On Sunday, September 23 I ran the Big Hit 1/2 Marathon in Louisville, Ky.
|Sarah, Me, Angela & Jason|
It was a nice cool morning around 40*, I told my friends that it felt like perfect weather for some PR's! The course is advertised as flat and fast and I have been searching for a half marathon PR since I got one in the Spring (1:58:30) and this course was pretty much the same course so I felt confident I could pull off a 1:57:something.
Miles 1 - 4
I know the magic pace for 1:59 is 9:09 and I know that I am TERRIBLE for going out too fast and wearing down towards the end which ends in me bombing out for my goal time. So I decided to run with the 2hr pace group and hopefully be able to pick it up at the end. Choosing to run with the pace group was one of the BEST decision EVER and the pacer was super nice! The first few miles are usually a struggle for me not sure why but usually by mile 2.5 I begin to have doubts and tell myself "Why are you doing this?" I didn't feel quite that bad this time and actually felt comfortable. As promised the course was flat there was a little steep uphill that was only about 50 steps. By mile 3 I was warm enough to take my jacket off and still feeling strong!
Miles 5 - 8
I wore a pace band for a 1:57 finish and tried not to get too concerned that I wasn't meeting the marks for it but wasn't a long way off. I told the pacer of my goal time and he said that he would make sure I reached it~ SWEET! I did get a little concerned that every time I looked at my Garmin I was off pace, it would say 9:20 but I don't watch it all the time and told myself to just trust the pacer he KNOWS what he is doing! Another lady in the group heard me say my goal time and she said that it was about her goal time as well so maybe more towards the end we could pace each other, except that she took off around mile 7.5 and I knew that was still too early for me so I stayed with the group. I was still feeling comfortable and strong and actually feeling great!
Miles 9 - 12
I ate one Peanut Butter GU before the race started and had another one in my jacket pocket to take around the half way point but my jacket was tied around my waist I didn't really feel like I needed the GU and didn't feel like fumbling around with my jacket to try and get it out. The race was handing out GU's around mile 8.5 so I took one but never ate it. At this point the pacer also said we was about a minute or so ahead of the 2hr pace and how great we was doing (there was only about 5 people in the group). They slowed down and drank water at every water stop but because of the cooler temps I only got water at every other stop but slowed down through the stops with the group. Around mile 9.5 I saw my friend Sarah (the course looped back around) and she asked me if I was on track, I answered "I think so!!!" Around mile 10 I started to pull ahead from the group, the pacer came up beside me and told me what I needed to do, start increasing my pace keeping it comfortable and when I reached the downtown area with a mile to go make a game with it run hard for a block or so and back down for a block or so.
|Me in the last half mile,|
The Last Mile
In the first few miles we went under an underpass and my Garmin lost some distance, in this last mile we went under it again and my Garmin lost more distance. This was playing with my mind because I really had no idea how much distance was lost or about how much distance was left. I picked up my pace maybe a little too much during miles 10-11 and was feeling it a little in the last mile. Then I reminded myself run hard for a block and ease off for a block. At one point I almost felt like walking but I then remembered what I overheard the pacer telling someone else "Never let someone tell you you can't do something. You can do anything you set your mind to do". So I told myself "No your NOT going to walk, the pacer believes in you better yet my Mom believes in me and still better than that I BELIEVE IN ME. I CAN DO THIS!!!" And do it I DID!! I crossed the finish line in 1:55:18!!!! Two minutes better than I wanted and three minutes better than my last half PR:) Talk about feeling excited, that was the best feeling I have had in a long time a true "Runners High"!
|Sarah & I with our "Bling"!|