On Sunday, June 5th, we ran the Dexter-Ann Arbor Half Marathon. We ran all 13.1 miles of this race! This was my second half marathon and my husbands first.
After a sleepless night, we got up early. Our neighbors were hosting their daughters wedding and there was music, drinking and dancing that kept one of us up all night.
Breakfast was toasted sourdough English muffins with peanut butter and coffee.
The traffic was clear for our drive downtown. We played a spontaneous game, guessing which vehicles were going to the race. Running bumper stickers made it an easy game.
After parking downtown, we got on a shuttle bus. We arrived at the starting line, a high school in Dexter, about an hour before the start of the race. We used the bathrooms a few times and found a warm spot to stretch inside the school.
At about 8:00am they made an announcement that we could start lining up. Paul made a comment that this was the firs time at a race, he had been surrounded with serious and fit runners. After announcements and the Star Spangled Banner we started the race right on time – 8:30AM.
We have been training at a 9:30/mile pace for our long runs and our goal was to take it easy the first 6-7 miles and then see what we had left. Our goal was to finish under 2 hours.
It was really crowded for the first 6 miles. We stayed mostly in the middle of the road. At 85% humidity we were sweating pretty quickly. We stayed right with the 9:00/mile race pacers until the 4th mile, when we both made a quick bathroom stop. That set us back a little but and we decided to keep holding the 9:00 for a few more miles before we picked it up.
It was kind of weird at first to run with so many people. Paul and I have been used to running alone for so long, it was different to be thrown into the mix of 4,600+ runners.
The course was really scenic. It took us along the Huron River and through downtown Dexter. We loved seeing all the spectators. They had some pretty creative signs and there was lots of music on the course. At one point a dog held a sign that read “Run faster, I just farted”
We were both feeling pretty good and took some fuel at mile 6.
At mile 9, we began to hear thunder and the sky got really dark. There was one flash of lightning and then all of a sudden it began to downpour and hail. It was raining so hard I could not see where I was going. I had to shield my eyes for a bit. All the salty sweat from my hair and sweatband poured into my eyes and made my eyes sting. We ran thru the storm and kept our pace.
I was nervous that they were going to shut down the race and make us all get off the road. Fortunately, the hard rain only lasted a few minuets before it calmed down. When it bean to rain lightly I realized how heavy my socks and shoes felt. I was wearing wool running socks that soaked-up the water pretty good. I ended up with 2 blister on my toes.
At mile 11-I got a burst of energy and started to really pick up the pace, at one point we were running a 7:45/mile pace. It was fun to pass so many people in the last few miles. Paul told me to slow down but I told him I felt really good. I should have taken his advice because at mile 12 – I was beat.
Paul lead the last mile, I was pretty wore out and much of it was uphill. Even during training, hills are not my thing. He kept having to give me lots of encouragement to keep up. We passed the 9:00/mile pacers before the finish line.
The last few hundred feet we saw two people pass out and fall down. They were so close to the finish line it was so upsetting to see. Aids and spectators ran to assist them.
We crossed the finish line, after a half mile of incline, at 1:57.05!
After catching our breath, downing a bottle of water and figuring out how to walk with jello-like legs, we got in line for snacks. Paul really enjoyed his pizza!
Overall it was a great race. I really want to run another half-marathon soon. It feels so rewarding to work hard and beat your goals.