The Quad Cities Distance Classic is a race that is near and dear to my heart. It was the first half marathon I ever ran (during training for my “first” half with Team in Training in 2009). Although I have thought about running it every year since, I haven’t yet been able to. First I was pregnant, then it was the week after another race, and then last year I was in the clutches of marathon training and unable to think about anything else.
Last week I ran a half marathon in Indianapolis (I promise someday I’ll write a race recap). I think it was last Friday on the drive to Indy when I asked my husband if it would be crazy for me to run the QCDC the following weekend. When he told me to go for it, I started seriously thinking about it.
After the Mini Marathon, I didn’t want to think about running another half in a week, so I told him to ask me again in a few days. And sure enough, after I felt good on Sunday and normal on Monday, by Tuesday I was thinking seriously about running again.
So on Wednesday, I made an executive decision that I wanted to run on Mother’s Day this year. I decided that running is something I love, and something that I wanted to spend part of “my” day doing. So I registered late – and I am glad that I did.
I wasn’t sure how well I would run given I ran a half last weekend and ran 6 miles yesterday morning. So I decided to just enjoy the run and not try and push the pace (yeah. famous last words…)
When the race started, we hit Mile 1 and I looked down to see a sub-9 pace. Yowza. I knew that was not sustainable. Then we turned to go up the biggest hill in the race (no lie, this one is a killer, but oddly enough I love it!). We then spend a few miles up on top of the river bluff before coming back downhill to spend the remainder of the race pretty flat.
I’m not going to lie. This race was tough. I definitely could feel my tired legs! Somewhere around mile 6 I took my only GU, it was one I hadn’t used last weekend (I am so thankful that I didn’t, or I would have been left fuel-less this weekend!). I also packed a few Jolly Rancher candies to help get me through. It’s amazing what a little sugar can do.
Right at about mile 8.5, I think I almost cried. I had forgotten that the race has two separate out-and-backs. Actually I knew that the race did, but for some reason as I went out on the first one, I thought blissfully that they had changed the course and I didn’t have to go out for the second one. I know I said something inappropriate when I saw the runners doing the u-turn to head back down the second one. It’s funny because I knew how long the race was, and I knew how many miles were left. I even told myself, “you have to run the same distance whether you’re near the lake or on the bike path…” But the fact that I still wasn’t going to leave the marina area just hit me hard, since I had convinced myself it was time to get up on the bike path. But in actuality, this was probably the best part of the race because I was giving high fives and cheering for the other runners the whole time.
The wind was pretty brutal in miles 9-10, as we ran back up the river bike path right into the wind. It was a beautiful day (it still is) but that wind was vicious! I think that those seem to be two of the worst miles in a half marathon, and to run them into a cold headwind was like torture!
Somewhere around mile 8, I turned off the Garmin pace display because I realized I was checking it way too often. So I was pretty surprised when I finished around 2 hours – would have expected it to be a bit slower, especially considering that I walked a few times. Oh, well!
So there it is: My 8th half marathon, complete. Now: time to relax and do nothing the rest of the day.
Oh, wait. I’m a mom of three. I’m sure I will have to do something.
In fact, it’s time to go round up the little one for a nap he doesn’t want to take. Wish me luck.