Oh you want some
boring gory details? Thank you for humoring me. Thinking that someone might be interested in reading every aspect of my race saves my co-workers from having to listen to me talk about it, so they thank you too.
The week leading up to the race was fine, I guess. Everyone in the house has been sick, but not with anything serious. Just a typical start of school year virus. Still, it had made us all cranky and tired. It seemed every night just as I would fall asleep one of the kids would need me for something, and knowing that I had a race AND that it was suppose to be a peak mileage week all this not sleeping irritated me. That's all fairly typical in my house though. Fall racing seems steeped in viruses...
I woke up at 4:00 am to drive myself to the race. I was really beginning to question how well I could possibly do. Usually I mentally prepare for races. I study the course. I usually taper. I think about the race and my goals. I didn't do any of that. I didn't even really know what I could expect to run with no taper. I was hoping that I could run 1:26:30, which wouldn't be a PR, but was what the race calculator predicted based on my last 5K time. I wound up at the race way too early, but managed to pass the time by sitting in a hotel lobby and visiting the bathroom every 10 minutes. Good times.
I moseyed on into my corral about 15 minutes prior to the start time, and found a fellow running buddy, Robin. The start was killing me. As 7:00 approached, the announcer states it will be a few more minutes. Then a few more minutes. They were killing me. Once I'm on the start line my race anxiety is at its peak, and doesn't start to dissipate until the race actually starts. I think it was only about 10 minutes late, but it felt like a long 10 minutes.
I don't know, the whole race was sort of a blur. I was the third place female for about 4-5 miles, then another lady passed me, and there was no fight in me to try to stick with her. My legs were just tired. Every time I ran up a hill my legs were burning. I managed to keep it at an average of 6:27 pace for the first 6 - 7 miles, but at some point after that I started slowing down. At the 10 mile mark I was at an average of 6:31 pace (according to the race clock), and then I knew I'd really like to break 1:26, but simply wasn't sure if I could manage not to slow down too much more. Around here another lady passed me. Again, I didn't even care. I also had a splitting headache, and mostly wanted to be finished, but there was still this tiny bit of hope that maybe just maybe I could break 1:26. The last 2.1 miles I was really making an effort. I was starting to catch up to that lady, but that wasn't my goal. At the 13 mile mark, there was a clock, and it read 1:25:10. There was also a hill. I knew if I could haul myself up that hill there was still a chance that I might break 1:26...and I did.
I was super happy with my time. I PR'd. Only by four seconds, but a PR is a PR, right? There are few other reasons that I'm please with the outcome. For one, I hadn't tapered, and that does make a difference. My legs were definitely tired, and I had trouble mentally. For another, the course wasn't super fast. I don't think it was extremely challenging, but my marathon in three weeks is on a flatter course. And lastly, this is the first time I've ever run a half marathon faster than my last 5K predicted I would run. I'm generally a better at the 5K than half or full marathons...