Just like every year for the past several years, I was signed up to run the 3M Half Marathon this year. I am also signed up for the Little Rock Marathon on March 1, so the 3M date was pretty much in my high mileage time frame of training. Lucky for me, it just happened to be a recovery week with only 15 miles scheduled for that day. I figured racing 13 was about the same as a 15 mile long slow run, so it would all workout. I headed into race day with no taper and no expectations.
Race morning was a little cold, but other than a bit of wind, really ideal race conditions. Like I said, I had no time goals or expectations, but even without set-in-stone goals, there is ALWAYS a goal in the back of my mind. I would be happy just breaking two hours this year, so I lined up just in front of the 2-hour pacers. I had met another Team RWBer at the start line and figured he would probably leave me in the dust, so when the race started, I reminded myself to start slow and go at my pace.
When I hit mile one, I hit the split button on my garmin. 9:09. Perfect. Not too fast and not too slow. I told myself if I stayed close to that pace the rest of the race, I'd be ok. So I just kept going. It's always fun to watch the runners ahead of and beside me and listen to their conversations. Sometimes you can tell it's someone's first half and the friend they are with is pacing them. Some you know are just out there to have fun. And others you know went out way too fast. I was just enjoying the day.
Mile 2: 8:43
Mile 3: 8:39
Mile 3 seemed to come up on me really quickly. And mile 5 seemed to take FOREVER to find. A mile is a mile, so it's funny how some fly by and some are brutal. And sometimes it has nothing to do with hills or wind.
Mile 5: 8:48
Mile 6: 8:56
Mile 7: 8:47
Mile 8: 8:54
It was somewhere between mile 7 and 8 that I finally got hot enough to ditch my outer layer. I'd get hot earlier where I was in the sun and think about it and then I'd turn the corner and be in the shade with the wind hitting me and change my mind. This time, I knew it was time.
Mile 9: 8:56
Mile 10: 9:08 - bummer, I had hoped to keep all but the first under 9:00
Mile 11: 8:59
Mile 12: 8:47
Mile 13: 9:05 - yeah, because it's so awesome to finish a half marathon up a hill into the wind! last .1: 1:00
Checking my garmin at the end, I knew it wasn't a PR, but it wasn't far off.
Total time: 1:56:48 for a pace of 8:55 per mile
I was 141 out of 558 in my age group, 723 out of 3210 females, and 1888 out of 5450 overall. I'm ok with that.