Magnolia Meltdown Half Marathon Recap

Happy Mother’s Day! I hope you all have had a very special day! It’s hard to believe half marathon sweet 16 was a week ago! For me down here in south Mississippi, race season starts around October. For the last couple of years, I have run 2 half marathons in the fall and 2 in the spring. This has really worked well for me and I have remained injury free for over 2 years now. I am happy to say the Magnolia Meltdown Half Marathon was my fastest half of my race season AND it was by far the hilliest course out of my 4 halfs! 

I will begin quickly with last Friday, May 5 aka Cinco de Mayo! My middle little, Addy, had dance team tryouts at the junior high on Friday after school. The tryouts lasted a loooong time and she did not get finished until close to 6 p.m. I’m excited to say she did make the the 2017-2018 LJHS dance team! My husband and I didn’t get on the road to Ridgeland, Mississippi (a good 2 and a half hour drive) until close to 7 and stopped in Hattiesburg at Mugshots for dinner. We got to our hotel which was thankfully, right by the starting line of the race, around 9:45. We went on to bed shortly after getting there. 

Saturday, May 6: Race Day!! I woke up around 5 AM to get ready and walk downstairs to pick up my packet. They didn’t have my bib ready, but I was in the system so they assigned me my number right on the spot and I got my tshirt. I texted my friend Angela, @raceaddict, to see what time she would head down to the starting line. We were staying at the same hotel so I met her outside at around 6:15. We ran into a few more friends which I met in Greenville for the Mississippi River Half in February. It was so great to see them again! We took this picture, prayed, sang the National Anthem and it was time to RUN! I really liked the early start time at 6:30 AM and the weather was in the 50’s. That is perfect race weather for me! I ran the entire first mile without walk breaks at 9:48 (oops). That’s a little too fast. I remember running on several paved trails. I started taking walk breaks at mile 2 and snapped this picture. I loved the tree cover! I ran into a guy who knew some people where I was from. I lost him during my next walk break. I also ran into Amanda, who follows me on my Footprints of Faith Facebook page! How cool is that? She ran up behind me and said “Footprints of Faith?!” And gave me a high five. This was around mile 5 or 6. I told her I did not expect the course to be so hilly! Whoever runs the race FB page said the course was “flat.” Um…. no. This was a very hilly half marathon indeed. I should have known, I mean hello… Ridgeland is right above Jackson, the home of the Mississippi Blues Marathon which is super duper hilly. I ran the half in 2014 there. 

The miles clicked by and I tried to run my intervals at an even 10 minute pace. My run/walk intervals are 2 minute run and 30 second walk. I was shooting for a 10:30 average half marathon pace. I did not have a time goal. I just wanted to beat my time from the Mississippi River Half Marathon in February which was 2:28:57. This was another beautiful paved trail early in the race. Miles 1-7 my splits were 9:48, 10:38, 10:33, 10:41, 10:44, and 10:33. But by mile 8, I really started to struggle. I must admit my legs were tired after 5 miles. FIVE miles of climbing hills and my legs were aching. I am so thankful I trained on hills for this race, so I was really surprised to feel the ache in my legs so early. I tripped at mile 9 on an uneven part of one of the paved trails, but caught myself and on I struggled. I remember praying Isaiah 40:28-31 Scripture from the Bible. I was really tired and needed some strength from the Lord. My splits for miles 8-12 were 10:54, 10:54, 10:56, 11:05 (UGH), and 10:43. By mile 12, I was out of the paved trails and the sun was in my face. It was hot, but not unbearable. I was able to pick up my pace and mile 13 clocked at 10:18 and the very end of the race I ran at 8:26!! Woo hoo!!! I raced for the finish line trying to get my time under 2:20 and I did it!! Official time was 2:19:47, my fastest half of the year!! I was so tired and my legs were MUSH from climbing all those hills. 

Angela had a great race too! 

Friends at the finish line! 

Overall, even though I had some really tough moments during the race, I am very happy with my effort and very pleased with my finish time. I had a sinus infection all week leading up to the race. This was my first half marathon to run sick and not at 100%. I struggled, but I didn’t give up! This doesn’t look flat to me! Lol! Overall average pace was 10:36 which was very close to my goal of 10:30 average pace!

A big thank you to my husband for taking me to 3 out of 4 of my half marathons over the last few months.  He is not a runner, but he loves me and supports me so I can do what I love to do! 

The only negative thing about the race was no race photographers. I love race photos so that was a little disappointing. The medal was awesome! 

This will wrap up race season for me. I have a 5k coming up in July that I have run for the last two years and that’ll be it. I am already thinking about what 2 fall half marathons I should run. I still don’t know if I should train or run a fall marathon. I am really struggling with fatigue lately. I think it’s just the season of life I am in right now as a busy wife and mother of 3 children. I feel like I can’t keep up, but I’m doing the best I can. I’m just not sure I can be the best mother I can be AND train/run a full marathon. 

Have you had a great Mother’s Day? How do you balance work, family, and marathon training? Did you wait until your kids were older to achieve certain goals? I would love to know! I am linking up with Tricia and Holly for the Weekly Wrap! 

29 thoughts on “Magnolia Meltdown Half Marathon Recap

  1. You weren’t kidding about those hills! That elevation chart tells it all. Who on earth would call that flat? Anyways, you did great! You should feel really good about your finish. I’d like to run that one just because I like the name of the race so much…and Holly says she wants to run it…

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  2. Oh goodness who on earth could call that race flat?? Congrats on a strong run on a tough course! That has to feel great to finish out your season on such a positive note. I ran my first marathon when my kids were 2 and 6 and 10 marathons later they’re 11 and 15. The key for me was to run early and only 3x/week so the workout is out of the way before they wake up and before hubby leaves for work. I totally get your hesitance to take on marathon training but I also think you’re in a really good place with your running to do so!

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  3. Yikes! That elevation chart is crazy. But congrats on beating those hills and running your fastest time of your race season! I understand not being sure about trying to train for a marathon. I had the wild idea to try to train for one when my son was about a year old. Nope, nope, nope. Maybe someday. But not today. And probably not tomorrow or the next day, either.

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  4. Congrats on your best half of the year with all those hills! You did awesome! With my schedule, I get most of my running in early before work, or when the kids are in school on days off. My long runs are usually done early too. My kids are 6 and 9 right now.

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  5. Great job on that hilly half! You really pulled out a fast finish- kudos to you! I did not start running until my kids were out of the house. I enjoy my 3 days a week and cannot imagine trying to train for a marathon!

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  6. Yep, that looks like a hilly one! Congrats on a strong race and your best finish time on this season. It’s always fun to run into people you know at races. I really like the MS shaped medal too. I’m a little sad our southern season is winding down since I didn’t race much this winter and spring. But, that head and humidity is too much. Thanks for linking, Katie!

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