The Half Marathon Race Verdict is in……….

Today I woke up or I should say set my alarm for 4:30. I fell back asleep and got up at 5:00. At 5 I felt a little stressed because I was already out of routine, but I must have needed the sleep. I made my way downstairs, made some coffee, ate my usual egg muffin sandwich(Weight Watchers) and chilled for a while checking my blogs and doing some reading. Around 6:00 I got myself assembled in my gear, gathered my GU gelpacks, drank some last minute water and headed out. I planned on running with my waterbelt, but when I arrived I did not see too many people wearing one so I figured at that moment to try to run without it. I-74 was busy as my way across and by the time I parked and found my place to start the race it was 7:15. I was cold and at some brief moment before the race I realized that
1. I can do this race
2. I have prepared hard to get to this point and nothing is going to stop me

All my negative doubts that I had during the week erased from my memory and I was focused. The race too off and I felt good. Adrenaline was flowing like crazy and it took me a about 30 second to get to the starting line once the cannon went off. I ran the first mile in 8:12 and thought so far so good. The second mile I ran 8:05 pace and still felt great. I think it was this mile that I finally began to sweat. It was so cool to run over I-74, but I did not know that the bridge moved so much and I thought I was going to barf at one point. The third mile I still held a good pace running around 8:13 mile pace and then for the next few miles I really picked it up. I was running faster than I have ever ran before. I ran mile 4 7:50 pace, mile 5 at 7:58, mile 6 at 7:53, mile 7 at 7:55, mile 8 at 7:57. From this point on I quite marking my Garmin watch and just ran as I started to focus on the watch more than just enjoying the race. Additionally, my Garmin data after this point is messed up as I thought I stopped my watch when I finished, but actually did not hit the button and it kept recording my time for almost .8 of a mile as I walked around finding water and food.

When I look back to my blog post on May 30th, I entered the following goals

Goal #1: Run in one of the two half marathons in September(either the Quad City one or the Waterloo Park to Park)

To achieve this goal I have created checkpoint goals

Goal #2: Spend the last week and the next two weeks to build a base of running where I am putting in 15 miles each week to establish a foundation
** I completed 13 miles this week and feel good making 15 this week**

Goal #3: Follow a half marathon 12 week workout when the timing presents itself. So, I will need to start this training in mid July when it is nice and cool. HA!

Goal #4: To stay motivated for the training for the half marathon I will run the Bix 7 and keep me focused up until mid July

These four goals all lead to my ultimate goal

Ultimate Goal: run the entire Chicago Urbanathlon without walking.

I have a good plan(at least I think I do) to get things going. That is always the first step. I have gone back to really trying to eat healthy. I think I will need to shed about 13-15 lbs in order for my joints to hold up. I have lost a few lbs just this week so headed in the right direction. I will keep you posted.

Goal 1: Check and completed
Goal 2: Check and completed and I cannot believe that this is where I started
Goal 3: Check and completed
Goal 4: Bix 7 completed in my personal best and record time
Notice I did not have a time marked for the half marathon. I later added a time of 2 hours and just two weeks ago bumped it to 1 hour 50 minutes. Today I beat my personal best time of 13.1 run of 1 hour 53 minutes by running the QC Half Marathon in 1 hour 46 minutes. I crushed my time and ran at a pace I never thought I could possibly run. This comes out to a 8:09 pace. I finished 268th overall out of 1726 finishers. I finished 31 out of 98 in my division. Not to sound stupid, but I am so proud of myself. I am living proof that anyone can achieve their goals if they just pursue and lay out a plan to achieve the goal. 
I still have the Urbanathlon in three weeks which is going to be the ultimate challenge, but for now I am celebrating my hard work that has paid off. Thanks for everyone who follows these posts. I have received comments and emails throughout and they all go to my memory and help keeping me pushing towards my goals. As always I have to give thanks to my wife and kids who put up with me always talking about my training and acting like they care as I know it gets old to hear about it all the time. Jeff Paul gave me great advice from time to time when I had no idea what I was doing.
Last, I was not the only one who did a great job in this race. Mr. Shepherd ran the half in 1:45 finishing 245th overall and 35 out of 111 in his division.  Mrs. Noeth also had a great half marathon time of 1:57 and taking 40th place in her division. Ms. Wikoff also ran a great race today coming back strong from a long term rehab of a major leg injury.She finished in a great time of 2:40 and what a turnaround from where she was not too long ago when she was held up with a cast on the couch with all sorts of problems. Mr. Lopez and Mr. Tritt were part of the 5 person relay team that took 6th place overall running the entire marathon in 2:58. And last Mrs. Gaffney ran the entire marathon in 3:33 finishing 3rd in her division and 117th overall. What a great staff we have here at Bettendorf Middle School to not only have all these people run, but to have them run this well.
Back to the gym tomorrow and time to completely change my training to prep for my race in Chicago. I will post more details later, but now it is time to fall asleep and pray for no cramps.
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