I think I have been on cloud nine since finishing the half marathon last Saturday. It was such a great day and really helped me to get refocused on my marathon training.
The morning started off about 6:00 AM. My poor husband had been up by Friday afternoon for 36 hours and I was worried about him wanting to do another race. We decided to play it by ear and see how he felt.
We headed out to pick up our bib numbers from the local running store. It was pretty low key. The entire race had 75 people running it, so it made packet pick up a real breeze.
My poor husband didn’t even make it back home before falling asleep!
He fell asleep pretty early so was able to get enough sleep to feel more awake and alert come Saturday morning! I had all my clothes laid out the night before. There is something about having it all ready to go that makes me feel more calm when my alarm goes off in the morning.
We got up, got dressed and then headed out to find the start line. It wasn’t far from our house so gave us plenty of time to relax, warm up and stretch.
We did a half mile jog and warmed up while we waited for the sun to come up. All week I had been checking the weather hoping and praying that the rain held off. It kept changing from an 80% chance of rain to a 40% all week. Finally, Thursday night I finally just took the chance and signed up officially for the race.
As you can tell, even at the start of the race the clouds were still looming. It ended up only raining for the first 2-3 miles. Then it stopped and just stayed cloudy which was fine by me!
I had several goals for the half marathon:
Goal D – Finish and PR
Goal C – Finish the entire half at marathon pace (8:00 min/mile)
Goal B – Finish in 1:45
Goal A – Finish in 1:40
Most of these goals were determined just a few days before the race. I set several goals so that I wouldn’t feel overly pressured to run some crazy fast race. It was a race, but at the end of the day it was really a workout in the training for my marathon.
My goal was to start out slower (around a 7:50 min/mile) and then if I still felt good at 4 I would slowly pick it up. That was the plan at least. The adrenaline of not racing in over a year took after as soon as the gun went off and I averaged the first mile at 7:29. Oops! Note to self: work on pacing before the marathon.
I was able to slow myself down but was averaging right around a 7:40 for the majority of the next 9 miles. I saw Wes around mile 9 because you circle back around. I knew that when I went out a little too fast I was either going to do really well or I was going to crash. After about 5-6 miles I just accepted that and went with it.
My body felt strong and the pace honestly felt relatively easy until I hit about 10.5 miles. I then could tell that it was taking a toll on me. I kept pushing. Around mile 12 you have to turn to go up a ramp. With the rain and falling leaves I almost slipped and fell 2-3 times and had to come to almost a complete stop at one of the turns.
Right after I got through that part I saw Wes coming back for me. He encouraged me to keep pushing. I kept looking at my watch knowing that I had a chance of beating 1:40 which is something I never expected. I dug deep that last half mile and really pushed and gave it all I got.
Finally, I crossed the finish line and heard them announce 1:39:56. It may be only beating 1:40 by 4 seconds, but I was so thrilled! After I caught my breath I just couldn’t stop smiling!
I wish I had a watch picture for it, but I was so excited I completely forgot to stop by watch until almost 45 minutes later! WHOOPS! 🙂
After I had time to settle down, I realized Wes had one the race! He came in at 1:12:59, and ran the race relatively easy. I never will understand how it comes so easy to him sometimes, though I was so proud!
We hung around since we knew Wes needed to pick up his award.
I was really surprised to find out I had come in 1st in my age group. Granted there weren’t a whole lot of people in my age group and the race itself only had 75, but I’ll take it! 🙂
I was really happy that I chose to do this race. Even though racing again made me nervous, it gave me the confidence I need to finish out the last of my training cycle before my marathon! Sometimes no mater how well trained we are we still doubt ourselves. Training and racing are very different, so this was a great experience!
I am definitely happy to see that my training is paying off as well and I am right where I am supposed to be. I never thought I would be able to not only run a sub 8 minute mile for 13 miles, but that I’d also shave 21 minutes off my half PR! Hard work pays off!
What was the last race you ran?
Do you add races into your training schedule?