The PR God’s have been good to me. After taking 5 yrs to beat my half marathon PR, I only had to wait 7 weeks this time. Thanks to awesome conditions and solid training, I improved upon my Houston Half time of 2:09:25 by just over 7 minutes and posted a 2:02:22 finish. I didn’t think I would be slower than Houston but I certainly wasn’t thinking I would PR.
Per instructions from my coach, I needed to push it and run hard. So Saturday morning, that’s all I was thinking about…running hard. I didn’t feel well rested for this race due to reasons out of my control but I knew I had done a good job sticking to my nutrition plan (despite the glass of red Friday night). My training was where it needed to be despite the hours I’ve been working and the sleep I’d been getting.
|Surely I'm not telling Keith to shush?|
The first 5k of the race I was somewhere between 28 & 29 minutes. For a minute I thought it was too fast but then I told myself to just push it and if I blow up, I blow up. I saw Keith and let him know I crossed the timing mat about 5-6 minutes after the start as I wanted him to be able to have an idea of what kind of pace I was holding. I hit the 10k mark in 57 minutes and change (my stand alone 10k PR is 59:59) and knew I was still running well. I looked down at my Garmin a few times only to see a pace that was in the 8:50 range. Ok, that’s too fast. I would later learn that my pace the first 6.5 miles of the race was 9:01, a pace I NEVER thought I would maintain in a half marathon. I hit mile 8 and saw Keith and I was focused. Like super focused. I tossed him my long sleeve pullover b/c I was getting warm and kept on trucking.
|Heading into the finish chute!|
At around 10 or 11 miles, I was starting to lose some steam and my pace was slowing…not enough to want to walk or anything. I was trying to do the math to figure out my estimated finish time and I kept coming up with numbers between 1:58 and 2:04. I was having the hardest time doing math (a common issue for me while racing)! When I hit mile 12, I got a little energy boost and ran as hard as I could. I knew I wasn’t going to go sub 2 hrs at this point and that was ok. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I WANT sub 2hrs VERY much but that will come. So I ran my little heart out, saw Keith as I turned on to the Waterway and passed as many people as I could in the finishers chute. I looked at my Garmin and saw 2:02 and couldn’t believe it.
|A shot of the awesome finish line!|
Post race, I was sore. More sore than I’ve been in a long time. More sore than at Houston. More sore than after Ironman. My coach was beyond happy to hear this not b/c she likes to see me in pain but because she knew that I gave it everything. It’s Monday and I’m still a little sore but nothing like yesterday. Thankfully I’m no longer moaning any time I stand up, bend over or breathe. In this situation, sore was good...very good.
|I'd say that's a pretty happy runner.|
I’m giving myself the rest of the day to be super excited about this 2:02 time and then I’m going to shift my focus to Galveston. Ok, I’m not going to lie, I spent some time crunching possible Ironman numbers and I very much like what I see. It’s crazy because I’m looking at times I never thought I could maintain in a long race but now, I find myself believing very much that I can. The bike is no longer holding me back. The run is NOT my limiter. I can do this. I will do this. Holy crap, I’m going to be a 2x Ironman finisher!!!!
Once again, many thanks to my amazing coach, Ana. It's so nice to finally see all the work we both put in pay off. And of course, thanks to Keith for being a trooper and making it out to the race course even though it was pretty chilly. I think the 3 Starbucks helped. :)