Dec 26, 2007 10:44 PM
My goal in this half marathon was to not only beat my previous HM PR of 2:11:43, but to try and go for a sub 2 hr HM.
This course is basically the same course as The Avenue of the Giants I ran in May, or at least same starting and finishing point. The Ave was an out and back along Bull Creek Road and this was an out and back along The Avenue of the Giants. I did more training for this one than I did for The Avenue, so I knew that beating 2:11 would be do-able, but when I looked at the splits I needed to do to get a sub 2 hr, I wasn’t sure I could maintain that speed for that length of time. John created my pace chart for me and my splits for this race had to be 10.10, 9.10, and then pretty much 8.55 for the rest of the course but giving me a few seconds more time during the turn-around at the half way point and giving me a little more time during that last mile, as I would probably be pretty dang tired by that point.
This day started out cold! I had ice on my windshield as we left our hotel in Fortuna at 7:40 a.m. and headed 20 miles south to the race start. My DH and my DS came along with me on this trip and I got an earful about how crazy runners are to get up this early, wear shorts when there was frost on the ground and pay money to do all this!
We arrived at the start with about 45 min til the start of the race. So, I got port-a-potty duties out of the way before the lines got too long. John spotted us, we chatted a bit, and then he went to do a few warm-up miles. About 15 min prior to the start, I did about ½ mile warmup and then we started lining up. DH was on photo duty, so he and DS walked out to the bridge that we’d be crossing after the gun went off to get my picture. John and I started a bit closer to the front of the pack then we should have, but we were off to the side. And this race was smaller than The Avenue in May (about 1/3 of the size - maybe 800 or so runners), so I knew it wouldn’t take long for this crowd to thin out. John and I stuck together for the first mile and then he wanted to go faster, so he was off. I could usually see a glimpse of his lime-green singlet, but by about mile 5, I could no longer see him.
The first mile went out much faster than I anticipated at an 8.42 (supposed to be about a 10.10!), so I slowed it down a bit . . . or so I thought. I never did see mile markers 2 or 3, but I hit marker 4 at 25.37, so I was averaging 8.45 for miles 2-4. I was feeling real good but had doubts that I could keep up this pace for the entire HM and the last thing I wanted to do was bonk and not be able to finish strong. I also did not want to walk at all during the HM.
I hit the half way mark turn-around (6.55 miles) at 56.03. I was starting to get excited at this point because I knew even if I had to run the second half slower than the first half, I could probably hit my goal of sub 2 hrs. And I was feeling so good at this point, I was really hitting a groove – taking very long strides, breathing almost effortlessly and almost felt to be running 2 inches above the pavement. This felt great!
Mile 8 was 8.34
Mile 9 was 8.42
Mile 10 was 9.07! I was starting to get a bit tired and my hips a bit sore but thankfully this was my slowest mile of the entire HM.
Mile 11 was 9.01 not as fast as I would have liked, so I told myself I had to pick up the pace and get back into those 8’s.
Mile 12 was 8.38.
I missed mile 13 somehow, Probably because this is about where I saw John and he was running the course back to find me and bring me in. I was hoping he’d do this and give me the boost I needed. Thanks John. This is about where I recall him saying “suck it up Tamster!” And then I turned the corner by the bridge and saw the finishing shoot. I didn’t want to look at my watch and see where I was at, so I just ran. I could see the time clock up ahead and it said something like 1:54 and I knew if I booked it, I could go sub 1:55. So that’s exactly what I did. I crossed the finish line in 1:54:45 (I think that is what it said, maybe off by a second or two.
I felt awesome! I beat my previous PR by 17 freakin’ minutes!! And shaved 5 min off my goal for this race of 1:59. What a high!
Fashion Report: Blue running skirt with black compression shorts, light grey Asics running tshirt, blue long sleeve C9 running shirt, white ball cap, pink lipstick (Gentlemen Prefer Pink – yes, that’s the name).
DH, DS and I took a very leisurely drive home – the 4 hr drive took about 5.5 hrs. We stopped along The Avenue of the Giants for photo-ops and so DS could run around and play, we stopped along the beach, stopped at a couple campgrounds to check out for next summer’s family camping outings. It was a great weekend – time spent with my family and a fantastic race for me (and for John! – congrats on your smashing race, coach!).
Thanks for reading!
ETA: official stats: OA 252/551 and AG (40-44) 14/40. Avg: 8.46 min/mile