I changed things up a bit and did the half marathon this year for the Blues. I have been doing a half marathon training program for a race in February and the Blues fell at the end of week 9 of the program. I figured doing a marathon was not advisable (who am I?) so I "downgraded" my registration to the half a few months ago. Plan for the half was to run it moderately hard to see what I could do on a hilly course. We hit the expo on Friday and then got some yummy takeout from Bravo.
|Hubby was running the half too. He had not run a step since like August.|
The weather race morning was a bit rainy and muggy with temps in the mid 50's. So not great. We sat in the car until we absolutely had to get out! Hubby made head and arm holes in a garbage bag for me. Turns out he thinks my head is ginormous!
|Excuse my ginormous head.|
The rain stopped shortly before the race started so that was sort of nice. I lined up near the 4 hr marathon pacer (couldn't find the 2 hr half marathon pacer). The first 3 or 4 miles are fairly flat and I was able to keep a good pace (Miles 1-4: 9:15/8:46/8:58/9:08). Between miles 3 and 4, we hit State Street and the hills started. These hills are not terrible during the marathon because I am running a bit slower. These hills suck if I am trying to run a bit faster, so my splits started to deteriorate here (Miles 5-7: 9:44/9:35/9:46). Between miles 6 and 7, we split from the marathoners and headed towards the highway. The half marathon course is sadly uninteresting. You are mostly along busy roads or the highway for the first 10 miles and you don't get to run through the neighborhoods of Fondren or Eastover. From miles 7-9, you are running along the Frontage Road of Highway 55. Not so hilly here so I was able to speed up a bit (Miles 8-9: 9:22/9:07). But I knew what was coming! Miles 9-12 (miles 22-25 of the marathon) are the worst of the course. For these three miles you get to contend with the Belhaven hills! This neighborhood is relentlessly hilly (Miles 10-12: 10:16/10:03/10:24). I pretty much just wanted to die. Once you hit mile 12 (mile 25 for the marathon) it's flat as a pancake to the finish. I was able to get my pace down to my goal race pace fairly easily (Miles 13-Finish: (9:10/(last bit) 8:38), which was a huge confidence booster. I finished in 2:05:22. Really wanted under 2:05 for this but those hills in Belhaven killed me. After finishing I walked to my car to get my phone so that I could take a picture of the hubby as he finished. Since he hadn't been for a run since like August, he was expecting to walk most of the race and finish in like 3 hours. Uh, yeah. He finished in 2:11! Who does that?
|Another Blues done.|
For the difficulty of the course I thought I did ok. My goal race is flat so I have been doing all of my faster paced runs on the flattest routes I can find (no easy task around here). Not surprised that those hills killed me. Being able to easily get back down to right near goal race pace in the last 1.1ish (flat) miles was a huge confidence booster since it showed I really wasn't dead at the end of the race (just dead on those hills). I had my longest "goal race pace" run yesterday and was able to complete 9.3 miles at an 8:59 pace on a route with some hills and a pretty strong headwind in some areas. It's just 3 weeks until my goal race - the Mississippi River Half Marathon - and I hope to break 2 hours again. The last time I did that was in 2012, which was also the last time that I actually trained to break 2 hours in the half marathon.
|Surprisingly sweet medal!|