Rock CF Half Marathon: Recap

Last Sunday, I did something I have been working for about a year to do: I ran a sub 2 hour half marathon.  I seriously almost cried, but I was so exhausted.

  
I honestly wasn’t sure it would actually happen.

So the idea for me to run a sub 2 hour half started at the end of 2014.  It started off as this half baked idea, that over 2015 became more of an obsession.  I’ll get back to this idea/goal later on.

The race itself was awesome!  I found out this past week that over $100,000 was raised to support the Rock CF Foundation.  The Rock CF (Cystic Fibrosis) Foundation is a non-profit, that is dedicated to improving the quality of life for those who have Cystic Fibrosis.

This race was recommended to me by a friend, and I would 100% sign up again.  Race swag is cool, but I love a well organized event, and a nice course.  The race was located in Grosse Ile Michigan, which is a small island in between Michigan, and Canada but it is connected to Michigan (that’s important).

I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew it wouldn’t have been recommended to me if the event was a mess.  From the very beginning the organization was on point: they had a free app, and sent out very detailed emails on where to park, when to arrive, what to expect etc.

They had shuttles from the parking area to the middle school which was where everyone started and finished and gear check was located.  The only con was the potty situation.  And to be fair – it was not a con, it was done this way to accommodate the participants.  Instead of inside potties, the only pre-race potty option was the outdoor porta potties (it was dark and cold) – but again this was necessary for the amount of people registered.

  

The course was what it promised – it was flat.  Yeah there were a few rolling hills, but nothing to write home about.  The course went around the island, it was so scenic, and it was a really fast course. The only difficulty came from the southeast part of the island, the course really opens up here, and I just running into a fairly epic wall of wind, and the runners were pretty scattered so I couldn’t find anyone to draft off of. This did impact my time but I was still able to meet my goal. 

So overall it was seriously a great race, with great crowd support, and they had a really nice post race spread of food (panera bagels, fruit, etc), overall super well organized and executed event.

In terms of the actual run, I really wasn’t sure I would run sub 2. I didn’t have a plan other than attacking the race with everything I had. I went out with the 2 hour pace group, and they were running pretty aggressively, my first 2-3 miles were sub-9. And up until mile 10 all of my splits were around 9:00-9:10. Around mile 8 was when I looked at my watch, looked at my time, and made the decision to go for it. At that point I was in the neighborhood of 1:09:00 with 5 miles left, and I felt good- I was definitely pushing myself but was maintaining my effort. 

It wasn’t until mile 10 my splits slowed down, I ran a 9:29, and 9:20 minute miles, and that ate away any buffer I had to get to my goal. So mile 12 and 13 was just me mentally yelling at myself to move my tired legs. My mantra was something along the lines of: move faster don’t puke, move faster don’t puke, remember to breath….are you breathing!?! 

When I hit the mile 13 marker I knew I was going to hit my goal. It made coming across that line so freaking epic. On top of that I saw my friend Stef (Dynamic Runner) right when I crossed, and she has been helping me with training and plans all along the way to this goal. 

  
I got to bang the PR gong once I was finished, I have never gotten to do that before (I’ve never done a race a gong was at) so that was also pretty nifty.

So the idea to run a sub 2 hour half marathon came at the end of 2014. At that time my best time was 2:15. And I started thinking, that the first half I ever did, I ran in 2:40:00- and my thought process was: if I’d already been able to take 25 minutes away from my time then I can definitely get to sub 2. The closest I came in 2015 was 2:02:00, which was one of those awesome moments, but it was also like a “nice try but no cigar” moment too. 

Again I can’t say enough good things about this race, I’d do it again for sure, and I also love that the money goes DIRECTLY TO a great cause. 

 

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