Recapping my 2017 race in the Novi Half Marathon!
Yesterday I ran the Novi Half Marathon and it ended up being an incredible race for me. I got a new PR, met a goal I had not planned on meeting yet, and overall felt strong and happy through the race. But let’s back it up a bit…
Since February I have been training for this particular race. This was probably the first half marathon I trained for that I barely thought about while training. I knew the race was in April and I knew where it was, but through training I did not really think of the race itself. I was in the busiest part of my student teaching internship and really just focused on making it through my remaining weeks of interning, not necessarily thinking about the race. Training was good and I hit the workouts I needed to, following Kara Goucher’s training plan, like I did for my last half marathon.
I shared a training update halfway through this training cycle and shared that training had been going pretty good so far. I discussed how I was not sure what my goals were for the race, and that really did not change until race morning. I really was just going with the flow during the training cycle due to other priorities I had going on. I did share three goals that I had for the training cycle: join a group run, hit goal paces & adjust if necessary, and go with the flow. And I can say that I definitely met each of those goals for the rest of the training cycle! I went to a group run and although the weather was AWFUL that day, I had fun running with others and we had food and drinks after our run and talked about all things running. My version of a fun Thursday night! I have not made it since due to conflicts with my schedule but will hopefully make it out there this week.
As for the other two goals – I definitely hit my goal paces through the workouts. My goal pace was 8:30, but the more I did my workouts at that pace, I started to get this feeling that I could go a bit faster. I let the thought of racing a bit faster go through my head, but kind of left it up to a “morning of” race decision. And my last goal was go with the flow — with my schedule being as unpredictable as it was the last few weeks, I definitely went with the flow. Some runs I had to cut a bit short, some days I missed a run during the week and had to make it up on Sunday. I never let myself stress about it and just went with it.
So I had a good training cycle and although I went to bed Saturday night with no specific race goals, I left it up to how I felt in the morning to decide my race strategy. I had a relaxing Saturday evening and got a full 8 hours of sleep that night. I woke up in the morning feeling refreshed and ready to run. I knew, as I woke up, that I was ready to PR. I drank a cup of coffee as I got ready, then as I headed out the door with my parents, had a bagel on the road, along with water. The weather was… crappy. I was expecting rain and thunder, but luckily that pretty much held off. It was on the cold side, especially after having a few weeks of temps in the 60s and 70s every day, but I decided to wear my Oiselle Volée singlet anyway along with arm sleeves to keep warm. I wore my Oiselle Roga Shorts and Pro Compression Marathon socks. I knew that I started running I would warm up and would much rather be cold at the start then too hot during the race. I also wore my Mizuno Wave Rider 20s to race in.
I got there about a half hour before the race started. The race started and finished at a middle school, so they opened up the cafeteria for everyone to wait in and use the bathrooms inside. About 5 minutes before the race started, everyone headed outside to the start. One of my complaints about the race (I really don’t have that many at all) was that they did not organize or stagger the start line. People just lined up and went from there, while I am used to the faster runners starting out front then moving back based on pace. I lined up where there was an open spot, but once I started running, it took a while for everyone to pass others or be passed and find their spot.
The race started and we took off. Once I found my stride, I felt great and was going a little bit quicker than my goal pace, but decided to go for it. The race was through a lot of neighborhoods and was mostly flat. There was really only one hill that I would call a “hill” at around mile 8, but it was not bad at all. I felt good through the first half and noticed that with every mile I was still clocking in paces below 8:30. I started to feel really confident that I would PR and even thought that I may have a chance to break 1:50 (something I have really been wanting to do, but had not thought I was ready for yet). Around mile 8 I took in one Medjool date — I had paced two, but only ended up needing that one. Every few water stops I would take in a bit of water, even though I never really felt like I needed it because of the cold weather. But, I knew that not taking in any water because of the temperature outside could get me into trouble later on in the race.
As I continued running under pace, I did some mental math and realized that if I kept at it, I would break 1:50. I decided at mile 10 I would really start chasing after the finish line. When I got to mile 10, I tried speeding up, but felt like I was going at the same pace I was before. Eventually as I kept getting closer and realized the PR I was about to have, I started speeding up more and more. Mile 13 ended up being my fastest mile — what?! The finish line is on the middle school track so you end up running 100m to the finish line on the track. After I saw my split for mile 12, I pushed myself to have one last kick to the finish line. As soon as I turned onto the track, I felt like I was back in my middle school track days and SPRINTED. I have no idea where that kick came from, but it came out in full force and I felt like I was flying right into the finish line. I made it through the finish line, grabbed my medal and a water bottle, then looked down at my watch and saw that I had broken 1:50. I could not believe it. I had the race of my dreams and all the miles through training had paid off.
I found my parents at the finish line, who just barely saw me finish since they thought they still had a few minutes, and immediately texted my brother (who is my biggest running supporter) that I had broken 1:50. I did not know my official time until we got back inside to the middle school cafeteria, but it ended up being just a second different with what my watch said. I looked at my results with my age group (20-24) and saw that I had placed 4th in my age group, which I was really happy with.
Official time: 1:49:23 (8:21 avg)
Overall: 75th of 314, 18th female of 151, 4th in age group of 17
- Mile 1: 8:14
- Mile 2: 8:08
- Mile 3: 8:18
- Mile 4: 8:23
- Mile 5: 8:23
- Mile 6: 8:16
- Mile 7: 8:19
- Mile 8: 8:23
- Mile 9: 8:21
- Mile 10: 8:24
- Mile 11: 8:30
- Mile 12: 8:22
- Mile 13: 8:02
- .1: 1:14
Overall, the race was amazing. I knew that I was going to PR and during those last few miles I kept telling myself to soak it all in so I could remember this race as much as possible. The weather held out (it only rained for a couple of minutes around mile 10) and it was a well organized race. It was an exciting first race of 2017 and my first race with my Oiselle singlet. So far I do not have another race planned until July, but I already have the racing bug in me and I really want to see if I can swing something in late May or June… we’ll see!
Thank you so much for all of your support during this training cycle and my race. You are all the best! <3
- Do you have any races coming up? I want to cheer for you!