American Family Fitness Half Marathon 2016

Oh look a race report several months late! (And yes, this post has several photos I with awful watermark because, oh well.)

0044

Y’all! Coming back from an injury (TL:DR- Runners Knee) is no joke. And the HMTT (or The Half or The Half Marathon Training Team) was an incredible resource for this year. I *think* I’ve posted about the training team previously, but if you’re feeling TL:DR: it was great. Jeremy and I registered for the training team with our desired information. The first day we were in separate groups. We decided we’d go ahead with whichever group we were placed in and report back on which group was better.

0041

We picked my group, The Falcons. We made several friends in the group. My frequent running buddy was also named Nicole. We loved having structured, supported runs every week. The training guide they produce is also fun. I think I documented my progress for at least half if not three quarters of the training time.

0040

Race day. Our friends the Pullams gave us a personal VIP experience. We parked our car downtown the night before, near the finish line. Best idea ever. Kathryn drove us home and we were good to go. Jason and Kathryn picked us up the next morning super early- yay for a runner host- who gets my insane need to be super early to a race.

0006

We dropped off our bags, keeping our throw away clothes and what we wanted during the race and then Kathryn let us in to our top secret, toasty warm, clean bathroom waiting area.

0010

Let me tell you, waiting inside was magical. We made our way to our corral close to the start of the race. Found some friend we needed to take pictures with and started our race.

0001

I had in my mind the pace I wanted to run (9:40 min/miles) and the mile markers where I’d make decisions about how I felt, with plans to speed up throughout. I MUCH prefer a negative split race.

0046

And my race went nothing like I’d planned.

0023

It went faster.

0024

I maintained a really nice pace for the duration of the race. Hard, but not unbearable and intense enough that I was delighted.

0011

Kathryn and Jason found me a couple times throughout the race. It was incredibly wonderful to have a personal cheering section and paparazzi. 

Also side note: All of the shirts for the 13.1 runners… ugh. The cotton shirt is orange, the singlet was neon orange and the long sleeve was tomato soup red.

Thankfully a kind friend traded me her blue (Marathon) shirt for my red. I have previously survived the full race otherwise this would feel weird.

0020

I tried to smile every time I saw a photographer. I think I did pretty well.

0019

Here’s Nicole, Jeremy and myself at the finish on Brown’s Island.

0003

I can’t remember now if Nicole and I saw each other on the race course or not, I think she and Jeremy saw each other though

0050

Unbelievably thrilled with my finish.

0046

9:05 min/miles overall for 13.1 miles.

screen-shot-2016-11-13-at-1-51-50-pm

In general this is a super awesome race. If you need or want a first marathon or half marathon, the folks at Sports Backers have it going on! (*I can say this with a lot of confidence because I just ran the BolderBoulder 10k ~50,000 runners and Sports Backers wins hands down for organization of event).

Insert gracious comment here