On Sunday I ran the Detroit International Half Marathon and it was cold. Avid readers of my blog know that I did not train very well for this race. I didn’t plan well either when I decided to run this race because it meant I had to train in really hot conditions and then run in cold conditions. Never the less, I did it and was rewarded.
I think because the air was so much colder than I’m used to, it made me run faster. I went for at least four miles before stopping to take a walking break. And even when I took a walking break, it was short because it felt awkward switching my strides.
The one thing I found really difficult with this race was the amount of hills. There were a lot of hills both big and small. I had mentally prepared myself for running over the Ambassador Bridge into Canada, but I didn’t think about coming back over the boarder through the tunnel. When I got to the tunnel and we started going downhill, I realized that I was going to have to go uphill again. It was hard. There were a few other hills thrown in there, and I was tired of those.
Another thing that was different for me was the mental game. Typically I get through the first 10K before I have difficulties, and then when I get to the tenth mile I can get back into the game for that final 5K. This time I could get through the first ten miles and struggled with the last 5K, which was irritating because at that point I knew I was close to being done, but I couldn’t find the right way to motivate myself.
The last mile was amazing. As soon as I hit that 12th mile marker, I pushed myself and when I turned the corner for that final push to the finish line I gave it everything I had. Then my legs felt like they were going to give out. And the past two days I’ve waddled like a penguin. But none of that matters when I look back at my time and realize I hit a new PR with a time of 2:31:32. About three minutes faster than before. Hopefully with the next one I can get below 2:30!