Before getting to the race recap, I want to apologize for it taking sooo long for me to get this post up. I’m in the final push for the semester and my brain has just been all over the place. My priorities right now are studying, sleeping, and trying to stay sane. Running? Only if I can find the time and energy. Writing about running? Pretty much the bottom of my to do list.
Race: Rock CF Rivers Half Marathon
Date: March 26, 2017
I put so little effort into training for this race that it feels weird to sit down to write a recap. On the other hand, I finished this race feeling amazingly strong and extremely pleased with my finish time so it is great to reflect on a surprisingly solid race.
My bad weather fears were never realized. It was a touch colder than I would have like (39 degrees) but it didn’t rain. Wind was lighter than predicted and only ended up being noticeable for the last few miles of the race.
The race started at 8:00, but I am out of practice with morning running so I got up at 5:00 to allow plenty of time to eat and use the bathroom. Packet pickup was available the morning of the race which is always appreciated for out of town races. Bathroom lines were long so instead of lining up near the 1:50 pacers, I only had time to work my way up to the 2:10 pacers.
The race started on time and the crowd quickly thinned out. I might have weaved a little, but starting further back in the pack really just kept me to my goal pace for the first mile, 8:41. I ditched my warm-up sweatshirt at mile 1. The next few miles I paced off another runner as we slowly (slowly) worked on closing the gap to the 1:50 pacers. 8:25, 8:21. There really isn’t much to say about this section. I felt relaxed and was enjoying the waterfront views. 8:14. I was running faster than planned, but felt good. 7:53, whoa. Where did that come from?
I thought about slowing down but instead I passed the 1:50 pace team and just kept grooving. 7:59, 7:52. Saw Kendall somewhere in this section and tossed him my hat, hoping I wouldn’t regret that when we turned into the headwind. Started daydreaming about breaking 1:45. Slowed down a bit when the rolling hills hit, 8:11. Tried to take advantage of any downhills in the next mile, but I could tell I was fatigued. 8:00. Four miles left and Helloooo headwind. I’m tired. I’m trying to eat a gel. I wish the race was over. 8:18. Slowing down, but refusing to feel disappointed. I am having a great race!!
Halfway through mile 10 the course turns. The headwind should now be a crosswind. It still feels like a headwind. 7:59. I try to pick up the pace, but my legs won’t cooperate. 8:01. One more mile. Still trying to pick up the pace. I’ve even passed a few people. But my legs just won’t move any faster. 8:07. Last tenth of a mile, another turn and a tail wind! 5:47 pace according to my Garmin. Chip time 1:46:26.
Yes! I can not believe the race I just had. Post race food is inside, which is great because it still only about 42 degrees out and I’m now wearing shorts and a cold sweaty t-shirt. Bananas, bagels, and a massive table of homemade cookies to choose from. I should have taken a picture but I was too busy eating. Oh and the race shirt was everything I dreamed it would be.
I didn’t train for this race, but I do feel confident in saying I have lost only a small amount of speed and endurance over the past few months. I think with a couple months of endurance building (40+ miles per week) followed by a couple months of speed/tempo work and I will be very well poised for a half PR. I’m still not registered for a fall half marathon, but I am planning to run one to check in on my training progress.
I am 9 months out from my marathon which feels like plenty of time to be building endurance. I’m still not at a point where I feel comfortable setting goals, but doing well in this race is definitely keeping the BQ dream alive.