When a good friend invites you on a girls weekend which includes a race- how can you say no? Originally I had no intention of racing Germantown this year. It was right after my horrible sinus infection in March and I was just getting back to running. But we had a great place to stay (Candice is from Germantown and her parents still live there) so I checked with John and he said go for it. My friend Jackie joined us at the last minute as well. She planned on running the 5k as a tune-up race before her first half. Germantown is right outside Memphis, TN and about a 2 hour drive from where we live. It was a perfect mini girls trip!
The Race: Germantown Half Marathon
Location: Germantown, TN
The Date: Sunday, March 15, 2015
We arrived in Germantown Saturday afternoon and went straight to the expo which is at the Germantown Athletic Club. We picked up our race packets and long sleeve tech shirts.
Then we went to Candice’s parents house to drop off all of our stuff before dinner. They have a beautiful home and were the best hosts. (More on this later!)
We went dinner and did a lot of shopping in a few short hours before heading back to Candice’s.
For whatever reason I woke up around 2:30 and could not fall back asleep. This happens occasionally before a race or hard workout. I wish it didn’t and I’m actually doing a lot better about this. (It doesn’t happen nearly as often as it used to.) Anyway, I laid there wide awake for a few hours and finally fell asleep about 30 minutes before we had to wake up. When we went downstairs we found Candice’s parents had arranged a beautiful pre-race breakfast spread with everything a runner could want before a race. There were bananas, bagels, fruit, toast, cereal, coffee, juice, water and I’m sure much more I can’t remember. I just had a piece of peanut butter toast and some water. On our way to the race I drank a spark. (I have one 30 min before every race for energy and to help me focus.) Once we got to the race we had enough time for restrooms and warm-up. Two pre-race essentials!
My plan for the race was to run a conservative half (closer to marathon pace). If I felt good I would pick it up but overall this was more of a hard effort training run. Germantown has a good mix of rolling hills so I didn’t want to be too aggressive after some time off due to illness. This race also happens to give out prize money so placing in the top three would also be pretty awesome. Last year I was in better racing condition when I ran Germantown and I came in 3rd overall with a 1:26:41. I’m definitely not a sure-thing when it comes to prize money because it just depends on who shows up race day. Over the past few years or so I’ve learned that I can only run my race and not worry about the “what if’s.”
Last year I went out in the 6:20’s for mile 1. That was not my plan this time. I was hoping to be closer to 6:50 and then slowly pick it up if I was feeling good. Around mile 4 I moved into 3rd place. I went back and forth with the second place female for about 2 miles during 5 & 6. Then we teamed up and past the first place female (one on each side) right before the 10k mark. Poor girl did not see it coming. We stayed together another 2 miles but I couldn’t quite hang in the 6:30’s anymore. The last few miles I stayed in the 6:40’s but held onto 2nd place female overall.
Official Finish Time- 1:27:57. (Results can be found here.)
Splits- 6:39, 6:54, 6:48, 6:41, 6:27, 6:29, 6:30, 6:36, 6:38, 6:46, 6:40, 6:45, 6:49, 1:09 (6:09) for last .19
After the race I cooled down with Jackie (who finished 4th in the 5K) and the male winner who happens to be from my hometown. He won with a 1:08. He ran another half marathon in Texas the day before this race and won with a 1:10. Who does this?!
My friend Kerri was pacing Candice who finished in 2:04- a 16 minute PR! (This is only Candice’s 2nd half marathon- she did great!)
After the awards we headed back to Candice’s parents house to shower/ pack up. Then we went to the Majestic in downtown Memphis. Candice has the sweetest parents who wanted to treat us all to a delicious post race brunch before we went home. I had the french toast and it was wonderful!
All in all the weekend was so much fun and I’m glad I decided to jump in and race. It was a great long run/ hard effort to get me back into training mode which was just what I needed.
Have you ever run a half marathon as a training run?
The Majestic Grille in Memphis- have you been there? I would definitely recommend it!