Sioux Falls Half Marathon!!

Ok so I have to admit I loved this race more than I thought I would.  Not like I expected to hate it, but it’s just not usually in my normal locale of fun places that I sign up for races at just for an excuse to travel.  It was also the first race that I got to sleep in my own bed the night before, which I thought would be awesome but for some reason I did not sleep very well at all.  Maybe an hour or two of fitful napping.  I don’t know if it was nerves or what, but it sucked getting up at 4 am to get ready.  We did go to a wedding the night before, so while I was in Sioux Falls picking up my packet I got my hair and makeup done.

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Then came race morning!! Another thing that I was really excited about is that Adam would be going with me, which this is only the second race that he has attended so that was really exciting.  He drove me there and said goodbye and wished me luck as I went to get in my corral and he waved to me as I went through the start AND cheered me on as I came back through the finish.  It was awesome.  Anyway on to the recap!!

Start:  This race is on the smaller side but still not tiny.  It starts and finishes inside the Arena at the convention center which means a couple things.  1) Real bathrooms (but the lines were still too long for me to attempt). 2) It’s inside so warm while you are just standing there waiting nervously. 3) Ample seating and standing room for spectators right there next to the starting line. 4) Spectators can just hang out and check out what remains of the expo and not be stressed about finding a finish line or missing their person.

My plan was to try and go out slow, but not too slow, but maybe stick with the last pacer since he will be going slightly faster than a lot of my long runs and slightly slower than some of my speed workouts so it should be the time to push myself right? Well that didn’t quite work out as planned.  I don’t know if my watch was right or not, but for the three miles I kept up with him the first two were about a minute faster than he was supposed to be doing which is also a little faster than I could maintain for 13 miles.  I was already sucking wind a little and didn’t want to completely bonk so I tried to pull back and keep it slower than that and steady.  I also tried to keep it going up the hills, which weren’t bad they were very mild considering so that was nice.  

I came through the 10k right on track but then around my stomach started growling and was completely empty.  Oops.  But the scenery was pretty going through Falls park and downtown and all the other parks so that was a good distraction.  I didn’t take ANY pictures because I was just wanting to stay focused and plug along and listen to my podcast which I think made a world of difference.  

Adam Update:  He is meanwhile hanging out, finding my name on the Toyota truck and recovering from yelling at the guy who was standing next to him and shouting into his phone and waving his arms while the guy on stage was trying to say a prayer.  He also had a few other interesting interactions with spectators and got to watch the 5k finish and the first finishers for the Marathon and Half Marathons, which he kept me updated on so I could enjoy it after the race on snapchat.

But back to the race.  So like I said I was plugging along just trying not to hit the wall.  Around mile 10 my feet were definitely on fire and not in a good way and my podcast had ended so I was on to music.  My empty stomach was now angry that I wasn’t feeding it and it started cramping a little.  With all these things added up I did start to slow down a little bit.  I pretty much figured I wasn’t going to hit my goal of PR’ing so I just tried to finish comfortably and not push it.

I kept going as long as I could and tried to find my second wind in the last 5k.  I did manage to pass a bunch of people on a slight decline and make up a little time from before.  I kept telling myself to just make it to 10…then 11… then 12… then 12.5 and then I could just leave it all out there.  So I kept trying to “leave it all out there” and I would run out of energy a couple minutes later.  Finally around mile 12.5 I did decide to finish strong so I just upped the pace every time I thought about stopping again.  I knew where it ended and like usual it seemed to take FOREVER to find the finish line, but I just kept telling myself to catch the person in front of me and pick them off next and just kept doing that until I turned the corner into the finish.  Once there Adam was standing outside the building just as I came around and when I turned to wave at him I saw some guy was about to pass me right at the end so I kicked it up a little more so he wouldn't beat me at the last and HE DIDN’T!

Then I went and died along the bleachers for a few seconds and got in line to get all the food/goodies.  They were just lined up along the side and then Adam was back out where he left me that morning which was really close and easy to find.  So that was that, I survived!!

I didn’t realize at the time how many notable things happened during this race until I was thinking about it after.

  1. I did not get to the point around miles 8-9-10-11 where I wanted to die/give up/cry etc like I usually do, I just kept chugging along.  I was still in pain yes, but it wasn’t as bad as usual and my brain wasn’t as much of a road block as usual.
  2. I actually without knowing came within 1 minute of my “PR” which I use loosely.  So what Nike was telling me was my half PR was actually from a 13.01 mile training run two weeks before my first half that was just back and forth along a completely flat trail and not a full half.  Then in my first half, which is my fastest I remember at one point I paused my watch to stretch and then forgot to start it right away.  So even though they are only .03 of a mile off in length (13.17 vs. 13.20) I was only a minute behind that race.  So I might have PR’d but not officially on paper.  And not by the huge margin I was hoping for.  So that’s really cool. I need to pay better attention in the future, if I had known that I had a bigger window I would have pushed harder and shaved a couple minutes off.
  3. I loved having Adam there and that it was so close and easy to find him at the finish.  Also the truck was parked pretty close and thanks to forward thinking and super tinted windows I could change in the back so I didn’t feel as gross because Adam wanted to wander around the Pawn/Gun shop across the street until it was closer to time to get lunch.

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And as I have said in previous posts, we planned on going to Five Guys after, which is now kind of our tradition and it was AMAZING.  We got a giant paper bag full of fries and we were their #01 customer at 11 am.  Technically we were second because they start counting with 00, but I like the sound of #01 better.

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So there you have it.  I spent the rest of Sunday resting and eating and wishing I would have taken the day off on Monday.  I probably won’t run too much next week because I am a bit sore and have a few work trips, but I want to get back into in and get my pace down so I can come back strong in the spring.

2 thoughts on “Sioux Falls Half Marathon!!

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