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  • Writer's pictureMyranda

Coast Guard Semper Paratus Challenge 2024 Race Weekend Recap

My training for this whole race weekend was shit. Let's be real. I ran a handful of long runs and about as many workout runs in 12 weeks. I battled strep, the flu, avoided major injuries, and kicked off Easter weekend (the weekend before race weekend) with an ear infection and both ears plugged up. I went into the weekend with the single goal to finish my half marathon before the 3.5 hour cut off. Let's talk about the whole weekend though!

Let's start with Friday.

We left for North Carolina mid morning. I hated that my daughter had to miss school. It was just crappy luck that her Spring Break was the week before. Anyway, we drove down and hit up the expo first. My husband didn't seem to understand why I was taking our daughter in with me but it was because she had her own packet to pick up!



We went inside the museum and found the 5K packet pick up and the kid's 1K packet pick up in the same room. I got my bibs for both races, my 5K t-shirt, a few race goodies, and then went to the 1K table. My daughter got her own bib, a t-shirt, a water bottle, and some other goodies. We crossed the hall and I picked up my half marathon t-shirt and then we walked through the expo. My daughter got a bunch of free goodies from vendors. I also found out that registration for the 3rd annual Space Force T-Minus 10 Miler is on my birthday again!

Saturday morning came along and it was freaking freezing. I did not plan well as far as clothing went. It was supposed to be warmer so I didn't bring any throw away shirts and boy did I need one for the 5K. Both my friend Rachel and I were freezing! I ended up missing my 5K PR by seconds which I didn't really care about since I was suffer from an ear infection and both of my ears were plugged. My friend's daughter ended up getting her own PR as well as 2nd or 3rd in her age group so she got an extra trophy!

After they handed out the 5K awards, the Coast Guard Color Guard, lead by one of our friends, performed for the kids before their run. I ran with my daughter and it was an out and back and she loved all the people cheering for the kids. I got some video of her as she crossed the finish line but stopped it before she got her medal! I'm so proud of her and she is excited to do it again!



After getting cleaned up and warmed up from the bitter cold, our friend we were staying with, my husband, daughter and I went out for some snacks, grabbed a throw away shirt for Sunday if it was needed, and went to an old book store. I didn't get a lot of sleep Saturday night because I was nervous. I was about to run/walk 13.1 miles with practically no training.

I got up, got dress, grabbed my stuff and Rachel was running a little behind. I was about to text her when she pulled up. In all honesty I was hoping to text her and have her respond with, "Oh my gosh I totally forgot and I'm already at the start line." To which I was ready to reply with, "That's okay, I'm gonna go back to sleep." I didn't need my throw away shirt, but it was a little too chili for shorts so I wore pants and a tank. I remembered to apply Vaseline everywhere including between my toes and under my sports bra but we managed to get to the start line like 2 minutes before we started. I had enough time to check my back pack and join the pack.

I forgot to take my ibuprofen or my gel at the start of the race. I put my ear plugs in and decided to run 0.4 miles and walk 0.1 miles. I didn't really focus on my time. It wasn't until I was halfway through...like 6.55 miles...and hit the 90 minute mark that I realized not only was I going to finish before time but I might even beat my time from last year. I still didn't focus on pace or time but just enjoyed myself!



Not only did I cross the finish line but I finished 2 minutes and 21 seconds faster than last year's time! That means that my goal of a sub-3 half marathon is 100% possible for next year!

Some things that I have already decided to work on between now and my next race prep. I am definitely going to do a deep dive into low heart rate running in the Run To The Finish Run Club. I bought a HR chest monitor this last weekend so I can start working on that now. Before I lose access, if I don't continue to keep it next year, I might ask how to adjust the beginner half marathon plan to include goal pace to get that sub-3 half next year or if I should do the sub-2 plan for the speed work and add in the goal pacing for long runs.

Next race will be the Space Force T-Minus 10 Miler and I've already picked a training plan with RunKeeper that will start at the end of August. If I'm not sure how to figure out the sub-3 training plan then maybe I'll use a Garmin half marathon plan that can sync to my watch.

In the mean time, in addition to doing lower heart rate training. I want to use this time to start building up my mileage and having a good base and routine down. That's something that I've struggled with. So between race trainings, maybe I'll share once a month the gear that I'm using, the mileage I ran each week, showcase some pictures from my runs (hopefully with new running friends), and any fun runs or virtual runs/challenges that I complete. So I'll check back in with y'all at the beginning of June!

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