I made a goal at the beginning of the year (okay, maybe last year but to accomplish this year). It was to break 1:50 in a half marathon. I came close last year with a 1:51:10 at Xenia, but last year I was faster. My training runs were all in the 8:25-8:35/mile range. This year I feel like I'm dying at 8:40's or comfortable at just under 9:00's. I know that 90% of the time I run with dead legs (that happens during Ironman training). Not really dead legs, but you know the type... I'm recovered, I'm rested, but I never really have fresh legs. In any event, I had very low expectations for this race today.
Yesterday I picked my mother in law up and we drove to Xenia. Tom was biking there (it's about 80 miles). We picked up our packets and were expecting Tom. I get a call that his map was wrong and he's lost. Ugh... I can't help him because I don't really know where he is so I finally get him to tell me cross streets and we backtrack about 15 miles and find him in the next town. Poor guy - ended up biking 75 miles into the wind and was still 15 miles from the final destination. We grabbed some dinner at this fabulous place called Youngs (it was like home cooking. I had beef and noodles and could have eaten plates and plates of it... it was yummo). We checked into the hotel and of course our room is between two rooms filled with people yelling and smoking pot. I lived in the Netherlands for 5 months. I know what pot smells like. Oh my gawd where they smoking a lot of it! They seemed to be leaving for the evening (I'm sure hitting the clubs in Xenia Ohio which is about the size of my pinky nail) and were all so tired that it just didn't even matter to us.
I fell asleep quickly, only to be woken up around 3am by the yelling of the neighbors. It wasn't a good night's sleep. Luckily we were 2 minutes from the start and the race was starting at 8:30 so we didn't have too early of a morning. Looking back, I wish I had been really loud in the morning. I should have banged on the walls and screamed for no good reason because I'm pretty sure that the people in the rooms on either side of us were still sleeping (and probably still high). I digress...
We got to the race start around 8:10. It was a beautiful day and there were runners everywhere. Tom kept saying that he felt like he was forgetting something. Oh the joys of a simple running race! We lined up, listened to the national anthem and they started the race. Tom, his mom and I all decided to stick together.
The first 2 miles are always quick of this race. They are through a neighborhood. You kind of get sucked into the emotion of the race... first half of the year for many people. The first mile was an 8:18. Didn't feel too fast, but I was cautious not to kill myself. Second mile was 8:21. Tom had incredibly fast legs having just biked 75 miles into the wind the day before.
Miles 3 and 4 are pretty hilly. My shin started hurting and I thought that I was in for it. I've never had shin problems and today wasn't the day that I wanted to know what it was like to have them! Splits were 8:25 and 8:28. Then we turn to a bike path. The rest of the race is on a bike path - and it's an out and back. I've run this race 3 times and I swear to you that its uphill both ways. I don't get it.
Mile 5 and 6 I felt like I was finally into a groove of sorts - both were 8:32's.
Then it happened. I got my legs! :) I felt like I was finally just running and not thinking about anything else. My shins stopped hurting and it was just nice...
Mile 7 was 8:19
Mile 8 was 8:19
Mile 9 was 8:20
Mile 10 was 8:05
Mile 11 was 8:08
Mile 12 was 7:53 (might have been a little slower since Tom took off and ran ahead of me with the garmin)
Mile 13 was 7:54 (was probably a bit faster since I sprinted like hell to catch him!!!)
Um... so that was a super negative split. And a 1:49:21. And a PR by 2 minutes! :)
I am so excited that I was able to cross my first goal off of my list for 2010. I honestly thought that I'd struggle to maintain 9:00's today and I ended up averaging 8:21's! Anxious to see what this year's going to bring!
And I want to give my hubby due props because he truly is a rockstar (although I didn't just learn this today!). He's been training his butt off for Race Across America and biked himself into the ground this week and yesterday. He did amazing today though and kept pushing me to the finish. He even finished 7 seconds before me... just enough time to turn and cheer me on as I finished. You are awesome Brady!