Friday, October 24, 2014

Thirteen point freaking one - DONE!

Well, I did it.

I might even go as far as saying I crushed it. 

Look -- I'm even smiling!!! I'm a finisher!
My final few days of half-marathon preparation were pretty easy.  Especially since I skipped my last training run.  I just really felt like rest was a better option on Friday.

Saturday morning, I got up early (so I would be able to go to bed early that night) and headed to the downtown farmers' market.  I walked up and down the stretch several times, getting in plenty of steps (and more than I thought I would).  Then, I went to pick up my race packet.  I also walked around the expo there and while I was intrigued by plenty of the running goodies, I decided to hold off on any spending.  The rest of the day, I tried to stay busy -- so I wouldn't think too much about the race in front of me -- but also relax a little.  College football provided a nice distraction.  My Cyclones put up a good fight against the Texas Longhorns, although they didn't come out of it with a win.  I also had a really good and healthy dinner, which was on the blog yesterday.

I wish I could say I slept well Saturday night, but I didn't.  I woke up every few hours ... between dreams about not waking up on time for the race.  Clearly, my brain was not as relaxed as I wanted it to be.  I finally got out of bed a little before 6 a.m.  I took a quick shower and had breakfast until my dad arrived.  Then we headed downtown to check out the starting area and use a real bathroom at the YMCA.  (I'm proud to say I didn't use a single porta potty the entire day.)  

While I waited in the chute to get going, I did what I always do in public situations when I'm alone --- struck up conversation with the person near me.  We talked about the route and our running histories.  The woman was running her first marathon although she'd heard good things about the half route in Des Moines.  Like me, she wasn't really concerned about her time but instead was just intent on finishing.

When we got going, I started out at a nice easy 12:20/mile pace.  It felt good, and I felt good so I went with it.

At mile two, our first entertainment arrived  -- a dude in demon gear holding a sign that said, "You're almost done," and a woman in an angel costume holding a sign that said, "He lies."  There was more to her sign, actually, but I can't remember it now. There were plenty of other funny signs along the way too.  They might have been my favorite part.  Honestly, the spectators really made a ton of difference.  It was nice to have people cheering almost the entire route.

A few miles in, a woman in pink next to me said, "You're holding a good pace, I think I'm going to stick with you."  So we ran together for a while, and somehow, while running with her, I was suddenly running at a 12:09/mile pace.  I passed my friend Jen during this time and we chatted briefly before I moved along.

Jen and me after the race.

About halfway in, I started meeting the faster half-marathoners.  I started looking for anyone I might know, which took my attention off my distance and pace for a few miles.  Around mile five, my left ankle started bothering me, but I did my best to ignore it.  Around mile seven, I got a side stitch and thought I was running out of steam, so the lady in pink pulled ahead of me a bit, and I was left by myself.  Not to worry, I always find someone to chat with.  I found several someones the remainder of the route.

I didn't see a familiar face until about mile 12.  That's when I spotted my friends Ashley and Wes.  I nearly started crying.  It meant so much to me that they were there.  I had to fight the emotion and just keep going.  Apparently I missed my friend and running club sponsor, Beth, about a half-mile later.  But I spotted my dad as I hit the last two blocks.  And then my friend, Jamie, was there at the finish line (apparently she had tried to get to Gray's Lake, which is around mile 10, but I was running faster than she anticipated).  It was awesome to have people there cheering specifically for me and supporting me.

Crossing that finish line felt amazing. Honestly, outside of my ankle issue and a side stitch around mile eight, I felt good during the whole run.  I realize now that I probably could have gone faster, but I don't mind.  I finished.  I challenged myself and achieved what I set out to do.

So, maybe you're wondering how I did.

 Well, here was my run-rating scale:
GOOD: Finish.  That's all.
GREAT:  2:45:00 - 3:00:00
AWESOME:  2:35:00 - 2:44:00



That's amazing.  

Especially considering I still had plenty in the tank for the last half-mile stretch, during which I definitely kicked it up a gear. 


Last week's workouts
Friday: Off.
Saturday: Off
Sunday: 13.1 miles -- IMT Des Moines Half-Marathon!!!
Monday: Off
Tuesday: Off.
Wednesday: Off.
Thursday: Off.

Yeah, so I let myself off the hook a bit the last week.  I have no regrets. I think I needed it.  I am eager to get back to fitness activities next week.


  1. HOW AWESOME!!! So proud of you!! you look so genuinely happy in that picture!! I want your dedication so I can do this too, I bet it feels great! congrats!

  2. So proud of you lady!! That is such an AMAZING accomplishment!!

  3. You are awesome!! That time is amazing, so proud of you!

  4. Congratulations! That is definitely a time to be proud of!

  5. That is a wonderful time!! And you should be beyond ecstatic, you DID IT! (and you felt great while doing it!) I'm so glad I've been around to cheer you on & see you complete this. YAYYYYYYYYY!!!

  6. Congratulations! I'm not at all a runner, but I truly admire people who enjoy it! :)

  7. That is an amazing time! Congratulations!!!

  8. Great job! I would love to do another half but a. I don't think I have ran at all since my last one in 2013 and b. As much as I love race day (and the spectators!) I HATE training. Maybe I should start with a 5k...

  9. I teared up reading this, Micah. You are AMAZING and you really did crush it!!!! So proud of you and how much you worked towards reaching this goal!!! :)


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