My winter of training was for the Pro Football Hall of Fame half marathon, which was this past Sunday. I followed the Run Less, Run Faster training plan for this race, as I did last year. I just love how this plan takes your pace and gives you a training plan with distance and pace. It takes all the guesswork out of it! I love having my intervals planned out!
The training went really well. I had a few hits with sickness and one really bad 10-miler, but I also had a really good 10-miler and 11-miler. And some hard, but successful interval runs. And a 5K PR.
Nasty weather moved in to the area the day before the race. And it rained overnight. We arrived at the start line to wet roads and puddles. (and a delay because the traffic was so backed up – like 2 miles down the highway) And it was the warmest day of the week. Not a good start.
We met up with 3 other chapters of Moms Run This Town before the race, which was awesome! And thanks to the delay I could make one more potty stop before heading to the start line (I drank 18 oz of nuun filled water on the way there!).
And I headed to the start line and settled in with the 4:00 marathon/2:00 half marathon pace group. Pacer Mike was great! He was very friendly and gave a great pep talk. In full sun and warm temperatures the race began.
I was nervous about sticking with a pace group because I tend to want to start out just a tad slow and speed up as I get into a groove, but I also wanted someone to keep my sights set on. There was a lot of bobbing and weaving to start (slow people – start in the back!), but we hit our target of 9:08 min/mile for mile 1. The road started thinning out and we were cruising (8:55, 8:59, 8:56) even with two water stops (one unmanned) in there. Somewhere between miles 5 and 6 there was a relay exchange and another water stop (9:11, 9:12). And I was still just cruising, not feeling too bad (9:03, 9:08). And I somehow lost sight of the pacer. But in that 9th mile the sun was relentless, the roads were black and the water stops were spreading out. I was getting tired. (9:50)
And then I did something I hate to do. I walked. I was struggling in the heat and my hip was feeling really tight. So I run/walked miles 10, 11 and 12 (11:29, 10:18,10:32). My 2 hour finish time had slipped from my hands and then the 2:05 pace group passed me, which left me feeling really discouraged. I was ready to give up in the last mile. I just wanted to quit. And I almost did, but then I saw an MRTT gal from another chapter on the sidelines cheering me on and I hung on for the last bit and crossed the finish line at 2:06:55.
And after catching up with my MRTT girls ahead of me we commiserated about how the course wasn’t as flat as they claimed it would be. We would call it more gently rolling hills. And the humidity was a killer! (I felt like I was trying to breathe out of a straw). And despite not finishing in 2 hours, I did PR and that was something to be proud of. I shaved over 6 minutes off my previous half marathon PR.
After celebrating with the rest of our MRTT crew (a few more PRs and first time half marathoners!) we headed out to get some food!!!
Swensons Drive In came highly recommended by locals and we’re suckers for milkshakes after a race, so we headed over. And it was sooooo good! The rootbeer milkshake was seriously amazing.
And included with our registration was free entry into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, so we decided to check it out.
And I posed in the leg cast of a football player who is well over twice my size and more than a foot taller than me. It felt good to walk around a bit before the 3+ hour car ride home.
Despite the race not going quite like I wanted I still had a great time with my MRTT crew on our runcation. But I was pretty ticked off at my weather app reminding me the rest of the day how the temperature would be trending cooler the next day……….
I don’t have any more half marathon plans this year, just a bunch of relays, so this PR will have to hold me over for a while.
OH, and in other exciting news this week I registered for next year’s Run Disney Princess Half Marathon! Woo hoo! That’ll be a fun runcation!!!