Yesterday I ran my 3rd official half marathon. I set a new PR (personal record) and while that feels great, I’m still a bit disappointed. More on that in a second.
Before I jump in to the recap of the Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon, I have to ask you a question that was asked to me this weekend by the lady that works the desk at our hotel:
“What’s the point of running a half marathon (or any run)?”
When we checked in Friday, Amanda and I mentioned that we were in town for the half marathon. The lady matter-of-factly asked this question… and to be honest I was taken back for a second.
She quickly came back with:
“I’m not trying to be rude, but what do you get out of it?”
I guess that’s a valid question, and it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot. Especially during the race.
The Point Of Running A Race
- There are conventions for doctors, comic book lovers, sci-fi addicts… and races for runners. It’s an event to bring like-minded people together. I talked to so many wonderful people and actually contribute staying in a positive mind set to some of them I met a long the course. Just when things are getting hard, someone might randomly say, “come on, we’re almost there.” Or even just give a little smile of encouragement. We all want to belong to something, right?
- The feeling of accomplishment of training for something and then executing it is beyond amazing. The moment you see the finish line, the adrenaline surges and suddenly you have more energy than ever. You realize that your training has paid off and that not only did you set a goal, you accomplish it.
- You’re helping something out. Most races now are all geared towards some charity, it’s nice to do something I love while at the same time knowing that my money is going to help in some way. Then you have the people who run for a cause, those that raise funds along the way… awesome.
- Whether its a 5K or a marathon, racing is hard. Yet, people (myself included) love a little pain, love the feeling of being able to push through the miles and come out on top. Amanda told me at the end how much strength she realized she had in terms of running that she never thought. Running brings personal revelations.
- I run because I want to improve. I race to see how my training is coming and to set new personal goals. It’s not about trying to be faster than the person beside me but about trying to be better than the race before. It’s the same in life, always wanting to be better… stronger… more driven.
So help me out… what do you get out of racing?
The Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon Recap
Me, Amanda, And Jeanette
We had a wonderful weekend! There was good company, food, putt-putt, and of course running.
On Friday Dan, Amanda and myself piled into the car to drive the 2.5 hours north to Myrtle Beach, SC. The ride was uneventful, as was the rest of the night. Just what we needed!
Saturday, we headed to the expo…
It was small but organized pretty well. Because there aren’t a lot of vendors, we walked in and walked out. With over 4,000 runners this year, I was expecting a little bit more out of this but was kind of disappointed. We picked up some race fuel (which I ended up leaving in the car) and continued on with the day.
The rest of the day included lunch at a wonderful little health food cafe, Bay-Naturals. We were so happy to find this little hole in the wall healthy cafe and store. Everything on the menu was organic and had vegan alternatives. It was as close to our day to day diets as we could get. Perfect for race weekend!
We actually ended up eating the rest of our meals here for the remainder of the trip… 3 times total.
Dan and I kept saying that we wished that Bay-Naturals was in Charleston. We would go there all the time!
If you’re ever visiting and want something aside from bar food or touristy seafood joints, check it out!
Putt-Putt was a blast, but I was told not to quit my day job… mini-golf not my strong sport.
Like all race days, the 5am wake up came far too early. But nervous energy filled our hotel room and caused us to be wide awake. With bibs on, we headed out to get our 13.1 miles done.
My awesome husband dropped us off at the starting line and then headed back towards to finish to wait (with a side trip to Starbucks of course). Best husband ever.
With temperatures in the high 50s/60s and misty rain at the start of the run, it felt amazing.
The route was different this year, so it was a nice surprise to see where it would take us. It took us through everything, busy streets, medical complexes, neighborhoods and even a small area of trails in a park. The final 5 miles were all on the main Ocean Blvd.
Each mile seemed to pass quickly, and I was amazed to see my pace under 8 minutes from the start.
That would actually lead to disappointment.
At mile 8ish, I met some great guys from North Carolina and we decided to pace together. I kept seeing numbers like 7.45 flash on my watch and I was feeling great, couldn’t believe I was still hanging in at mile 11.
At this point, those nice gentlemen walked through the water station and encouraged me to keep going forward, just two miles left!
I crossed the finish line at 1.46.06… a new PR, placing me 11th in my age group (out of 212; and 54th overall out of 1723 women)!
But I was also a tad bit disappointed.
The entire time my watched flashed sub 8-minute miles, right? The few times it did get close, I would quickly speed back up to stay around a 7.58… or so I thought.
An 8-minute mile would have made my time 45 minutes even.
Which had been my “A” goal all along.
What I learned was something I had suspected for a while now, my Nike+ GPS is off. The pace was off from what the guys’ watches were reading but they of course wanted to go with mine since it was the better number of the 3. Also during recent runs, it has been off by as much as a mile compared to friends’ data. I’m not sure whats going on, but I was pretty bummed. My pace averaged an 8.04 mile… so close.
Lesson learned: Technology is great and useful, but don’t rely on it. Not an excuse at all, but I will go after that 1.45 in January at the Charleston Half Marathon!
The medals are AWESOME but could also be used for a weapon… a zombie sword perhaps?
The course was mostly flat, and I really loved the new route. I was never bored and to be honest I was in a great mood the entire race, it was actually fun! I think that this is a great race for first time half marathoners. It’s also a great PR course because the end has a few downhills, but no uphills.
I also LOVE the medals, they are not only medals but also magnets and beer openers… 3 things in one. Better than a Swiss army knife!
Though I didn’t hit my “A” goal, I did PR by 4 minutes and 27 seconds. I’ll take it.
I really love this race, and being that it was my very first half marathon last year, it was great to be back and to see how much I improved (by 8-minutes).
And of course it didn’t hurt to have my friends running it too.
- What’s the reason you run/race?
- If you don’t run, what’s the reason you workout?