Whew! I'm still living off my high from running the U of I half marathon this past Saturday. The weather was pretty good. The only real obstacle was the wind that was blowing out of the E, SE at 15-25mph. I barely felt it. I finished with a surprising time of 2:04:20.
Leading up to the race my training was not where it normally is going into a half marathon. I hurt my knee and was out of commission for about 3 weeks and then I was sick for about a week. So all in all I am very pleased with my time. I went into the race more calm and relaxed than I have ever been going into a race. I did not put the extra pressure on myself of having a time goal for this one. I took off in the 2:05 pace group. Within a mile I passed them and began running my own race. I felt great! I looked down at my watch every once in awhile to see what my pace was and I was averaging anywhere from 9:10 per mile to 9:24 per mile. At mile 6.5 (roughly half way point) I did a body check to see how everything was holding up. I was happy to see that it still felt pretty easy and my body was holding up. At mile 10 I saw my mother-in-law and she handed me my last pack of GU. I started to feel the effects at this point. My legs were getting heavier and it was getting more difficult to propel my body forward but I still wasn't hurting in any way.
Then, I remember seeing the stadium and it feeling like we were running around it forever. All I remember thinking was, "My God, where is the entrance already???". At that point I was ready for it to end. I came into the stadium and crossed the finish line with a smile of my face. I had finished in 2:04:20 which was my 2nd fastest time in a half marathon. I never expected to do so well!
I do have to say that from last year to this year the U of I half marathon/marathon has improved dramatically! They have done such a great job with improving the race. The course was better than I expected and this race will definatly be on my race calendar every year.