After getting registered our next step is to secure our reservations at Great Wolf Lodge for the weekend, and by booking early we do save a bit of money. Bayshore is during the long weekend we have made it a family vacation for the last several years.
I have run Bayshore half marathon in 2011 and 2012. In 2011 I was 26 weeks pregnant with my youngest and I visited every port o potty possible during those 13.1 miles! In 2012, my littlest was 9 months old, we were still nursing and the return to training was less then stellar, so after putting it in perspective my 2:17 time was still a PR and still something to be proud of.
When I got in for 2013 my goal was a sub 2 half marathon, I planned to use and stick to the Run Less Run Faster plan. Great in theory but, speed work in the winter in Michigan is tricky, getting strep throat 2 times and a week long vacation in Hawaii before the race made it a bit tougher then I thought. I still trained and logged miles, including 2 13.1's on a trail, and one sub 2 13.1 in my neighborhood. I was confident going into the race, not really nervous, mostly anxious. I planned on running most of it solo, even though I was starting with fellow GP runners who were under strict instructions to stop me from going out to fast.
The day before the race we arrived at Great Wolf Lodge, swam for a bit, then headed to Pangeas downtown for pizza (Margarita Pesto Pizza with a pint of seasonal Right Brain). After, it was off to packet pick up, which like usual is small. I grabbed my race number and shirt and we were headed back to the hotel so I could head to bed early.
Race morning I kept things as normal as possible, and did not vary from any other log run morning. Took my thyroid medicine, got dressed, had my coffee, had a banana, and about an hour before the start had a half a Honey Stinger Waffle (normally it would have been a whole one but the kids wanted some-mistake #1 because I was hungry around mile 4) and 16 oz of Nuun on the way to the start. We got dropped off at the start about 6:50, had enough time for a stop at the port o potties, dropped our bags and headed towards the staging area. We took our GP Runners picture, listened to the National Anthem and enjoyed the beauty of the course. Weather was perfect for the race, around 40 degrees at the start, and plenty warm enough for my Under Armor Heat Gear tank, Brooks PR Mesh Skort, Pro compression socks, Brooks visor, and cheapie knit gloves.
Lap 1: 9:13.26 (John and Angela did a fantastic job of keeping me contained at this point)
Lap 2: 8:50.59
Lap 3: 8:57.64 (This is where I lost everyone and took off, I was feeling good)
Lap 4: 8:58.17
Lap 5: 8:44.09 (We started passing the marathoners on the bluff so that kept me occupied for a while looking for Dan and Megan)
Lap 6: 8:51.40
Lap 7: 8:38.11
Lap 8: 9:04.65 (This mile I slowed to eat a Honey Stinger Gel. Looking back I waited to long, I had been feeling hungry starting around mile 4 but didn't want to eat to early)
Lap 9: 9:21.08
Lap 10: 8:51.21
Lap 11: 9:46.46 (This is where it started to fall apart, I kept trying to keep a decent pace and I would have to stop every so often to walk. Even though it was brief walk breaks it added up and cost me the race time I wanted)
Lap 12: 9:34.66
Lap 13: 9:52.31 (I literally was giving it everything I had at this point, my legs just didn't feel like they were moving, my hamstrings were screaming)
.1ish (GPS says .17): 1:22.97 (Entering the track I attempted to sprint to the finish, apparently my husband and kids were cheering for me, the announcer even called my name and I didn't hear a thing.)
I stopped my Garmin and the elapsed time was over 2 so I knew it would be close.
Chip Time 2:00:04.6 Pace 9:09
As I walked through the shoot I had 4 separate volunteers ask me if I was ok/needed the medics. Clearly I was looking about as good as I felt. After picking up my drop bag and finding my family I headed to our meeting place near Moomers Ice Cream tent. Yes, it was amazing ice cream!!
4.6 seconds! So close, if I had just shorten the few walk breaks by a step, if I had ran a just a few seconds faster, cut a corner a little tighter. Seriously there are a million what ifs, a million I could haves. As I sit here the day after, unbelievably sore (ok so maybe Bayshore is not as flat as I remember), I can honestly say I left everything out on the course yesterday. It will only be a matter of time before I crush the 2 hour half and I am choosing to focus on the positive from yesterday. I PR'ed, I took 4 minutes and 4 seconds off my half time from just 2 months ago at Rock CF! I took 17 minutes off my time from last years Bayshore! I had a ton of fun, really I did, and I enjoyed the scenery and the awesome spectators along the course. I pushed myself to a point of uncomfortable, a point where I really could not give anymore. I came within 4.6 seconds of a time I never thought was possible if you would have talked to me 2 years ago when I was not running any faster then 11 minute miles.
Overall Bayshore is still one of my favorite races, always well organized and weather wise has the potential to be perfect (last year it was around 70 at the start to hot for this "sweater"). If anyone needs me December 1st at 8:00 am I will be at my computer attempting to get my golden ticket to 2014 Bayshore!