On March 17 I signed up (impromptu-style) for a half-marathon on March 26. The National Half Marathon happened to fall on a Saturday were I was scheduled to run a “shorter distance” so I figured it was NBD to sign up for a race. My thought was to race the 1/2 marathon to see a) where I was at physically and b) to see how fast I could run a 1/2 marathon (considering I’m marathon training and trying to run a BQ).
My goal was 1:35, with the thinking that I could drop back to 1:40 (or 1:45) if I needed to. I felt good leading up to the race, and took it easy (during the week) when I needed to (especially since I had run 22 miles 5 days earlier).
Race day was cold. 33 degrees to start the day, warming up to 35 degrees by 9am. The week leading up to the race I had visions of running in shorts and a tank top. I was completely wrong. I had to wear tights, a tank top, long sleeve top, vest, gloves and a hat. Not what exactly what I had in mind for a race on March 26. Oh well…
There was some confusion on my part with the race start and the bathroom. I have a very nervous bladder, so I was hoping to make one last trip to the bathroom before the start – but the lines were so long and I wanted to find the 1:35 pace group. The race was supposed to start at 7:00am but didn’t start until about 7:10am. In retrospect I probably had time to go but was too nervous to leave my corral or pace group.
I started off with the pace group but they were going a little slower than I wanted to run and I realized my bladder wouldn’t be able to hold it for 13.1 miles. I picked up the pace for the next couple of miles – trying to get enough distance between me and the 1:35 group so they could eventually catch up and I could tag along when I really needed the help. I’m bummed that I had to stop but the plan worked great. I met back up with 1:35 around mile 7 and finished with the group.
Honestly, I felt pretty good. I mean, don’t get me wrong, running an average of 7:15/mile for 13.1 miles is not easy – but I could tell that all of my training had paid off. I crossed the finish line in 1:35:05 (and that included a bathroom stop)! I was extremely happy with my time – and 1:35:05 is a new PR for me!
Division Place: 26/1610
Sex Place: 81/5231
Overall Place: 522/9252
Now, it’s back to real life and real training (no taking it easy because “I have a race this weekend”). I have a 22 miler scheduled for this weekend and then I begin my taper – April 1 is the “1-Month-before-my-marathon” mark! New 1/2 Marathon PR feels good – but now I’ve got to focus my efforts on something bigger and better!