So…let’s just say I’m a little excited about how my race went yesterday. The rain held off and I ran well setting a new personal record of 2:01. I seem to improve with each half marathon – this is my fourth – but this one was different from the rest.
It was the first half marathon I trained for mostly on my own. I had one long run with a friend and those tempo workouts during the Thursday night group runs but other than that, I ran alone. I was outside logging miles in below freezing temperatures and when it was dark I ran on the treadmill. It seemed like I was running a lot but when I looked at my 2009 running log, I was down about 50 miles compared to this point last year.
Also this was the first half marathon I did in my hometown. All my other races were destination races where I traveled with friends or family and talked running all weekend. I think it made a difference on my ability to sleep the night before the race. Usually I only get about an hour or two of sleep despite going to bed early. I tend to lay there in the dark hotel room, my mind racing from the excitement. This time I was able to get about 6 hours of sleep. I woke up about 2 hours before my alarm was set to go off but I stayed in bed and rested.
Similar to my first half marathon, this was a smaller race – only 1500 runners in the half marathon portion. Given the smaller size, the expo was smaller but it was nice. It had a health fair with cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar screenings, a few regional race representatives and the local running stores had nice booths with great deals on running shoes and apparel.
Race day went well. My husband dropped me off so I wouldn’t have to worry about parking and I walked to the start. The corrals were set up by pace so I joined the 9:00 minute mile group and made small talk with the runners. The horn blew at 7 a.m. and we took off. I couldn’t tell where the actual start was so I was a few seconds late starting my watch. Since I didn’t know the people around me, I randomly selected a lady that was running well as my bunny. That’s how I get through races. I pick people to pass up and when I get pass them, I selected a new target. This bunny was a formidable competitor although she didn’t know it. I started out averaging a 9:30 pace for the first few miles with my bunny in my sights. Around mile 3 or 4 I was running a 9:15 average pace. When I hit mile 8, I was able to pass her but she caught back up to me while I was walking through a water stop. I sped back up, my pace hovering about 8:45 – 9 minute miles and passed her again around mile 10. I ran another 2 miles before she passed me again for good. She had a kick during the last mile and I couldn’t catch her. She finished at least a minute ahead of me. When I finally crossed the finish line, I couldn’t believe my time. I was hoping to run a 2:05 but when I saw 2:02 on the race clock, I knew I had it beat. I was jumping for joy when they posted the results and I saw 2:01:06. It’s only a matter of time before I reach my sub 2-hour goal. Who knows? Maybe it will happen at Rock ‘n Roll San Diego in June.
All About Ben
4 years ago