Friday, March 20, 2015

Huntsville Track Club

I love reading our Huntsville Track Club newsletter.  It's fun to see your name in print. Yes, they still mail it out and don't just put it online.  I love this because I save them all!  I usually appear in some race results in the newsletters, but last time I was pictured twice in the January/February issue. 

The first was a picture with Malcolm Gillis, a long-time HTC runner who passed away and was honored with this memorial.  I am in the bottom left corner with Malcolm. This was the day of my first marathon--The Rocket City Marathon in 2001.  Malcolm was director of the marathon and was giving me a door prize of $1,000!  I have a huge grin on my face since I was so excited!  Not only had I just finished my first marathon, but I had also won a huge prize!  I was a new teacher and was really excited to have won that money.  This picture brought back some great memories from that day.

The issue also featured winners from our annual awards banquet on November 14, 2014.  This is me and my husband, Rick, with Regena Moore.  She is presenting us with the Norm Harris Achievement award for our volunteering over the past year (see write-up here).  We were so surprised to get this award!  It was a really nice night.  We enjoyed dinner with friends and got to see many outstanding members of our club being honored for their achievements.

It's great to belong to this club, and I welcome you to join if you live near our area!  Our next meeting is on April 21, and there is a free meal and guest speaker.  Hope to see you there.

Scottsboro Half Marathon March 14, 2015

Saturday, March 14, 2015 
I got up at 5:30 to shower and fed the baby.  My family and I left our house at 6:30 to get to Scottsboro at 7:30 a.m.  I was glad to have Rick driving!  The day was cool (50s) with just a little drizzle.  
Rick and the kids watched the start at 8:00 a.m.

Kids Half Marathon 8:30 a.m.

The kids had come to packet pick up (at First Place on Friday) and had seen a sign up for a kids half marathon.  We always try to take advantage of those when we can.  They are usually free.  The kids are supposed to run/walk all of the miles except the last 1.1 (or 1.2 for a marathon) in the several weeks before the race.  Since my kids had been logging miles for a kids marathon in May, I told them we could count 12 of those miles towards this race and make them up after this race (so they will have run/walked 12 miles before this race and 25 separate miles before the kids marathon in May.  This is very doable for my kids since we usually walk at least a mile a day!).  At packet pick up, the kids were given a bag full of goodies.  They were excited to run 1.1 miles today!  They were given shirts and medals at the finish line.  Since I was running my race, I missed theirs, but Gregg Gelmis got some good pictures!  

The Race

With all of the snow/ice the last few weeks, I hadn't trained well for this race.  I mainly tried to get 4-6 miles of running or elliptical 5 days a week, with one longer run of up to 13 miles.  No speedwork.  Over a year ago I made a goal to PR attempt (sub 1:30) today, but as the race approached I knew I wasn't ready for that today.  I set a more realistic goal of a sub 1:50 a few weeks ago, but last week I did a 1:45 half marathon in training so I convinced myself that I could try for sub 1:40 (7:37 pace) today.  As you can see, I was all over the place with my goals/expectations of what I can do.  I was finding it hard to determine a pace that would be realistic yet challenging.

I started in the low 7:20s and decided to hold them as long as possible.  I was 2nd place female from the start.  The first few miles felt great, and I enjoyed seeing friends on a couple out-and-backs.  Around Mile 6, I realized that there were a lot of rolling hills in this race and a lot of pretty boring straight sections.  I was finding it harder to keep my pace.  Things got pretty tough in the last few miles and I slowed to 8:00 minute miles, just showing me that my goal was a good one and that I would have to fight for it!  My body is coming back from this baby! 

 Right before Mile 12, I spotted a fellow Fleet Feet teammate, Eric, up ahead of me.  He said he was looking for the 1:40 pacer but didn't see him (Eric had planned to pace the 1:30 group but fell off pace).  Then he asked if I wanted help coming into the finish.  I guess I looked bad--I felt it--so of course I took him up on his offer!  He talked and distracted me and also kept me informed about the pace.  I was not too bummed when he said we'd missed the 1:40.  I knew I really was giving it my all for the day.  I appreciated his help but most of all his compliment that I was one of the toughest runners he knew.  It means a lot to hear someone say that when you are struggling.

Finally, I rounded the corner towards the finish line!  I made it in 1:41:25.

 It was great being greeted by my family.  I nursed the baby before the awards started and was happy to receive a nice medal and bib holder and gift certificate.

I was sent an email with my official results.

Katie Maehlmann
Overall Place:     26
Chip Time:  1:41:25
Gun Time:  1:41:27
Pace:   7:45
Age Group (Female 35 to 39) Finish:  *****/22
Gender Place:  2
Closing Thoughts
I will race in the McKay Hollow 25K next weekend, and then it's back to 5Ks and 10Ks for me until a fall marathon (haven't planned which one yet).  I felt very sore on Sunday after this race, but I know I am getting stronger.  I even got up and ran twice with my running group this week.  It's so nice to be back with them!