So…happy new year. This blog fell off the rails kind of like me at the beginning of the year. January and February were fairly difficult months for me, as I struggled and battled through some personal issues. I’m doing much better now, and I can only hope to not fall into that place again. For a while, I didn’t think running Glass City was going to happen even though I had registered for it last year. The furthest I had run since having Lucas was 5 miles and that was maybe once. Thus why there was no training plan, no training updates…because there was no training.
Slowly but surely, the clouds began to clear at the beginning of March and I was able to complete a 7 mile run 6 weeks out from Glass City. I thought to myself, gosh darn, you are doing this. So with each passing week, I pushed my long run distance. 7 miles, 8 miles, 9 miles, 10 miles, 10.5 miles, and 8 miles. That’s it. There was no speedwork. There were no tempos. There was just me, my heavy breaths, my shoes bouncing along the pavement as I fought my way back.
Be brave. Be courageous. Be strong.
April 22 arrived. The knowledge of having zero pressure for time or expectations was freeing, My only goal was to finish. Just getting to the start line was a victory in itself and I was proud of myself for pushing through. Glass City is one of my favorite races and is definitely my favorite half marathon to do. My Dad had also registered and it was wonderful spending the weekend with him and sharing the day with him. We arrived bright and early to the start, experiencing some difficulties getting out of the parking garage at the Park Inn which delayed our arrival. We found parking quickly at Rocket Hall, however, and were over to the start area off of Secor by 6:30. I porta pottied myself and then headed to the start line. Because of the construction off Bancroft, the start was moved to Secor, which resulted in a change of the course. My goosebumps had goosebumps, not just from the cold of the morning but also my nerves. However, I quickly shoved those thoughts aside as we listened to both the Canadian and American national anthems. I was ready to do this, whatever the result. Off we went.
I found my legs feeling stiff, cold, hard to move amongst the crowd. (Probably because of my lack of any warm-up). I didn’t start to warm up until I hit Mile 3. I was trying my best to keep things easy, effortless. Forward lean, run from the hips, light feet. Be brave.
It wasn’t until Miles 6-7 that I decided to finally race. I was feeling really good and I was surprised that I wasn’t tiring as much as I thought I would. So I pushed. I high fived everyone that offered. I smiled as much as I could. I was enjoying the hell out of myself. My only regret was not to push sooner, because by the time I figured out how I was doing, it was too late to make up the time lost in the first few miles.
From Miles 10-13.1, we ran into the wind. It made it a lot harder to hold my kick, but I wanted to fully leave it out on the course. Everything was hurting. My left calf, which I strained a few weeks ago, was on fire. My right hip was screaming every time I went up a small hill or incline. But I kept repeating to myself: be brave, be strong. As I got closer to UT, I could hear the announcer and hear the crowd cheering. I closed hard and made some really good pain faces. I crossed the finish line, feeling like I couldn’t have pushed any harder.
Final 0.1–6:30 pace
Finish: 1:41:40. A small PR (by 15 seconds), but a PR nonetheless when I had no business doing so.
Mike and James met me at the finish line. There was no better way to end my race then burying my face into my husband and son’s waiting arms. I celebrated with my post-race beer in my Libby Glass mug and ate pizza while waiting for my Dad to finish. He rocked it as well, finishing in 2:32:51.
It was truly a great weekend overall and I couldn’t have asked for a better result. I’m sure that I will be back to Glass City again. I absolutely loved the half course this year, I felt like the changes helped to add some different sights and I actually liked having a little more elevation change. The race swag was on point, the half marathoners got a high quality quarter zip long sleeve wicking shirt and the 5K/marathoners got a short sleeve wicking shirt, a finishers mug, a high quality finishers medal, 2 beer tickets post-race and a nice selection of foods at the finish. James even got to participate in the Kid’s Marathon the day before and set his own personal PR for having his Mom drag him around a 1/4 mile track. Despite him attempting to bail at the start, he said he wants to race again, but he only wants to participate in “trophy races”. Truly, my child.