Last year, I had a goal to run a half under 2 hours. I figured this would be the one to try but my month long work trip threw my life out of whack. I arrived home just the day before the race, showed up and wasn't planning on much - just to enjoy the race. I surprised myself with a time of 1:56:07 on the rolling hills course.
This year, once again I haven't been doing anything to get faster since I'm concentrating on building up mileage but of course I had the goal to at least beat last years time in my mind. I didn't know if was feasible so settled on thinking I'd be happy with anything under 2 hours but would approach it like I was going for 1:55. I just said beat last years time, not necessarily by a lot!
I woke up early in the morning, antsy to get going. Eventually, I had enough waiting around the house and drove over to the middle school where the race begins. I was surprised because there was a good number of people there and the parking lot was already full. Found a place to park, went in to get my number and started looking around for people I knew. It was a little chilly in the morning but overall a great day for a race.
Pretty soon, it was time for us to line up and I didn't even hear any sort of start but all of a sudden, we were off. My goal for the race - run a pace that felt comfortably hard and try not to look at my watch too often. This seems to work the best for me.
I continued chugging away. There's a short out-and-back section where it's nice to see some of the faster people who make it look effortless and also get a view of those behind you. For some reason, that gives me a little pep. By this time, I was feeling like I could keep up with the pace I was going, keeping miles somewhere between 8:30 and 8:45.
In the later miles, I started to become annoyed with some of the people around me. Maybe it was just my distraction to keep moving and not think too much about the actually running part. The things that annoyed me - first, the dude in front of me who turned around every 3 seconds looking for someone. I can't remember if I eventually went by him or not. Not sure if he ever found who he was looking for either. Next, the heavy breather behind me. I kept turning up my music volume but it couldn't drown him out. Eventually it stopped so I must have picked up the pace enough to drop him. Finally, it was the dude with his number pinned to the back of his shirt. Could someone enlighten me why people do that? I've seen it at pretty much every race, including marathons so I don't think it's a novice thing. This guy and I had been passing each other back and forth for most of the race. Pretty soon, I could see the roof of the middle school and knew we'd be finished soon.
I was still feeling good so I tried to pick it up a bit, passing the dude with his number on his back and also another girl. I actually ran beside her for a little bit then pulled a little ahead. It was a little embarrassing to find out I actually know her but was just in a zone and didn't realize it while running. She said something to me afterwards when we were hanging out and eating! Crossed the finish line with a new PR of 1:52:45...I'll take it! I also still felt good afterwards. Last year, I pushed at end and pretty much felt like death. Guess I'm still getting faster with all the extra, long, slow miles.
After the half, I went grocery shopping, came home, helped re-do tile in part of our kitchen, took all the dogs on walks, finally showered, went to PetSmart to clean cat cages for the animal shelter and 90% sure I got one of the cats adopted to a really great family - all in all, my kind of day!