Just after 10AM I crossed the start line for the Old Boys' Brewhouse 1/2 Marathon. I started to Pat Benatar's "All Fired Up" and crossed the finish line to Faith No More's "Be Aggressive." And blew my PR outta the water by 10:32 (av. pace/mile under 9:30). I rocked that damned race! I had great cheerleaders, too, complete with a HTFU! banner around the 11.5 mile mark that kept me pumped for those last grueling miles.

There was some question as to the length of the race based upon maps I had seen online, but it was so well marked for mileage on the course that I am certain it was a full 13.1. Overall this was definitely one of the most well organized and enjoyable races I've ever run...almost the entire thing is on an asphalt bike path that runs around Spring Lake--our old stomping ground. I can't wait to run it again next year and feel so psyched for my HM in Grand Rapids in 5 weeks...that course is a bit less hilly, so I'm hoping to maybe cut another minute or two off of my time for that--but if I don't it won't break my heart, as I had such a great time today.

The first 3 miles were my usual "let's get this warm-up crap over, already." At around mile 3 another runner in an orange skirt and white top caught up with me and we stuck together for the next 3 miles. She is a personal trainer and a server at our nearest Logan's, so I recognized her. She's 11 years my junior and was telling me that she has also lost considerable weight in recent years--this was her first half marathon. I lost her on a hill around mile 6 (I do loves me some hills) and didn't see her again until the finish (she was a few minutes behind me and still placed 2nd for her AG--out of 3, I think...damn fast 30-somethings that I had to compete with).

The rest of the race I was alone. I passed 4 more runners between 6 miles and the finish, so I was so thankful to have my iPod for company. In usual form I pretty much maintained a consistent pace for the entire race. I really can't wait to someday have a Garmin to see the complete breakdown of pace over the course of a typical race. I sure do seem to be Ms. Consistency.

There were a total of 102 racers in the HM, I placed 76 overall (7/9 in my AG--one of the larger AGs in the race), so not bad. I'd really love to someday place in the top half of an event, but this was a pretty competitive field.

After the race I enjoyed a nice raspberry ale (our race swag included a pint glass with $2 refills all day for racers), a wet burrito, and lots of water. I'm really glad I didn't wear my 3/4 length tights--I was perfectly comfy in my skirt and even a little too warm in sunnier parts of the course. We were pretty sheltered from the wind until the last few hundred yards approaching the finish. I think the temps were ~65º with low humidity and not a cloud in the sky--perfect day.

And for my shoe whoring happiness NB was one of the sponsors and I got a gander at the 903...a bit less gaudy than the 902 (my speedwork shoe--I'd love to try it in a long race, but for now I limit it to shorter runs of 4-5 miles), but still appropriately flashy.

This will definitely go down as one of my most memorable races--and without any negatives. It was really a wonderfully blissful run.

Ooh, something that has me even more pumped...I was just looking at last year's Grand Rapids HM results and my time today would have nabbed me 13th place out of 46 runners in my AG--I was 27th last year (there was a woman who ran that in the identical time to what I ran today's race...and today's race didn't even have a start pad, so my actual time would have put me in 12th).

Damn...I'm on fi-yah!

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