Monday, May 7, 2012

St. Luke's Half Marathon

Here is my first note to myself, even though I don't always feel like I look my best, I need to have someone take a picture of me on race day.  Before and after pictures would be the best.  So far I have been in nine races and I have almost no pictures to show for it.  This is a big deal sort of thing and I need to make sure I actually get in a few pictures!

So as you can gather from that, I don't really have a picture from my first ever half marathon.  Maybe I'll grab my shirt, medal and bib and snap a shot of them and post them later on.  I think one of the things I was most disappointed about picture wise was that there were professional photographers there and they took around 10,000 or more pictures of less than 4,000 people and somehow I did not get a shot going over the finish line.  I am blurry in the background and then gone.  I could pretend I was really that fast, but that isn't really the case at all.  Basically I came in on the wrong side of the finish line.  Everyone on the left got a picture and people on the right got missed.  I don't think that was something I could of known about ahead of time and at that point I really just wanted to cross that line and get a bottle of water!  I found myself running in a couple others, but I really wanted to see myself going over the line as a bit of proof to myself that I can and did run 13.1 miles in a race for fun.

My time was much better than I expected it to be when I registered in December.  On the registration you were asked to estimate how long it was going to take you to run it and I put down 2:30 and I was hoping I was right.  That was the slowest pace group they offered and they warned if you couldn't do it in 3 hours you might be asked to run on sidewalks after they reopened the streets to traffic or take a courtesy bus.  My final time was 2:13:50 (not sure if I recorded that right or not.  According to their time clock it took me two hours, thirteen minutes and 50 seconds.  My watch said 25 seconds but I guess I need to go with the chip time.)  During my training I changed my goal to 2:20 and then in the month leading up to race day I decided to aim for between 2:10-2:20.  I was really happy that I made the goal I set for myself.  I credit part of making it with the training time I put in and the friends I ran with and with the fact that my husband ran with me.  We got an email the week of the race saying that you were not allowed to run with headphones, which both of us had been planing on doing.  Even though most of  my runs were done without them, I usually had someone to talk to, so going for two hours alone with nothing seemed long.  We didn't talk the whole time, just here and there.  More so in the beginning than as the miles went on, but knowing that I had someone to talk to if I wanted to made a difference.  No one would be looking at me like I was crazy if I just started talking randomly about something!

I practiced the course two times before race day, but a change was made due to a stone wall that was no longer safe along the course and it had to be rerouted after my first practice.  I had a chance to practice the change part a week or so before race day and it was the hill that gave me a problem during my one and only 10K.  That hill happened around mile 7 and when I look at my splits, that hill is what divides my 9 minute and some second miles from all the ten minute and something ones.  I really want to do this race again next year without that hill (I hope) to see how I do.  Of course I will be a different runner by then but I really would have liked to have seen my time the original way.  My splits were 9:43, 9:44, 9:26, 9:46, 9:43, 9:58, 10:22, 10:08, 10:35, 10:33, 10:48, 10:37,10:35, 9:59.  For me these are awesome times.  I tend to run in the tens and elevens most of them time.  It takes a race most times to get me to run in the nines.  I am in awe of people who can run under ten minute miles for all their runs.  I am not sure I ever see that being me, but I guess I can work towards it, maybe.  When we lined up we got behind the pace group for 2:10 which was listed as 9:55 minute miles.  We lost the pacer almost immediately even though we were running faster than that time for the first five miles.  Being among a group running a similar pace helped too.

This ended up being a positive experience.  I was tired and somewhat sore afterwards, but feel really good about what I've accomplished since I started running last summer.  I have some more big goals coming up!

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