Leading Ladies Half Marathon 2012 Race Report

I’m finally getting around to writing up my race report from my August half marathon in South Dakota.
I don’t know what it is that made me take so long to write it- somewhere between the injury recovery and the pace of life, my attention got taken elsewhere. Now, 4 months later, I report.

This race was my very first destination race (not counting a little 8k I did back home in Chicago this summer)

Planning and packing for a destination race that’s in a small town like Spearfish, SD is challenging, because you go into it knowing that you most likely won’t have the chance to stop at a store and buy the things you have forgotten.

Important note: Don’t forget anything ūüôā

My super awesome friend La Nae and I planned a fun girls weekend that would include a little RnR as well as some sight seeing. We were originally supposed to go with some other gals (as this is a women only race) but they weren’t able to make it, so it was just Nae and I.

We were so excited about our little road trip that we decided to head up 2 days early! Nae had a friend graciously offer up her cabin, 2 hours south of Spearfish, for us to stay in for free. We packed lots of goodies and foods we could both have (me being paleo and her being gluten free) and we headed out!

We have reached South Dakota!!!

We got to the cabin (which was just perfect!) and settled in.

Our view from the cabin

Being the little adventurers that we are, we headed into the nearest town to walk around and get some ice cream…

Purple Pie Place!

After our ice cream we went back to the cabin to plan out our next day and to figure out what we had to do for our packet pick up.

We woke up bright and early the next morning and Nae made bacon on the grill! We packed up some things and headed north, to Spearfish!

It helped being able to drive this a day early, so that we would know how long it was going to take to get there race morning.

We took care of the packet pick up first thing and I got myself this nifty headband as a souvenir for our trip.

My new headband

On our way back down to the cabin we stopped by the side of the road to capture the obligatory photo of Mount Rushmore.

This was neat for me, because I haven’t been here since I was 5 years old- 25 years later I was finally back and able to fully grasp the magnitude of this work of art.

Mt Rushmore!

Heading back to the cabin we stopped at a steakhouse in town and had buffalo burgers (bunless) with sweet potato fries.

When we got “home” ¬†we got our race clothes ready and I attached my bib to my new Nerd Fitness tank!

Nerd Fitness Tank Top is ready to race!!!

As evening approached we settled in and started to do the logistics of the race morning…. oh boy was this going to be rough…

(I’m not even going to get into how the water ran all day with the toilet and used the entire¬†reservoir…)

Here is what our race day looked like:

2:00am wake up and get packed up and make smoothies for breakfast

2:30 am Hit the road and head to Spearfish

4:30 am Catch the bus that drives up the canyon, as this was a ALL DOWNHILL race.

5:30 am Reach canyon top and join hundreds of other fantastic women who are ready to RUN!!!

6:00 am RUN!!!

The race was great! We were super happy to be able to ride a bus up the canyon as there was only parking available down at the finish line.

Nae and I on the bus!

At the starting line it was chilly (it was 5am after all!) and so they let us wait on the warm bus as long as possible.

When we finally got off the bus we started to line up- the starting mat was one person wide, but it was chip timed so we were totally fine being way in the back.

At the start I met an awesome girl who was running her very first half for her mom Robin! I had to get a picture because of her super awesome shirt ūüôā

She’s running for Robin!

Nae and I took one last photo before the starting gun went off!!!

Nae and I pre-run!

Originally we were going to run together, for my 30th birthday, but I told Nae that with this race being all down hill, she had a chance to PR and she should take it! I’m so glad that she listened to me, she did fantastic!!!

As the gun went off I got my music going and settled in to a speedy but comfortable pace. I was going along great until about mile 6 when that horrible and familiar pain started to creep into my knee. Just like my first half, I could tell that my IT band was going to be an issue. (My first half it was my left knee, this time it was my right)

I began a long progression of running, stretching, walking, repeat. Around mile 10 I couldn’t hold back the tears any more. I was in so much pain, and so miserable. All I wanted was to PR this race and instead I was being tormented with the same issues that I had trained so hard to avoid.

I’ve never felt as broken, physically and spiritually, as I did in those last 6 miles.

In the last mile things flattened out, and my spirit started to come back, enough so that I could push through and actually run. All I wanted, more than life itself, was for this race to be over.

I finished with a PR of 2:43:29!

Here is my “smile through the pain” photo…

Posing with our medals and roses.

Here are my splits:

9:55 9’55″/mi
20:28 + 0:36 (-7%) 10’32″/mi
31:29 + 0:28 (-5%) 11’01″/mi
42:01 – 0:29 (4%) 10’31″/mi
52:44 + 0:11 (-2%) 10’43″/mi
1:04:08 + 0:41 (-7%) 11’24″/mi
1:15:34 + 0:00 (-1%) 11’25″/mi
1:28:13 + 1:13 (-11%) 12’38″/mi
1:40:17 – 0:34 (4%) 12’04″/mi
1:52:21 – 0:00 (0%) 12’04″/mi
2:06:20 + 1:55 (-16%) 13’59″/mi
2:20:20 – 0:00 (0%) 13’59″/mi
2:34:27 + 0:08 (-1%) 14’07″/mi


Overall, I guess since I had a PR it was a good race, but I don’t think I will be doing a downhill race ever again.

I learned enough about myself and how I run to know that from now on I need to train for the specific type of event- for example with this race I should have trained running down hill and pavement.

We live and learn- and my next half marathon will most likely be the one to benefit the folks of Sandy Hook Elementary in January 2013 and my FIRST FULL will be the Texas Marathon in April 2013!!!

See you on the trail!!!


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