. Did I mention that you get a free bottle of wine?!
I haven't decided if this is a race I'll do again since it's so close to the Nationwide Children's Columbus Marathon (I LOVE THAT RACE!!!). I feel like I enjoyed it more because it was my first big race post baby and because I PR'd with Jackie. Hope this helps you guys in deciding if you want to run the race in the future!