Okay, but I am also kinda proud of me! My goal of 1:54 was a good one....I came in JUST at 1:55. RIGHT on it, basically. So, I have to look this up, but I think I still PR'd by a few seconds...does that count? :) I think I had the time wrong from my last stand alone half marathon back in '03....I know that I ran with the 1:55 pace group with Dr. John my Soler friend as the pace leader, but I think they finished in 1:54 something and me in 1:55 something. So, I will have to dig through the archives.
(OK, update--I just dug through the archives and I was wrong! Previous PR not 1:54.55, as originally thought, but 1:55.39--way off! DUH! So looks like I will PR by more like 25-30 seconds. That's gotta count, right?) :)
In any sense, way cool and wicked pumped that I even came REMOTELY close to a PR today. Let's just lay it out there--I pretty much winged this one. I just signed up last week. I really wasn't sure what to expect, since my weekly mileage has been pretty low. Since Ironman, I did two "long" (go ahead, laugh) runs of 8 miles, and 11 miles. The 11 miles was last week. That's it...and some tempo runs and 2 days on the track. So, I am pretty happy with my results, all things considered. I think it really shows that I still have it in me, and can set my new goal for the Indy Mini Marathon at 1:50 and achieve that. Yippeeeeeeee!
So what is it with me and bunk nasty race day weather? Today it was 38 degrees and alternating between piss-raining (as Canada Jenn says) and a full on, IM MOO style downpour. Not so cool. I actually like the temperature--38 for me is darn near perfect race day conditions--but DRY would have been nice. I think I'm still thawing out.
Coach Kara told me to go out at 8:45s for the first 3 miles or so, and then try to hold 8:20s as long as I could. So, I really thought I was doing that. Mile 1?
Damn. I SUCK at pacing. (But not as much as MICHIGAN SUCKS--hee hee. Had to throw that in)
So I tried to slow down but to no avail. I had set my Garmin for a half marathon, and in a total violation of "nothing new on race day" had no idea that I couldn't take my splits when it was in this mode. DOH!
I tried to just go by my feel and made it to mile 7 in an hour flat. So, I was pretty much right on target. It was very fun to see my Second Sole buddies at the water stop! They kept me pumped up.
Basically, all was well and I felt great until about mile 10. And then I DIED DIED DIED DIED. Which, probably makes sense since I really didn't put in the miles. You can only be a poser for so long. :) I took another hammer gel and tried to focus on a person and stick with them. Eventually, I made it in and was very happy to even see a 1:55 on the clock! I thought for sure I totally blew it and it would say more like 1:57.
Interestingly enough, my Garmin stopped at 13.1 miles (since I set it to half marathon mode) and the time it said when I hit that distance was 1:53.28! I soooooooooooo like that better. :) That was pretty much exactly what I was hoping for! Can I take that instead? Not sure if my Garmin was off or the course was a wee bit long. Most likely, Garmin was just a bit off, I guess, huh? Bummer. If only Garmins ruled the world...
So, what have I learned?
- I can basically wing a half marathon and do pretty darn well. I guess I must have some degree of stamina and fitness left over from IM.
- I really need to up the mileage and get in some REAL long runs, not fake pseudo-long runs of 8 and 11 miles! I mean, come ON....I've gotta be kiddin'. I'm lucky I was able to hold the pace I did for as long as I did. So, come January, time to up the mileage up!
- The iPod was great, especially when I felt like I couldn't move and my hammies were rebelling on the last few miles. I'd like to thank Pantera, Pearl Jam, Suicidal Tendencies, Motley Crue, the Beastie Boys, Eminem, and System of a Down for helping me freaking move my legs.
- Running a race pretty much by yourself is different. It was nice to not get wrapped up in the numbers and the miles, since I had no splits due to my watch's function (oops), and nice to not worry about who was passing me. But, it sure is more fun to run with a friend, and probably would have helped me not totally blow the last 3 miles. :) You hear that Jacks? Kick me in the ARSE at Indy.
Afterwards, I was shivering and shaking and cursing myself for not getting their earlier to get a good parking spot. Ugh. My car was pretty far away, and so was warmth and dryness. So, I got some hot chocolate and a bagel, and struck up a conversation with the winning Master's male--he saw my IMW hat and shirt and turns out he did it, too! We were laughing that the weather was reminding us of our race day. Then, I saw another guy in an IMFL jacket and we talked a bit! Ironman peeps rock.
On my way to the car, I found one of my former students, who is a senior this year. I heard that he was running this as his first half-marathon, so I kept an eye out for him. He wasn't hard to find--he came in EIGHTH OVERALL. He finished 14th in the state, I think, at the Cross Country Championships. This kid's a MACHINE. Anyway, I congratulated him, and he proceeded to tell me that this race was "the hardest thing he'd ever done," that he was "so inconsistent," and that "he doesn't ever want to do it again." He also said, "I can't even imagine doubling that after swimming like 8 miles and biking like a hundred!" I laughed and told him that his pace is JUST a wee bit faster than mine. :) He finished in 1:21. Way to go!
So, I guess I still have some street cred. Cool. :)
All in all--a great race, a nice flat and fast course, fun people, and even a teensy little PR. Not too shabby. What more can you ask for?
Well, the Browns to beat the Steelers would be nice. But I guess I can't have everything now, can I?
Okay, another update. I keep having all these afterthoughts. It's been a few hours and I just graded some papers and...am I seriously complaining that my PR isn't "PR enough?" What's wrong with me? Someone should smack me upside the head. A PR is a PR, whether it's 1 second or 1 hour. I think after taking 56 minutes off my marathon in mary #2, in my head a PR should be of those epic proportions. Which is PRETTY MUCH IMPOSSIBLE, so I am now officially embracing my PR, albeit a small one. Yay for PRs, yay for progress...yay for half marathons! I think I remember now why I always said that's my favorite distance. Onto Indy!