Akron 1/2 Marathon 2012

This was an odd turn of events! I headed to Akron to work for Bondiband at the expo and to be there for my awesome friend Carla Jo C. as she ran her second full to re-qualify for Boston–which she did with a nice 3:43 (plan is and has been, for both of us to BQ and do it together, to which I have failed the last 4 attempts!). With St. George marathon in one week and my final long run in the books last Wednesday, I did not have any intentions of racing or running long other than to the checkpoints to see Carla or to jump in with her for the final painful miles. Well, while working the expo, a sweet, injured woman who came to get her packet, was buying Bondibands and mentioned her injuries and that she couldn’t run her half. As the conversation unfolded, she ended up giving me her bib so I’d be “somewhat legit” out on the course with Carla. Well, I got the bug…figured I might as well “gently run/jog” the half then come back out for Carla. Why not? I promised myself I’d take it easy since I’m supposed to be tapering–eh, what’s one more long-ish run when I’ve still got a week until race day? The is one hilly course (see elevation profile). I’ve been having some pain in the back of my knee the last week, so I was nervous…but figured what the heck, I can still walk part of it and have time to see Carla in. Well, I took off with her…I felt wonderful…effortless, light…I just relaxed and ran & took it all in, with no stress or expectations; the weather was picture perfect for a race day. I was however, constantly stunned at the pace I was easily keeping as well as the consistency of the splits, and at how for the first time in any race, I wasn’t walking the uphills, but taking them like they were nothing, barely winded, legs feeling good. For ten years, I could not get under 1:56-1:59 in any half…I ran 11 of them like that (4 were over 2:00)…now, in just two weeks, I’ve had 2 huge PR’s…one at 1:46 2 weeks ago, going all out and this one at 1:50 without even pushing it! I felt wonderful after & I feel great today! My running has taken on a whole new direction at the age of 45. The only things I’ve changed are having gone gluten free a year and a half ago & doubled my yearly miles, which includes a few super fast 10k’s each week that I run with speedy Jamison which I think has made an enormous difference. Yesterday was an amazing day all the way around…the hugs, laughs, prayers, being there for Carla’s victory…now I just have to replicate that in 7 days when Brandon B. & I take on St. George and my friend Carrie will be there to help and support us. I’ve never been to Utah and I feel so blessed to be getting this awesome experience to run in such a beautiful setting–oh and one day in Vegas won’t be to shabby either!!! We are hoping to get a run in on the strip as well. This week will be to relax, taper & enjoy a fun week with good friends! What’s more odd is that if I didn’t have the full in one week, I feel like I could have ran sub 1:46 here despite the degree of difficulty of the course…I just had so much left to give…that’s a good sign, right?

Akron 1/2 marathon results: 9th of 182 in age group (45-49), 179th of 2084 females & 806th of 3989 overall.

13.11 mi – 01:50 08:23 pace

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