I got up at 4:30am to do my first race in months. Why haven't I been racing? Simple. The personal issue that I talked about in my last post set me back a little bit. It made life more difficult and stressful. BUT...I'm working on getting through it. I have three more races planned and I hope to get things back to a new normal. If you know me, then you know what happened. If you don't...well...it is personal, ya know.
I had to go to this race. I had been planning on going since last Christmas. It is a very difficult race, but I like challenges. The best part is that they include a free buffet after the race. Yum!
I really hated going to the race alone, mostly because of the two hour drive up, but I could not find anyone brave enough. I put the windows down and cranked up the music. Of course, I was one of the first people there. It seems like that always happens. I am either the first or the last person to show up. Weird...
About a half hour before the race, I went and helped set up the finish line and then did a warm up. While I was waiting I ran into Scott S, his friend from last year, and some lady dressed up like a ninja turtle. Soon after we were all moved to the start line and informed that it would be a different course this year. WHAT?!?
This year it be an out and back using the second half of last years course. Apparently they are working on a bridge and we can not cross the water. I walked a lot of this part of the race last year, so I was happy to get a shot at it running.
Here is the problem though...With my personal issue I have not been training. Running yes,...training no. Running was more of a way to deal with the stress and I did not push myself nor put in enough miles. The most I have ran was five miles at one time in two whole months. I knew that I would probably have to walk some or most of the race.
When I started I was going too fast, I quickly slowed up and set in on a comfortable pace. This was no PR run. This was an "I can finish" run.
I was running for a short time when I thought, geez this must be two miles by now. I looked at my Garmin and saw 3.8 mile. WHAT! I was kicking butt. This was a huge morale boost. I kicked it up a little bit and got to the turn around at 6.5. I stopped to fill up my water bottle. My legs felt like jelly. I was worried. I told Jim from the timing company that I was not sure that I could finish. He said sure you can, just go easy on the hill at mile seven.
I jumped back into running and started cheering folks on as I passed them. Really, I was not cheering for them, but trying to motive myself...to finish. I pushed on moving quickly and even ran most of the hill at mile seven. I just walked the top part, maybe 10-15 seconds and then kicked myself back into gear.
Somewhere around 8 or 9 I finally caught up with some other runners. It was nice to talk to someone and pass the time. At 10.3 I realized that I could get a good finish time if I just pushed myself. It was only a 5k left.
I got to 12.2 before I ran out of steam. I slowed down a bit and finished in 1:47:42. A much better time then I thought. It was my 10th half marathon, all under two hours. I was 15th out of 41 and I got second in my age group.
Mile 1- 7:14
Mile 2- 8:15
Mile 3- 7:48
Mile 4- 8:25
Mile 5- 8:54
Mile 6- 8:12
Mile 7- 8:07
Mile 8- 9:00 (the big hill)
Mile 9- 8:06
Mile 10- 8:28
Mile 11- 8:42
Mile 12- 8:20
Mile 13- ?? Turned the Garmin off early.
Will I be back next year? If I am still running....then YEAH!