Nov 10, 2014

Race Report: Victory or Death Memorial Half Marathon

I know I ran a half-marathon just two ago, but when I saw that there was going to be a LOCAL half-marathon, I had to sign up!  I feel I need to support as many local races as possible to hopefully encourage even more races coming to my city.

The 56th Special Tactics Squadron put on the Victory or Death Memorial Race to honor their military brothers and sisters who were killed in action and paid the ultimate price for our freedom.  At the finish line was a huge board with the pictures of these very heroes.  On each mile marker was the name of one of the fallen in silent tribute to their sacrifice.  The opening ceremony was somber as we paid a moment of silence for each of these brave people.  It was an honor to run this race as a salute to their memory.
Marathon Moms Running Group Ladies
Three of my friends were running this race as well.  It was a pleasure to meet up with them at the start and finish. We all were running our own race, so this gave me the opportunity to chat with fellow runners as our paces synced up.  I ran with a pretty awesome lady most of the first half of the race.  She was an ultra-distance runner, and just getting back into running after having her second child.  I kept pace with her as long as I could hold it, and I was doing pretty good--trucking along at a 10-minute-mile pace (30 seconds faster than my expected pace), until we hit the turn-around of this out-and-back course where the 18-25 mph winds were then fighting against us.  About at mile 8 she pulled ahead of me as I needed to slow down if I wanted to run the entire time.  Still, my pace was solid.  
Trying to smile through the pain...I only have two miles left to go here.
Although I was exhausted and felt like I was running up the side of a mountain due to the wind resistance, I kept running and kept pushing until I crossed that finish line.  According to my GPS watch, I scored a new half-marathon PR and my official race time confirmed that: 2:18:27!  When that special tactics airman placed the finisher medal around my neck, I felt victorious!  The post-run soreness was even a testament to my accomplishment.
Me and my running buddy Maria sporting our medals

While I was off running the half, my daughter had the opportunity to run her very own race.  She participated in the Kids' 1K fun run where she earned a medal of her own.  This was her first-ever running medal and she proudly wore it the rest of the day.  She was so happy when she got to hang her medal up on my medal display.  She said, "I like running fast like Mommy!"  Best feeling ever!  I'm glad to see that she is taking an interest in one of my passions.  One day, I hope that I can run and train with her at my side...or even leading the way.

I love this picture of me and my daughter.  She absolutely loved earning her own medal.

I hope that this race sets a trend locally.  I would love to see more races held here.  Although I do enjoy the occasional race-cation, I prefer to run locally.  It's nice to wake up at a normal hour, have the option of all my running outfits at my disposal, then be able to return home after a race.  Additionally, I think it would build a more runner-friendly community, especially with the race-fees supporting it.

In training for this half marathon and the Monster Dash, I used this training plan from Women's Running magazine.  Since my schedule--and the weather here--can be a bit hectic, I don't follow the weekly schedule linearly.  Instead of doing each workout on a set day, I take all the workouts of the week and prioritize them (long run, speed work, and tempo runs are mandatory with easy runs being optional-but-encouraged).  I then pick and choose which run to do on each day.  I strive to complete my long runs at the beginning of the week, Monday or Tuesday, since they are the basis of building endurance.  This leaves the rest of the week open for the shorter runs.  I like the freedom of decided on my own workout for the day, especially on a day like this when the winds are outrageous (today's wind speed is 30 mph sustained).  I also take Sundays off for training, as I like to have Sundays focused more on worship, family, and rest than work.  This plan carried me to another half-marathon PR, and I like running the higher mileage in training.  The 14-mile long runs were highly effective for building confidence.  So far, this has been my favorite training plan.

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