So I am about 3 months late on this, but I wanted to post a bit about my experience this year with "Grandma's 1/2".
This was my first half marathon back in 2012, and also my current half marathon PR from 2013 (2:10:21). This year however, I knew going into it that there would be no PR. My training was just not up to the level that it had been in 2013. I accepted it, although of course still intended to do my best!
On Friday afternoon, I headed out for the 2+ hour drive to Duluth with my friends Katie, Ashley and Erin. We took my car, and we made sure to decorate appropriately!
We got checked into our apartment at UMD (which, by the way, I HIGHLY recommend, as long as you don't mind sleeping in a not-so comfy twin bed. But there's a kitchen, living room, bathroom and 2 bedrooms each with 2 twin beds. Split between 4 people, the rate can't be beat. Plus, there was constant shuttling between UMD and Canal Park not only on race morning, but the whole time we were there pretty much. The convenience just can't be beat, either!). After that, we hopped a shuttle to Canal Park where we went out to eat with several other Moms RUN This Town ladies from the Duluth chapter. I chose wisely and didn't eat anything that would have the potential of messing with my stomach, even though I sure could have gone for something big and greasy ;-)
After eating, we headed to the expo and to get our race packets. It's a big expo, and pretty crowded, but it was still fun and I enjoyed having the time to just walk around and check things out. We spent a lot of time at the Bondi Band booth searching through hundreds of Bondi Bands to find Moms RUN This Town ones. We were successful, and I think all of us ended up purchasing at least one.
After that it was time to head back to our apartment and get our ducks in a row for the morning. That is one part I love about longer races - the whole ritual of getting your stuff in order the night before.
We got ourselves fixed up with KT tape, made last minute race-gear decisions, and layed out our "flat mamas" (an MRTT tradition).
The following morning, we got up bright and early. Got ourselves ready, hopped the shuttle that would drop us off 13.1 miles away from Canal Park in Duluth. The weather (foggy) was not great for seeing the beautiful scenery of having Lake Superior directly to our left, but it was great weather for running....it was very cool.
The race itself went fine for me. It wasn't great, it wasn't bad. I am very happy with how I did (2:18). That was nearly 8 minutes off from my PR from the previous year, but I was prepared for that. I felt like I put in the perfect amount of effort, to do well but not make myself miserable. After all, this was not just a race, it was also a girl's weekend, and I wanted to feel good for some celebrating later, which is exactly what we did (after getting cleaned up and having a little nap back at the apartment).
And so, the 2014 Garry Bjorklund half marathon (AKA Grandma's half) has joined the 2012 and 2013 Garry Bjorklund in my "completed" list. I am looking forward to hopefully running it again in 2015!!