I spent all winter training for this half marathon. I
easily talked my running partner Randi into doing it with me. As much as I love to run, I had been feeling a bit burnt out about it. I really wanted to do just one more half and then take it easy with shorter races and obstacle course runs. My hope was to train correctly, put in enough miles and do enough speed work and tempo runs to get that sub 1:50 half. 3.5 months of training went into this run and here is how race weekend went down.
The race takes place on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. That's the OBX for those of you not fortunate to be from the mid-Atlantic ;) There was a large group of women from my Moms RUN This Town club doing the race, so we all headed down on Saturday afternoon and hit up the expo.
Being from VA Beach, we are kind of spoiled by the size of races this area draws. We have Shamrock Marathon weekend in the Spring and The Rock n' Roll Half Marathon in the late summer. Both expo's are huge and crowded with lots of stuff to buy and vendors giving away tons of stuff. I guess I was still coming down off my Shamrock induced high and was disappointed, no, not the right word, but snapped back to reality that most race expo's are not quit as big or packed with retail merchandise as those back in VB. Which was actually kind of nice, it was quick and painless getting my packet and although it was small and I told myself I wasn't going to buy anything....I did get a new iPhone holder.
After the expo we headed to the hotel and then out for some appetizers and a beer. I was without my family and even though I missed them, it was nice to not have to worry about getting the boys feed and ready for bed. I was actually going to be able to rest and concentrate on getting myself ready for the race. Yay me!
The course was a straight line south. We headed out early to catch the shuttle from the finish, where we parked our cars, to the starting area. The race coordinators were very organized and had more than enough buses for everyone. We got to the starting area with plenty of time to take care of business, like the porta potty and pictures, you know important pre-race stuff!
|stock photo: Wright Brothers Memorial|
|stock photo from flickr form 2012|
By mile 9 I had walked at least once and it wasn't even at a water stop. I decided to run and stop at the water stops and just keep moving. Well, that didn't happen. I think at mile 10 my friend Helen came up on me and was so sweet asking how I was. All I could do was give her a thumbs down and scowl. I was so mad that I was walking, my knee was hurting and I just threw the last 3.5 months of training out the window. (At least that is how I felt.)
Once we were on the true trails, I was walking up them and running down them. I crossed the finish line at 1:55:10, 4 minutes off my PR and 6 minutes off my goal. Ugghhh. I can't lie, I was really pissed at first, not that that is a terrible time by any means, but that it just wasn't my day. I let my runners brain dictate my running. I was ready. I might not have run a 1:48 like Randi, but I knew I could do a sub 1:50. At least I think I am physically capable of it, but my stupid head keeps getting in the way!! It is very frustrating!!
After the race I got the courage to go and look at my Garmin split and compared them to the on course pacing. My 5 mile split had me at an 8:10 split. Their timing had me at a 7:41 split. Hmmm, I can't run a 7:41 pace for 13 miles. Maybe that is why I felt like death at mile 7? I was spent. Was it my Garmin that threw me off? Do I rely waaaayyy to much on it? Probably.
Even with my craptastic second half, I would totally do this race again. It was well organized and executed. The course was beautiful and the varied terrain was a plus. Also, my friends Cathy and Helen took second in the costume contest! I have to see what they come up with to take first!