Minnesota (3/3): State 16

Talks of this Minnesota race began with my soon to be sister-in-law in June when we ran together on the California beaches.  She joined me for a six-miler and with no effort at all kept right up with me.  It took very little effort to convince her to join me for a half.  We decided on one in their new home state of Minnesota.  I wanted it to coincide with a surprise 60th birthday for my dad so after tossing around a few ideas, we landed on this Jeff Winter City of Lakes Half Marathon.

It’s definitely one of the smaller races I’ve run.  We picked up our bibs at a local running store where they were shocked to find an out of towner.  It felt like a local running club cross country series.  Maybe it was.

We had a little bit of a drive to the start the morning of the race, but luckily our cheer squad doubles as chauffeurs.  It was a beautiful, sunshiney morning with a little chill to the air.

I coached Shelby via emails and text for about 8 weeks once we’d figured out the logistics of the surprise, getting my parents to Minnesota and registering for the race.  Part of the deal with electronic training is submitting screenshots from the tracking app. These shots told me that she’d be fast and it was true on race day.  I kept up with her as long as I could, until about mile 8 and then let her go on her way.  I had been sick the whole week before the trip and my legs were feeling it.  I walked/ran the last five miles so very tired.

The course took us around two of their many lakes in town – Harriet and I’ve already forgotten the name of the second.  That was challenging – to basically run the same course twice.  But great views!

I finished in 2:05:45 which is pretty impressive considering 5 miles of run/walking.  I used the last five miles to remember why I run.  To enjoy the outdoors.  To share the experience with new people and old friends.  To push through the mentally tough moments.  For confidence and strength.  It’s a forever relationship and I’ll always come back to it.  My temporary tattoo from RunInkspired of the infinity run reminded me of that along the way.  It’s not always easy but I’ll never give up.  (If you’d like your own temp tattoos, use the code JESSICASENTME for 20% off your order!).

I’ll give the credit to Shelby who kept me close to an 8 minute pace through those first 8 miles.  I’m proud of her for finishing strong!  She can officially join our family now that a half marathon is under her belt 🙂

Congratulations on your first half Shelby!  You are a natural runner and I look forward to running more races with you!