I wanted to run an awesome race and, in some ways, I did. I'd like to say I sailed smoothly over the 13.1 miles of the half marathon on Sunday but, honestly, I didn't.
I sailed smoothly for about 7 miles. But, then . . . well, then I struggled. I struggled for 6 miles, willing myself to run toward my A goal (1:46:58 or better!).
Fortunately, my day started surrounded by lots of friends and Strong Running Mamas. Here's a bunch of us at the start:
|Go, Strong Running Mamas, go!|
It didn't happen. See, I'd made a tactical error leading up to the race: I'd entered my recent 5K time into one of those race time predictor calculators and I'd seen what time I (according to the calculators) should be able to run a half marathon. Low 1:40s.
Low 1:40? Well, heck. If that's the prediction, shouldn't I be able to run 1:45, no problem? Should I make a new goal? Skip the A goal and go right to an A+ of 1:45???
1:45 . . . so tempting. I didn't know what to do. I didn't want to sell myself short, but I also didn't want to run too hard and blow up at the end and miss setting a new PR.
After all the back and forth, I started the race like a fool.
7:51, 7:34, 7:42, 7:48, 7:37 . . .
The first five miles ticked by and I felt great. Great! Effortless. I loved every minute of those first five foolhardy miles and I foolishly led Foolish Self to believe that, yes, I could hold that 7:45-ish pace for-evah.
Around mile 5, I tried to take a gel and -- blech -- it didn't work. I got a little bit down but could barely swallow it and could stomach it even less. I guess I just can't handle gels during races. Lesson learned (for about, oh, the tenth time . . . ).
Anyway, mile 6 and 7 were still strong but I remember hitting the mile 7 marker and thinking, holy crow. I still have 6 miles to go. I might not make it.
I started doing the math and freaking myself out. 6 miles. That's 60 minutes, if I run the rest of the race at a 10 minute pace. One. Whole. Hour. I can't run for an hour! I don't have another freaking hour of running in me!
No worries, Happy Runner! I replied to Freaked Out Self, You're running faster than that! 50 minutes. Just run 6 miles in 50 minutes. You can do it!
I could barely do it.
I was fading with each mile and by mile 10 I really needed a gel but couldn't risk it. By mile 11 my legs felt like lead and I was pretty convinced that my A goal was out of reach. I simply couldn't muster any more speed.
And then I heard a cheer. It was my friend and Strong Running Mama, Melissa H. with her daughter, Mia. Melissa was not running because her body's working hard growing a baby -- but she was out on the course cheering. Hard. She put a smile on my face and gave me some much needed pep.
Not far from Melissa were two other friends and SRMs, Danielle and Melissa D. Another smile. A little more pep.
With maybe a tenth of a mile to go, I was locked in. I saw the clock and I knew if I pushed it I could get my PR.
|Pushing it to the finish.|
I got it.
1:46:17 -- a 42-second PR!!!
I was so happy. So. Wildly. Happy.
I ran a foolish race but still pulled it off. I couldn't even run back in June but I still pulled it off. I had doubted myself many times over the past month but I still pulled it off.
Pulling it off ROCKS.
And you what else rocks? Friends.
Like Bridget, who rocked the race to a HUGE PR of 1:58:
|Happy PR runners!|
|That's me with great friends, Janis and Bridget.|
|Jen, Darlene, me, Karyn, Karyn's SIL, Eileen|
And many more (like all those SRM in the first picture -- and the awesome cheerers!!).
But, back to the race. Overall, a tough race with a terrific result. Now, you can take a look at my embarrassing splits:
Mile 1: 7:51
Mile 2: 7:34
Mile 3: 7:42
Mile 4: 7:48
Mile 5: 7:37
Mile 6: 7:50
Mile 7: 8:00
Mile 8: 8:13
Mile 9: 8:24
Mile 10: 8:25
Mile 11: 8:24
Mile 12: 8:35
Mile 13: 8:14
last .1: 8:03 pace
Tale of two races, huh? Yeah. I need to work on my pacing -- obviously!
Here are my stats:
Overall (net) time: 1:46:17
Pace: 8:07 per mile
Overall place: 121 out of 800
Age group place (F, 40-44): 6 out of 92
And with that, I'm resting up. My plan is to take the whole week off to ensure that I give my hip ample time to recover so I don't risk re-injury. I will probably run on Saturday or Sunday and then I'll see what's up next. I'm contemplating a 15K in a month but I'll decide on that later.
Thanks for stopping by!