I recruited Damian of course, he is as addicted as I am to half marathons. Then Gene hopped on the bandwagon and Heather too! There were also a few other Daily Mile peeps there as well! It was fun to meet them all finally.
I waited freezing patiently for the race to begin. I was nervous. You know when you run half marathons all year long it does get addicting but it also puts a little pressure on you. I know I had to finish in under 2 hours (to be happy for myself), I know I would be facing my toughest one yet as well. I wanted to relax and take it easy but I also have a marathon to be ready for in 2 weeks so I had to push my speed to train for that.
The hills in this race were endless. Literally, every single time you thought there was a break, another would pop out. You can see the elevation chart from my Garmin report. It was insane. I ran that first mile pretty fast there were no big hills. Then once you got in about 1.3 miles it began. It was not bad at first but by mile 4 I was starting to feel it. I tried to keep up my pace but fell into the high 8s on a few occassions. I did not let it bother me. I took advantage of the no hills spots in the race and pushed for a sub 8 pace then.
My favorite part of this race? There was a half mile in the woods on some trails and I loved it. Every single time I get to run on a trail I love it. This only reinforces my need to find a trail running group and start training for other kinds of races ;)
I found Damian at mile 9 and he started talking smack! He was like oh did you fall I thought you would have met me at mile 8... I was a little annoyed LOL those hills were a bitch I reminded him and I was planning to kick it up now all the way to the to the finish line! I took my last gel and drank some nuun and said bye to Damian and sped off.
At mile 10 I looked at my Garmin and saw my time, I knew if I pushed it up just a tiny bit I might hit a new PR! I started really pushing and took my last walk break. Yes I stuck with the Galloway method this entire race, taking my 30 second walk break at every mile marker, no it did not seem to slow me down. My legs felt great and after a walk break I had a refreshed feeling. Then I hit mile 11.5 and my shoe came untied! I started to panic, I pondered stopping to tie it or keep going. The competitor in me spoke louder and I kept booking it to the finish line. I felt likt my shoe would fly off but it did not ;) The last mile of this race was all down hill, it was great! I was flying, literally I had a 6:36 pace that I held steady for the entire 12th mile going into 13. I felt great, at that moment after all those taxing hills to still be able to pull out that 6:36, I was almost in tears.
I crossed the finish line and ran to my car to keep cooling down. I got on my sandals and grabbed some protein and headed back to cheer in my friends. I saw Heather come in and then Gene! They both did great. Then I saw Damian, he had a tougher time today but I was proud of him. The days leading up to this race he began brewing with self doubt and even thought he would not finish. But he did finish and did great!
Gene had a nice hat.....
The race was good. I liked how organized it was, there was plenty of free parking and my big need porta potties! They were lined up all around the common area where the race was. I also liked how they had healthy options after we finished, I dined on a banana, some raisins and there was other not bad options for gluten folks like hot soup and granola bars. Also good about this one? Support. There were enthusiastic crowds around all the mile markers and in the neighborhoods, and everyone was smiling and happy.
The official race results are here!
I was the 37th female to finish and 13th in my age group 20-29!! I finished 195th over all with a new PR of 1:46:12!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This was amazing to me. The more I think about it the more I smile. There is nothing like earning a new PR on a day when you intended to just go and have fun :)
I brought home my medal and someone stole it ;) She likes the "runners and castle" on the front. I guess I cannot argue with her it is a nice new piece of bling to add to our collection!