As You Go Girl got closer I got nervous... I have not been nervous in forever, because I have not run a fully solo half in so long. I knew that this was my race and it sorta scared me, in a good way. We have not trained for Speed but going in my "A" goal was to get a sub 1:50, I would give all I could that day to get there. I knew that all systems would have to be ON..
I got to the Start area easily, doing the same race 3 years in a row makes the logistics a breeze. This year was weird, I was ALONE... well not really alone I knew some faces in the crowd, I ended up chatting with a gal I worked for when I was a teenager. I also saw my co-worker and her Team in Training girls, they headed to the potty line.. I waited then opted to go again.. glad I did.. I was relaxed and ready to run.
I had run the course over and over in my head... knowing where I would slow and where I could gain the speed to make up for it. I rehearsed it, and tried not to get caught up on the hard spots ahead... I was in game mode!! And this is how it went....
Mile 1- 7:26- Slightly downhill, I felt great.. I planted myself between the 1:40 and 1:50 pacers and let my body do the work. I knew there was a risk going out too fast, I do this OFTEN, but I told myself if it hurt I would slow. There were hills later in the course and I would need the time I could gain in the first 2 miles.
Mile 2- 7:30- Still feeling great and cruising along. There was a guy running with an Aligator hat on, I passed him, but he passed me back.. I dislike getting passed by people in weird costumes, it is sort of a pet peeve.
Mile 3- 8:33- Turning back toward the start line there is a slight uphill that sucked me to the road, I immediatly cursed myself for going out so fast. The first water stop came and I NEEDED it. At this point my Sunglasses were fogging up like crazy. I have run in the glasses before but never raced in them. BAD CHOICE!! I missed my visor. I tucked the glasses in my bra and continued on.
Mile 4- 9:03- The HILL headed up to Wright Park kills me every year.. I knew it was coming...so I focussed on my glutes and just kept moving.. Gravity was pulling me down. There are a lot of spectators in this section, which is great, but I felt embarassed by my clear lack of hill training. I tried to get back up to speed in the Park but the gravel played with my legs. Getting past the park loop is the BEST, because the next couple miles are cake. I wanted to cheer for the people headed up the hill, but I knew I had to conserve every ounce of energy.
Mile 5- 7:38- This mile is all downhill which is GREAT. I got passed by Local Legend 61 year old Judy Fisher...I hoped I would catch her again... I didn't..she beat me by 2 minutes.. I let my body just go, getting into the mid 7's easily and with little effort. I could see a few gals holding back as I zoomed past, running downhill is an art form, once you figure it out, it is an amazing asset to have.
Mile 6- 8:08- My right foot started to hurt and I was getting tired I seriously debated finishing the 10K instead. It was all I could think about on the stretch where the 2 courses split. I could take the right and be DONE...but I could not do that. I took Gu this mile and had to stop for a second to get it down. The Water Stops on this course were super, volunteers full of smiles and support.
Mile 7- 8:37- For some reason when I hit this mile marker in my head I was convinced that a Half Marathon was 13.2 miles, so I thought....just a 10K to go.. HMMMM? I must have been tired.. Mental demons and a slight uphill made for a painful mile.. The top of my right foot was on fire and hurt so badly... It took everything to not think about it every step. There was a gal in front of me, I watched her stride and tried to match it. Anything to keep my mind off the PAIN..
Mile 8- 8:32- It took all I had to keep my legs turning over 8:45 is around my comfortable pace from training runs, so I really had to focus to stay below that. Lately we have not done many long runs over 7-8 miles and closer to the 9:00's... I was out of shape!!
Mile 9- 8:34- On to the flat, long straightaway on Ruston way...phew...the flat miles felt good and my foot pain went away, it flares up on inclines. The leaders of the race were passing on the right which was cool. I had worked the packet pickup and gave the WINNER her packet, I asked what she thought she would run, she said 1:20, she finished with a 1:20:05 or something.. AWESOME!! At the next water stop I passed a couple gals who stopped for water, I grabbed the cup and ran, I knew stopping now would be BAD!!
Mile 10- 8:27- I did my "show off for Kim" turn at the cone.. Style points! It felt good to be headed toward the Finish. I kept doing (BAD) mental math, still thinking that a Half was 13.2, I have no clue why that was in my head, but I am pretty sure that it played in my favor. The 1:50 pacer passed me...which hurt my spirit, but she said she was off time wise.. I tried to keep her in sight to get my goal. She faded away but I was not far off.
Mile 11- 8:28- This mile I kept trying to figure out how much time I had left to get my goal. My legs were tired and the sun was so bright!! I was HURTING! I loved seeing friends, Alyssa, Kristin, Tink and hearing them cheer. Joy gave me a huge High Five which really helped me. THANK YOU JOY!! She went on to get a HUGE PR! Every cheer gave me the push I needed. Kendra yelled "Dig deep Mel!" which is exactly what I needed to hear.
Mile 12- 9:01- The slight incline of the overpasses killed me, I could not get my pace back. I have run these same roads over and over in races, and they get me every time.. My lack of training over 10 miles was apparent at this time. I was getting super hot so I dumped water on my head at the last water stop. (TMI- As I poured water on my head my bladder gave out, weird because I didn't think I had to go. I was VERY thankful for my long spandex. It was strange but I didn't have time to dwell on it).
Mile 13- 8:55- I was pushing as hard as I could but my legs were DONE..quads on fire. All I could think about was getting up the last little hill and the downhill Finish.. I got passed by a couple ladies..UGH...why did I run so fast the first 2 miles... Up the last little B$tch of a Hill and around to the corner, still thinking I had to go 13.2....
Mile .1- 6:06- As I rounded the last corner I could see the clock 1:49:XX, I felt a surge of energy and SPRINTED!! I probably looked like a crazy woman, 6'0 T-Rex barreling through, I was not going miss my goal by mere seconds, I had worked too hard!! My Finish Line photos are probably going to be crazy because all I could think about was getting to that mat. I did it!!! I was beyond elated, although there was no one there to celebrate with, so my joy was all my own. I passed by the guys giving out medals, I think they were sitting, thankfully I figured it out a bit later..
SO EXCITED & PROUD!!!
This is the best time I have gotten in a Half since 2010 and a personal best for this course.
5/69 in my Age Group
I see some things I can work on to get an even better time end of October at the Snohomish River Half Marathon. Maybe I will run thinking it is 13.2 again, seemed to help.. LOL!!
It HURTS to run for myself..
It HURTS to push beyond the pain.
I love the feeling of knowing I left it all on the course :)
- It is not too late to join me at the Snohomish River Run Half or 10K on October 27th. go to the Website HERE and use the Discount Code TallMomSRR12 to save $10. The race benefits 3 non-profits- Ironheart Foundation, Susan G Komen, and Snohomish County YMCA. October is a great time in the Snohomish River Valley area--pumpkins, and beautiful fall foliage. Join me...OK logging off to find my next race outfit..