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Germantown Half Marathon Weekend Recap

Germantown Half Marathon Weekend Recap
Germantown Half Marathon Weekend Recap

The Germantown Half Marathon is a race I’ve heard about for years but for one reason or another I had never registered for it until this year.  The timing for it is usually two weeks after LRM which makes it hard (for me) to race both.  Since I did not run a full marathon this spring I decided to give Germantown a try.  For a relatively small, local race it offers prize money.  You never know who will show up at races like this but I thought I would give it a shot.  If nothing else it would be a good workout and a fun weekend away with the kids to wrap up their spring break.

We left Saturday morning for Germantown, Tennessee which is about two and a half hours from our home in Arkansas.  I was feeling pretty good about racing but once again the weather in the predicted forecast was not looking very cooperative.

another race in the rain?!

Welcome to Tennessee!

We went to the expo to pick up my stuff and then John suggested driving the course.  When he is with me he likes to do this and it really does help me.  The kids were watching Monsters Inc. in the back so they didn’t seem to mind.

After we checked in to our hotel the kids were ready to swim.  Any time we stay at a hotel with the kids I always look for one with a good indoor heated pool.  According to them a pool can turn any trip into the best. vacation. ever.  We actually had the entire pool to ourselves for over an hour and they were having a blast.

 
 

After we cleaned up we had an early dinner at Carrabbas and then back to the hotel.  John took them all swimming one more time while I got my race gear together.  I planned to wear the same outfit I wore for Little Rock Half- including my visor because of the rain.

Saturday night I slept great and woke up ready to go Sunday morning.  The race started at 7:30 and we left the hotel by 6:45.  When John dropped me off it was dark and starting to rain.  I warmed up, used the restroom and was ready to race.

The Race
Once again my pacing plan was to stay between 6:20 and 6:30.  Two weeks ago my watch averaged 6:29 so I figured this was doable.  The race has some rolling hills with the biggest in the first 5k.  It was raining from the start and was pretty constant throughout the race.  I was very glad I wore the visor!

Mile 1- 6:21
Mile 2- 6:34
Mile 3- 6:39 (biggest incline)

Germantown Half Marathon Elevation Map


When I saw John for the first time during the race was at mile around mile 3.5 with the kids.  I’m not sure why but I felt like I was already struggling which is never a good sign that early in a race.

Mile 3

Checking my pace- still a long way to go!

Mile 4- 6:32
Mile 5- 6:31
Mile 6- 6:37

John was right before mile 6 as well.  At this point the guy in the black was trying to stay with me.  He had passed me twice but slowed down each time so I passed him back.  Most of the time I just heard him right behind me. When I saw John he told me I was 3rd female.  This was my guess but after being wrong in Little Rock two weeks ago on my placement I wanted to be sure. (In that race I thought the whole time I was 2nd when I was really 3rd.) 

Mile 7- 6:40
Mile 8- 6:28

John was also around mile 8.5.  He said this was an easy course to get to different cheering locations but I should note that he is an expert at being a race spectator.  He really is. I have no idea how he manages four kids, closed roads and navigating in new cities following race maps- but he does! And Abi is turning into an excellent race photographer!

Mile 9- 6:31
Mile 10- 6:38

The last 5K was rough. I was having some stomach issues (which has never happened to me during a race before). My main goal was to hold onto 3rd place.  

Mile 11- 6:34
Mile 12- 6:41
Mile 13- 6:45
Mile 13.18- 1:08 (6:04 pace)

Official Finish Time: 1:26:41/ 3rd femaleOfficial results can be found here.  (The first two females finished in 1:19 and fourth finished in 1:28.)

John and the kids were right by the finish.

Best support crew ever!

Since this was an early race we had plenty of time to head back to the hotel for me to shower and change before the awards.

Then we headed to church followed by lunch at Red Robin. 

Then it was time for the drive back to Arkansas in the rain…

Post Race Thoughts
I’ve had two half marathons recently and to be honest I’m not thrilled with either performance.  Neither race is the best I have in me right now.  I know I can do better.  There is something so thrilling about racing to your potential.  It’s an amazing feeling.  I haven’t felt it since after the 3 Bridges Marathon in December.  I want to get back to that place.  I am putting in the training so I don’t know if it’s a plateau I need to break through or what.  I do not mean to sound ungrateful with my third place finish at either race because I am.  I want to run thinking “I know can do this!”– not “This feels so hard.  How many more miles?!”  I want to walk away from a race knowing I ran the best I could.

I could probably talk more about this but I’m just going to leave it as is.  If anyone reading this has ever been through a dry spell racing period like this though I would love to know how you pulled out of it.  Thoughts?

16 Comments

  1. Wow! Sounds like an awesome race to me… although I also definitely understand that feeling when you know it isn’t your best. My last half was like that- my legs felt heavy and my breathing was more labored than it should have been. But still, congrats! It was a really solid (and FAST race!) And John really is amazing… navigating the closed roads especially, that can be a nightmare for spectators. I’m impressed!

  2. Sounds like a tough race day, but you pushed through and still had an amazing time. I ran LR with the idea of wanting to enjoy it rather than the “this feels so hard” thing going on. Part of me a bit disappointed that I didn’t do better. I’m struggling with that fine line of enjoying and pushing myself harder. And this course sounds pretty tough with the rolling hills.

    1. Thanks Heather and congrats on your 10K! Seems like there were a lot of races this weekend and Saturday’s weather was so much better than Sunday.

      I know I enjoy racing when I push myself to bringing out my best- wherever I am at the time. It is hard to find the right balance with it though. Ughhhh. I’ll keep trying!

  3. I was there too, of course like a million hours behind you πŸ™‚ Congrats on a great race! This was the first year that Start 2 Finish ran this race and I feel like it made a huge difference. This is not an easy course so I think you did great! I hope you enjoyed your time here!

    1. Thanks Cecilia! How did you do? I thought it was very organized with Start 2 Finish (although I have nothing to compare it to since this was my first year to do it). The uphill finish is a little challenging but I know I can do better next time. Definitely doing this one again. The Germantown area is so nice. πŸ™‚

  4. You are awesome Tia! I think you put too much pressure on yourself which takes some of the fun out of running. You should do a race just for fun, like a trail run, and not concentrate on pace. Just see the beauty in your surroundings.

    1. Maybe you’re right… I am running in the Light up the streets 5k- with my son Saturday night which will be for fun. I definitely focus a lot on time and pace so maybe I need a break from that…

  5. Maybe take a break and reassess what your objectives are. Why are they important to you personally? Sometimes I find I’m training blindly out of habit and forget about the reasons that drive me forward. Once I stop and think carefully about what I want and why its important things suddenly become easier and my performance improves. But it was a great result you got anyway πŸ™‚ well done!

  6. I know the feeling. Training always has its ebbs and flows. Mine is mostly related to my allergies (Oct and March are the worst for me and racing). Having tough races helps me really appreciate and push when things do go perfectly. That’s about all I’ve got to offer.

    I’d like to add that I was that little kid with the hotel swimming pool too. We could be anywhere and if the hotel had a pool, it was my favorite vacation ever. I spent pretty much every waking moment in the water.

  7. Congrats on an awesome race, consistent times too! 2 hard races like that close together and still solid placing and times. When I get into a rut I like to throw a wrench into the works and mix things up. Throw in a 5k or some random distance if you are focusing on halves. Maybe do more cross training a few days and then come back to running without a training plan for a few days.

  8. Congratulations on your third place.

    I don’t have a lot to offer on how to overcome a dry spell. I’d just make sure you have all the bases covered. If you’re getting all your training sessions done and you’re eating and resting well then it should come right.

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