Wow…I killed it! I ran the Fort-4-Fitness half marathon this morning (in Fort Wayne, IN) in a much faster time than I ever anticipated. Love that! Obviously, the fun race atmosphere and having people all around me helped to push me during the beginning of the race. I knew most of those people would fade eventually and I would continue my usual “strategy” of picking people off as I ran. (This is something I’ve done ever since I was running 3k cross country courses back in middle school!!) The longer the race, the faster I go. This is NOT typical of most runners, but it’s worked well for me over the years. I have quite the endurance for long runs! I started at 8:26 pace and finished at 7:15 pace…not too bad. 🙂
My 2nd-Ever Half Marathon Results:
Total time: 1:42:17
Average pace: 7:49
F 30-34 Age Division: 9th out of 261 (Top 4%)
Overall Women: 39th out of 1,309 (Top 3%)
Overall Finish: 264th out of 2,513 (Top 11%)
Note: When I ran this same race back in 2009, I didn’t even break 2 hours!
During these last several months, all of my runs averaged between 7:59-8:20 per mile, so I was extremely happy that I was able to push myself and come in at a 7:49 pace on race day. I always start off slow and then play catch up the entire race. In fact, whenever I see a woman that looks like she’s in the 30-34 age range, SHE becomes my next goal and I just keep moving until I catch up to her! I’m fairly competitive… In fact, there were about 3 women in my age group that I passed in the last mile and as I caught each one I gave myself a little high five in my head. 🙂
Anyway, here is a quick summary of race day:
I woke up at my normal time of 5:05, showered quickly and ate breakfast. I had two slices of my Cinnamon Raisin Bread spread with natural peanut butter (I’m finally starting to like this now-it’s just peanuts and salt only), and a banana. I finished getting ready, woke my kids up to get them dressed (luckily I already packed their breakfast and snacks in a bag for my mom), and then left the house for the race.
The race started without any issues and I got out much faster than I remembered from the last time I ran this race. My husband and I were going to run together for the first mile (my idea, not his), but I quickly realized that wasn’t going to happen. I was too focused on how to weave my way through the crowd that I didn’t want to worry about him keeping up with me…so I took off and left him behind. 🙂
I enjoyed all of the families and kids that were along the race course cheering people on. I saw my own kids (with my mom and stepdad) about a mile from the start. I was hoping my daughter was going to cheer for me…but she just had this frown-y look on her face while just standing there all sad. I think she was confused about what was going on and why all of these people were running past her. Plus, I’m sure she was upset that she wasn’t running WITH me. My boys seemed oblivious to me running past them… 🙂
Nothing too eventful for the rest of the course. A cute little grey kitten ran out in front of me at one point. I saw a woman running in those ‘FiveFinger Toe Shoes.’ I was really tempted to ask her about them and how her feet felt, but I didn’t want to get out of breath by carrying on any type of ‘real’ conversation. 🙂 I cannot imagine running 13 miles in them was smart… though, what do I know??
At around mile 8, other people around me started breathing really heavy (one guy was breathing so hard I’m not sure how he was going to make it the remaining 5 miles). At this point, I knew I was going to continue passing people until the very end and I felt really strong. I also knew not to pick up the pace TOO much (too soon) for fear of wearing out before the end. I think I ran a really smart race, held my pace steady, and kicked it in quite a bit the last two miles. I’m sure one of the biggest reasons I’m able to run such a strong race these days is due to my RunKeeper app on my phone. I had it set to read out my average pace at every mile marker and hearing my average pace continue to drop is what keeps me motivated to keep pushing hard. That’s how I trained these last few months and I figured I shouldn’t change anything on race day. (I even helped out a guy that was asking another runner about his pace and he seemed thrilled that I was able to tell him my pace.)
Here are my mile splits (according to RunKeeper):
Mile 1 – 8:25
Mile 2 – 7:52
Mile 3 – 7:31
Mile 4 – 7:47
Mile 5 – 7:43
Mile 6 – 7:51
Mile 7 – 7:33
Mile 8 – 7:51
Mile 9 – 7:34
Mile 10 – 7:36
Mile 11 – 7:32
Mile 12 – 7:36
Mile 13 – 7:15
And my last tenth of a mile came in at 6:56. 🙂
Overall, I am really, really happy with my results. My goal was to finish in the top 10 for my age division, but I didn’t actually tell anyone this beforehand because I didn’t know if that was a realistic goal or not. I knew I would be close (based on last year’s results)…but I also didn’t really expect to run under 8 minute miles the whole way. I know that if I had *REALLY* trained for this (with speed work, interval training, etc.), I could have done much better…but considering I do all my running pre-7:00am, I’ll take it! My plan now is to keep running on the weekends and MAYBE run one-two times during the week through the Fall/Winter months. I’m a ‘fair weather’ runner, so if it’s cold/snowy/icy, I will not be outside (but I will continue my elliptical workouts). I’m also getting kind of tired of running in the dark, so I’m not sure how much more I’m going to want to do that. I would like to stay in decent shape and then do another half marathon this Spring. I’m thinking the Indy Mini would be a fun one! Almost makes me want to train for a full marathon again… 🙂
Here are some pictures from the day:
I’m pretty confident that this was my husband’s FIRST and LAST long distance race…ever! He finished, but it wasn’t pretty. Poor guy. He’s not a distance runner! He said his chest/breathing felt fine, but his legs felt like they took a major beating. I’m still really proud of him, though. And now he can say he’s run a half marathon!