Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon Race Report

A good friend of mine introduced me to the brilliant quote:

“If you’re gonna be dumb, ya gotta be tough”

This gem of advice came in handy this past Saturday when I ran a half marathon without training. When I say no training, I mean zero preparation and zero running (which I not recommend). I am proud to say I finished and survived but I was in a lot of pain. Every muscle was on fire and I have never been so stiff in my life. Meanwhile I had to pretend like I was perfectly fine to avoid the “I told you so” lecture from my husband. He knows all too well that this is not the first time I have I have done this.

Someone asked how I am able to do a distance race with no training. I joked, that I was following the Barney Stinson training plan and had a strict diet of pizza and beer. This is not far from the truth this year. The kids’ schedules and the brutal Minnesota winter killed my motivation to lace up my running shoes. I showed up to the race because I din’t want to forfeit the entry fee and I finished because I am too stubborn not to do it.

I am not downplaying how hard it is to cover 13.1 miles nor am I downplaying the need to train. My are intentions are always good when I sign up. It is usually 9 months in advance and it always follows with a meticulous training plan. When my friends find out what I am up to, their standard reaction is to roll their eyes and laugh because they know I am a broken record and the text book case of insanity. They hear my excitement about the race turn into complete terror as the date approaches.

I honestly had no idea what was going to happen on race day this year. I went in with only one expectation and that was to finish alive. There were so many variables of the outcome and I did want death NOT to be one of them. Dropping out of the race never crossed my mind even though I was far from prepared. I just had to deal with the consequences and understand that it was going to HURT.

I was armed with a plan of doing run/walk intervals. I set my Garmin to 1:00 running/2 minutes of walking. For most of the race, I kept that pattern going almost the entire time. If I felt good, I swapped and reversed the run with the walk. I had to keep reminding my self to stick to the plan, run my own race, and have some fun.

To be honest the first 6 miles were great. It was a nice day, cool and sunny which for this race was amazing. Normally it is rainy and cold. I wore my special shirt that said “If you are behind me, you didn’t train either” and that played well to my inner attention whore because I got lots of laughs and high fives.

Mile 6, I saw my daughter and my friends. I stopped to take selfies with them and chatted for a minute. About a quarter mile from there I stopped and took a shot of beer (or two). The crowd was awesome. Lots of cheering, music, and energy.

Miles 7-10 were kind of a blur. I made it up Lemon Drop Hill with no issues felt pretty good heading into downtown Duluth. I upped my running because there was a lot of down hill through this stretch. I as amazed that I was not in pain and I was still feeling pretty strong.

The last 3 miles took a bit of grit and determination to get through especially mile 12. I was tired and I was sick of being on the course. I extended my walk breaks that last mile and then pushed it to the finish. I was VERY happy to be done!

Final time: 3:08:10 (Surprisingly, not my worst time)

Post race refreshments!