Thank you to everyone that entered the giveaway for Klean Athlete’s Protein Isolate. The 2 winners are Miss Zippy and Anna. Please send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your address and I’ll get your protein powder out to you. Enjoy!
My family and I drove to Phoenix on Saturday and went straight to the expo to get my race packet. We did the usual walking around, checking out the booths, and getting some free samples (I love the little bite size Larabars!). We didn’t stay too long, it was really crowded and while the hubs and I could hang out wandering around the cool vendors for hours, the kids not so much. So we left to get checked in at the hotel and then met some of our friends that were also running the half marathon for a yummy dinner at Oreganos.
Race morning was fairly low key. The race started at 7:50 so I didn’t have to get up too early. We even had time to grab some breakfast at our hotel before driving to the start. We left the hotel around 6:50 and my family dropped me off about a half mile from the starting line around 7:15. Plenty of time to wait in line for a porta potty and then make my way to the start. I was in Corral 2, so it took a while to weave through the crowds to get there, I think there were something like 20 starting corrals!
The race started right on time (yay!) and my corral started about 5 minutes later. Going into this race I wasn’t sure how it would go, I don’t run many half marathons, so pacing is always a bit of a guess for me and my training hasn’t been what I would call stellar the past couple of months. I was hopeful, but not entirely confident, that I could run a 1:45. I decided to start off in the low 8s for pace and see how I felt. The first few miles always seem easy in a race, so I tried to hold myself back and conserve energy. Around mile 4 I saw some of my friends that were running and caught up to them to say hi. Then I saw that I was close to the 1:45 pace group which had started about 30 seconds in front of me. I decided to slowly catch up to them, and by mile 6 I tucked in with the group and tried to relax and let them do the pacing work for a bit. For those that care, here are my first half splits: 8:08, 7:56, 7:46, 7:56, 7:54, 7:59, 8:01).
I had heard there was a decent hill around mile 9 and the pacer told us about it coming up and said to take it easy on the uphill, then cruise on the downhill. As the hill started, I went with how I was feeling and started pulling in front of the pace group. The hill was about a half mile long with a turn around at the top. At the turn you get to then fly back down the hill you just climbed, this was tons of fun, and since I was feeling good I was able to make back all the time I had lost on the uphill section.
Miles 10 to the finish were a gradual downhill so I started to pick up my pace. I reminded myself that this was a race, so suck it up and push the remaining few miles. I did just that, until mile 12. At this point I had 1.1 miles left and I was feeling it. I decided to pull back a bit on my pace for half a mile and then give it all I had to the finish. Great plan, however, a guy I had been running next to saw me falling behind him and told me to stick with him. Oh no, that meant I couldn’t take it easy for the next half mile like I wanted to! I thought that it was so nice of him to encourage me and want me to stick with him, that I just had to try. It was a struggle, but I was able to stick with him until about a quarter mile to the finish when I told him to go catch his friend that was in front of us (this was just a “training” run for my new friend, Tyler, and my hard pace was his easy pace). With the last few hundred yards to go, I gave it everything I had and ran my fastest mile of the race! Second half splits (8:03, 7:57, 7:45, 7:27, 7:25, 7:05)
My time was 1:42:10 and I was 34th out of 1,141 in my age group! Overall I’m really happy with my race. It felt great to have a good race where I feel like I paced it well, didn’t go out too aggressive, and finished strong. It’s been awhile since I’ve done that!
Now it’s time to get into marathon and triathlon training mode. More on that in a future post!