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Mid-Land Half Marathon - RunHalf Marathon

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Midland, Michigan
United States
Michigan Half Series
45F / 7C
Total Time = 1h 21m 31s
Overall Rank = 9/
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 3/
Pre-race routine:

Here’s where I’m at. All I wanna do is run.

I wake up to visions of quiet, dark roads and trails all to myself, watching the sun rise over a frosted ground, and hearing the first birds of the day sing me good morning.

At work I escape the drone life by planning out my next run route and dreaming of being out in the woods again. When I get home I have to resist lacing up my favorite shoes and going out for a second run. Sometimes my will breaks and I’m out in the dark running again.

On a training run, I was listening to Moore’s book, Lamb, and something caught me. Essentially, it’s the idea that you drill something every day over and over, so that the action will become natural, spontaneous, without being diluted by thought. Joshua, aka Jesus in the book, says compassion is this way. He goes on to say love is not something you think about, it’s a state in which you dwell. And running is starting to feel this way too.

But I do need race goals to keep me going. My first ultramarathon, the Huff 50k trail race, is in a month, so I’ve been building my running mileage up to ~70 MPW. And it’s time to litmus test my fitness. Plus, I’m a sucker for a great deal, so when I saw this half-marathon for only $25 bucks, which included pair of gloves, I couldn’t resist.
Event warmup:

The race is in Midland, a little postcard town in the thumb of Michigan. On my way into registration the morning of the race, I chatted with this guy in a Kenya hat for a minute. Nice fella with a beautiful accent who I’d later see passing mile 7 when I was at mile 5, on pace to a 1:08, 1st place finish. Huh? I thought this was a low key race! Amazingly fast.

  • 1h 21m 31s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 06m 13s  min/mile

Back at the start, all these rail-thin, track star looking dudes crowded up to the front. My dreams of a high overall place were drifting away like smoke rings from Alice’s caterpillar. I must’ve eaten the wrong side of the ‘shrooms to think I could keep pace with the real runners, even at a race with only ~300 athletes.

Sure enough, a pack of 15 quarter horses burst off the line and never looked back. Knowing I had to run my own race and see what I had left at mile 9, I ran a steady 6:19-6:24/mi for the first 5 miles. This put me precisely into no man’s land. I was way behind the leaders and only able to pass a few early faders who weren’t running consistently enough to draft off. Thankfully, the rail to trail we were on was entirely forest lined, so it shielded from the 10 mph wind.

After the turn around at midpoint, I started feeling really smooth, like my legs were gliding under me without thought. I kicked it up to 6:15/mi and started hearing shouts of encouragement from the runners going the other way. I cheered them back and used the positivity to channel strength in moments of weakness.

The bigger mileage I’ve been investing paid dividends in miles 10-13 as I started reeling in three runners who’d had gaps on me since the start. I was hitting 6:10/mi with a strong effort, but not redlining, and as I saw their outlines grow closer, I knew that I if I could pass them I’d be in the top-10 OA. It was exactly the motivation I needed and felt great to pass them so late in the race.

Quickening my turnover and remembering those early morning sessions at the track gave me enough strength to run hard through to the finish line, which showed an impossible 1:21:31. I had no idea a 3 minute PR time was possible today and couldn’t have been happier. What a great day for a run.
Post race
Warm down:

I congratulated the top finishers, stretched out, grabbed a delicious gyro from a corner pizza shop, and then went for a 20 mile bike ride on the same trail system we ran on, after the last racers had finished. Love this trail system and it was a perfect-o day, so why not?

Profile Album

Last updated: 2011-11-04 12:00 AM
01:21:31 | 13.1 miles | 06m 13s  min/mile
Age Group: 3/
Overall: 9/
Performance: Good
Course: Out-n-back on the Pere-Marquette rail to trail path
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2011-11-13 9:16 PM

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Ann Arbor, MI
Subject: Mid-Land Half Marathon

2011-11-14 7:08 AM
in reply to: #3900692

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Subject: RE: Mid-Land Half Marathon

That RR read like a novella.   I think there's a mistress in your life, and her name is Running. 

Congrats on walloping huge 3 minute PR.  If you're gonna get knocked off the podium, who better to do it than some Kenyans!  

50k here comes Yeats!!!

Edited by Dream Chaser 2011-11-14 7:22 AM
2011-11-15 9:19 AM
in reply to: #3900692

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Subject: RE: Mid-Land Half Marathon

You write the worlds greatest race reports.

And congrats on the race too!

2011-11-15 10:00 AM
in reply to: #3900692

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ann arbor, michigan
Subject: RE: Mid-Land Half Marathon
Wow! That is Fast!
2011-11-15 10:54 AM
in reply to: #3900692

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Frisco, TX
Subject: RE: Mid-Land Half Marathon

Great job!  A surprise PR is a wonderful thing.  Good luck on the upcoming ultra...

2011-11-15 7:01 PM
in reply to: #3900692

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Subject: RE: Mid-Land Half Marathon

2011-11-17 9:23 AM
in reply to: #3900692

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Subject: RE: Mid-Land Half Marathon
that was lovely to read. Congratulations.
2011-11-18 2:00 PM
in reply to: #3900692

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Ann Arbor, MI
Subject: RE: Mid-Land Half Marathon
You are so fast those Kenyans are going to be nervous the next time you toe the line
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