It was almost perfect weather this morning, just a tad windy but not bad. I did a few minutes of very light jogging to warm up and the race started at 8:10. I ran this course in January when I did the 10k, so I knew how to tackle the hills and they weren't so bad. My play list was largely the same as my 10k but I added a few new songs last night. One that I stumbled on was a cadence from the Navy called "Easy Run." I loved hearing that and will totally put it in my play list for the half at regular intervals. I'm also going to see if I can find more. It's sort of funny because cadence reminds me of running in fire academy, which I hated every single second. Maybe it's like pregnancy and childbirth- you get far enough past it in life that you look back on it and think it wasn't so bad. Don't get me wrong, though, I have no desire to revisit fire academy, pregnancy, or childbirth. Back to the race... There was a water station just after mile marker 2. I tried to drink a few sips but it's really difficult to drink while running. Keep running. Really the first 5 miles was pretty easy and enjoyable. By the time I was in my sixth mile I was wishing this was a 10k race. The last third of the race was new to me and most of it took place through a neighborhood. I was completely disoriented but thankfully the course was well marked and there was always somebody in front of me to follow. I walked through the water station around mile 7 so I could actually drink the water and again for 30 seconds at the mile marker 8 sign. I picked up my pace just a little for the last 0.1-0.2 miles, but I didn't have a sprint in me at that point.
This was my first race for Jake to get to come to and I loved having him there for support. He saw me off at the starting line, around miles 3 and 6, and again at the finish. He said it inspired him to see me run and I think he's ready to start his training. I picked out our races for the next 3 months- a 5k in April and May, but a 10k (with a time limit!) in June.
After I cooled down, we checked my official time. I was shocked to see my name third for my age group! They award medals for the top 3 finishers in each age group, so I was presented with a bronze medal. How cool is that? Now that official results are posted online, they are showing me in 4th place. I'm not sure if somebody was just placed in an incorrect age bracket initially or if the official results have an error.
My goal was 1:34:07, the time the pace predictor gave related to finishing the half in under 2:15. My time today was 1:28:04!!! I seriously smoked my goal. By 6 minutes and 3 seconds. My average pace was 9:28.
Here are the splits:
Mile 1- 9:20
Mile 2- 9:31
Mile 3- 9:32
Mile 4- 9:09
Mile 5- 9:09
Mile 6- 9:33
Mile 7- 9:08
Mile 8- 9:41
Mile 9- 9:52
I punched today's time into the pace predictor to see what it would give for the half marathon.
Wow. There's only one problem with that. I made a mistake during the race (I think, anyway) that reared it's head a couple hours after the race. I've never been a big drinker while I run, but I can say with certainty that I had less than 8oz today during the race. About 2 hours after the race my stomach started cramping and I couldn't eat or drink anything. I was in so much pain that I went to the ER for an IV and some medications. I feel a lot better now (not great, but more in line with how I expected to feel after a long and hard race). The doctor doesn't think my symptoms can be attributed 100% to the race, but I do. I think I ran harder and longer than I ever have before and didn't drink enough during the race. I'll change that during the half by either wearing my belt that carries water or waking through water stations so I can actually swallow the water. As for my half marathon goal, it stands at 2:15, though I'd love to be under that by as much as I'm capable. The next pace team is 2:00 so that's not realistic. I'll have a chance to talk to the pace leaders at the expo before the race, so I'll do that, but right now I'm thinking that I'll run with them for at least the first half of the race. If I'm feeling strong I can always pull away.