I really, honestly wasn't sure what to expect from this race. I wanted to go after a PR but I my confidence was a little shot. First, there was the tough ZOOMA half marathon two weeks ago. And then I spent the better part of last week battling a wicked cold that, as of yesterday morning, was not backing down.
But the weather was pretty close to perfect -- chilly, overcast, dry. And the race was close to home. I'd also learned some lessons from the ZOOMA race and was determined to apply them in order to run strong.
So, after much thought, I went ahead and printed out a 1:48:00 pace band so I could better my PR of 1:48:27.
I reviewed my race report from the Clove Run 10-miler, noting my conservative first miles and my fairly consistent splits. I felt terrific in that race and finished very well. It was nearly a perfect run. I wanted to build on that strong race for yesterday's half so I told myself to run conservatively and consistently. Hit your paces. Don't speed. You can do it.
Yesterday morning, I woke up at 6 and had a banana and a glass of water, then a plain English muffin with butter and a cup of coffee. At 7:15 I picked up Bridget and we drove to our friend Karyn's house so her husband could drop us and two other friends off at the start.
|That's me with Bridget, Karyn, Kristy and Danielle -- Karyn, Kristy and Danielle were all running their FIRST half-marathon!|
The starting area was packed but we met up with tons of other friends:
|Go, Strong Running Mamas!!!|
I lined up at the start by myself because I felt like I needed to just be alone for this race. I needed to run my own race from start to finish. And that's what I did.
I took off with the starting gun and kept telling myself to hold back. Conservative and consistent. Conservative and consistent. It was tough to do because I felt so good!
And then it happened.
I passed the 5 mile marker, took a gel and about a minute after I gelled -- bam! I stepped into a pot hole, twisted my ankle and fell. I didn't let the fall break my stride much at all and I got right back into my running rhythm as quickly as I could but, man. It threw me off. I was nervous and my heart was racing. My ankle hurt and so did my left hand, where I had landed.
I can't believe this is happening. What is it with me and mid-race mishaps?!?!
I couldn't let it bother me. I had 8 more miles to go and I was running strong. So what if I had a twisted ankle? I had to keep on keeping on because I knew I had a PR in me. I knew it.
The next 5 miles still felt great and I found myself passing a few people and that certainly buoyed my spirits. At mile 10, I took another gel and blech. I couldn't swallow it. I don't know what it was but that gel felt like poison in my mouth. I forced it down, took a swig of water and decided not to bother with the rest of the gel. As it was, the amount that I took just sat in my stomach and made me feel pretty gross.
The last three miles were not easy. I slowed down quite a bit and really had to push myself. I pulled out every inspirational phrase I could remember and begged myself not to give up.
With one mile to go, it really was too late to give up and I knew I could hit my goal. Also, my friend Tami had done something really special for all of us strong running mamas: At two points along the course, she wrote a message for us in chalk, the second message was in the last mile and just what I needed.
As I neared the finish line, I saw some friends cheering -- Tami and Nicole -- then my dad with my two boys and right after I crossed I saw Owen, who immediately told me I did great.
|My fans :-)|
According to the race clock, I finished in 1:47:12! Later, I checked my official (net) time, which was 1:46:59! I broke 1:47 and I couldn't be happier!!
What a difference two weeks makes!
After eating a banana, I cheered for the rest of my friends as they crossed the line, including Bridget, Elisa, and Angela, who all set big PRs; Karyn, Danielle, Kristy and Melissa, who rocked their first half-marathons; and Gail and Lara, who ran super strong!
What a great day.
When's my next race?
Net time: 1:46:59
Overall place: 122 out of 764
Age group place (F, 40-44): 7 out of 100
Mile 1: 8:18 (started with the gun, 8:05 from starting line)
Mile 2: 7:57
Mile 3: 7:57
Mile 4: 7:54
Mile 5: 7:42
Mile 6: 8:05
Mile 7: 8:06
Mile 8: 8:10
Mile 9: 8:07
Mile 10: 8:14
Mile 11: 8:33
Mile 12: 8:26
Mile 13: 8:25
last .1: 7:49 pace
|Happy finishers! Bridget, me, Elisa.|
|Janis didn't run the half this year -- since she's carrying twins -- but she was there to cheer!|
Overall, it was a great day. As for my ankle, well, that's not so great. I've been icing it like crazy but it is still swollen.
Oh, well! At least it got me through the race!
And with that, I am done. Thanks for stopping by and reading my long race report. I hope you all had a great weekend!