Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Personal Best

Trying to stay in track with my previous race performace, I woke up Sunday morning determined to run my personal best half marathon distance.  Little did I know, that was a lot of pressure.

Being more the athlete I've always wanted to be, setting a new personal best after you gave it your all on the same course the previous year means you have to give it your all and some.  Also, I had just completed a half Ironman two weeks prior and my half marathon was close to what I consider perfect.  Got it!  Too much pressure.

I had pre-packed my race nutrition thinking I should stick to my half Ironman run plan since it worked so well, and from there, everything seemed to be going downhill.  We stopped for a bagel in the morning and while I ordered a "light" thin bagel with egg-whites and turkey, I got the thin bagel but with cheese, cream cheese and green salsa.  Epic fail, but I was hungry.  So I ate it.

Before the start of the race, Jolene asked if I had extra GU's since she had forgotten hers.  I gave her one of mine which should leave me with two for the race, but it was a little different from what I had planned but I was sure it would still work fine...

Also, I wanted to stop by the restroom before we started, especially since I ate all that cream cheese... and that doesn't sit so well on a lactose intolerant stomach. The lines were CRAZY so 5mins before the start I decided to wait until the finish.

OH SNAP!  We will see how this goes...

The gun went off, we started running and I looked down at my Garmin to see a steady 8:15 min/mile.  "Jo, this is a little too fast for me, I think I will slow down..." We did.  We stuck to an 8:45 min/mile pace for a few miles.  I skipped the first aid station at mile marker 2 knowing that I only need water every 4 miles, roughly.

After the aid station at mile 4, where I drank some water and ate a GU, we slowed down a bit to a 9:00 min/mile pace.  Between mile 4 and 8 I felt a little weaker than at the beginning, but tried to stick to our pace.  Once more, I skipped the aid station at mile 6 and continued on to mile 8 where I repeated what I did at mile marker 4.

Jolene was feeling weak... and the wind started to pick up, so she asked if we could slow down.  I'm not going to lie, I was feeling strong and felt as if I could stick to the 9:00 min/mile pace, but my friend has slowed down for me in the past so I figured, I should do the same for her.  Scared I wouldn't run my fastest, I slowed down to a 9:20 - 9:30 min/mile and it was around mile 10 when Jo said she was not feeling so well.  We slowed down a bit more to a 9:40 min/mile.

The 13th mile is pretty brutal, since you finish with a significant climb a quarter of a mile long, and I tried to let Jolene pace it.  Once we came down, I looked a my watch to see that I was way too close to risk it.  I told Jo, I was taking off.  And I did.  Started a LONG sprint.  I think I was still a quarter of a mile away  but I didn't care, I just kept pushing it.

I crossed the finish line at 2hr1min37sec which is 2min20secs faster than the previous year and faster than any other half marathon that I've run.  I have set a new personal best.  Now, I guess the real pressure is on for the next half marathon... I HAVE to break two hours.

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on your best half marathon! That is an awesome time! Cute pic of u guys too :-)