Fine tune the machine!

Well April has arrived!!  Now that we’ve enjoyed some pleasant temperatures during the last month, April decided to throw a little surprise of its own.  The Ann Arbor Half Marathon was on my docket for April 3rd.  Little did I know the temperature was going to take a nose dive the night before the race!  Driving up North we had high winds and snow!  Nothing over an inch but it was quite miserable on Saturday April 2nd.

This race was picked out because I struggled on the course last year at this God Awful hill around Mile 10.  I have my own personal push to never walk on a hill.  Those that have run with me know that I always say to “embrace the incline” or “charge the hill”.  Well…I charged the hill last year and the hill just kept on going!  Zigging and Zagging through a park setting you’d swear the hill would go on forever!  It broke me just a short bit from the top and that sat with me for the entire year!

Race morning was a feel like temperature of 16 degrees but the winds were only around 4 or 5 mph.  The skies were clear and the sun was on the rise!  This race starts out right next to the “Big House” (Michigan Stadium) and goes on through city streets, campus area, and beautiful neighborhoods.  The streets suck as most Michigan roads do…lol…but the sights make up for all of it!  You get the roads, some gravel area and a mix of gravel and dirt for the park section.  As my sister says…”You feel like you’re on a constant incline”!

I ran with my sister for the better part of the race as she is my training partner and I always enjoy sharing the sights.  Right before mile 10 I pushed a little ahead and there it was…THE HILL!!  From the beginning of it all the way through I kept telling myself, embrace the incline, charge the hill, run your race and don’t look up!  Well Hot Dog when i reached the top and cleared the hill I almost burst into tears!  I kicked the hills ass and still had something in reserve!

It was just a few miles to the finish and I thought it was time to turn it on!  I picked up the pace to an 8:22 at mile 12 and added a bit more after that.  I felt a shadow for the last few miles and sure enough, I had a young lady who had been pacing me.  She came along side and then passed me just after the mile 12 marker.  So I decided to pick up the pace and see if she was going to race it in.  Yup…She stepped up the pace again when I got beside her!  What an awesome challenge!  From there I ran along side of her and forced her to push her hardest to keep with me and/or pull ahead.  In the last block I said “lets go…don’t let the old man beat you”!  We ran across the finish line side by side and after crossing she turned around and said “Thank you”!  She said she needed to push and I was very happy to assist!  The competitive spirit in a runner is so strong and yet we are such good sports!  It made the end of my race so much better to know that I helped someone reach their potential and finish strong!

This race was a “tune up” if you will for the Glass City Half Marathon.  I wanted to run a nice steady pace and do a hard push at the end.  I also wanted to punch that hill in the face and I did it!  I feel pretty strong and have high hopes to PR at the Glass City!  It’ll be a challenge and you never know what the body or mother nature are going to bring.  Last year was a 1:50 and some change so I’m within reach!  If the weather is good and I don’t break anything…I just might break that number!  Always reach and never be afraid to fail!  Failure teaches us and forces us to evaluate, train and try again!  I beat the hill that took me last year in Ann Arbor…now I need to beat the time I set last year at the Glass City!

Thank you to all that follow and support me!  Thank you to everyone that continues to help me raise funds for Mobile Meals Of Toledo!  Let’s keep going and make this a great year!  I’ll see you on the road!

~Zombie~

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