Happy 10 Year Runnerversary - Lola's Half Marathon

Lola's Half Marathon was an impulse registration once I realized it was schedule on the day I think is my anniversary of running.  I should've registered for the 10-mile, but am glad I did the half-marathon as it was a good learning experience ahead of Red White and Boom.

Registration - online registration was easy as always.

Packet Pick Up - Olive and I went to early packet pick up at Running Room in MOA.  I'd never poked around the MOA store.  I found it small and not having a ton of clothing merchandise.  Shockingly, I wasn't in the market for shoes so didn't peruse those.  We were offered a discount if we purchased something, except running watches (duh) and nutrition (wtf?)

Weather and Wardrobe: Race started in the 60s with humidity.  Rain and clouds were a possibility but the race was mostly sunny and ended in the 70s
Feet: NB Minimus - the green ones because those can get wet.  That turned out to be a great choice for other reasons.  Thin liner socks.
Body: 2XU shorts and Nike singlet.  This is so much less complicated than a winter race.

Start line: There were sort of not enough port o potties.  They made up for it by having two massive lines, instead of those bunches of shorter lines.  But even getting to the start line at 7:35, I barely made it to race start at 8am.

Course: The first 5K are in town, and then a long loop around Lake Waconia itself. I had done a waters top on this course for Bolder Options some years ago, so I'd had a brief preview of one specific spot.   Apparently I saw the flattest part of the course ever.
Hills - I'd had a sense from looking at the course profile that it was going to be hilly.  The hills are different than Flying Pig (shorter climbs, but more of them).  The terrain was very challenging.  That hill at the end is every bit as awful as it looks.
Mixed surfaces - The course is mainly on paved roads.  In the beginning there was a bit of a bike trail.  And then there's some legitimate single track.  Those shoes were a great choice.  Also, a bit of dirt roads which were surprisingly pleasant for running.  Thank goodness it didn't rain because there were some places on this course that could've become a true slog.
Open course - this course is closed to traffic in a few places near the start/finish and through one park. The country roads around the lake are open to traffic and runners stay on the shoulder.  Some of the cars slowed down but some blew right by at 55mph which was not that comfortable.  Running on the shoulder of the road made me feel like I had one leg longer than the other by end of the race.

Pacer problems - unlike my last race, the pacer showed up for this one.  I was excited to stay with her for the start.  The first mile had some downhill and I was keen not to do anything too stupid.  By like, the second block of the race I was all "well, I'm just going to let her go".  I caught back up on the down hill only to come into the first mile in 11:02. It was supposed to be 11:27.  That was exactly what I did not want to do. I pulled back my speed and didn't try to stay up with her.
Pacing myself problems - I wished I'd started this race at my own pace, focusing on about a 12:00/mile pace.  Once I let the pacer go, I wished I'd slowed myself down more than I did. I think it would've paid off at the end.   I did not look at my heart rate once, but I did look at my current pace and lap pace a lot.
Endurance issues - I was really pleased with my time through 10 miles (I came in under two hours).  After that, the hills just owned me.  Most of my training runs have been in the 10 mile range.  I have a month to add some 12-14 mile runs ahead of Red White and Boom.  I will focus on correct pacing and staying strong towards the end of the run.
10 year Runnerversary Celebration - This run was really to celebrate that 10 years ago I started running when a friend wanted to try a 5K and I asked if I could join.  So when I hurt at the end, I let go of the time goal and focused on the learning for Red White and Boom.  Olive helped me celebrate and I ran into a friend on the course who paced me for a couple of miles in the middle that would've been very dark without her. 

Finish: I pretty much collapsed at the finish.  I got my medal and went down hard on the grass willing myself not to be sick.  Great success.

Post Race Party: The post race party at Lola's Lake House was fun.  The post race food (Pulled pork sandwich and chips) was really good and the beer was great as well.  They had the beer and food lines moving fast. I didn't expect to like it near as much as I did.

Race Recommended For:
5K - there is a 5K with dogs if that's your thing.  Olive liked it
Half Marathon/10 Mile - Anyone who likes hills or likes a challenge.  Running is single file where the course is open to traffic so this is not a "let's run with a big group" kind of race.
Someone asked me if I'd do this next year.  I found this to be a well organized and well supported race. If I knew ahead of time, I could train for the hills.  I wasn't wild about the cars on the course. 

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