Well, we ran the Fort4Fitness Half Marathon on Saturday and it went fantastic!!! I was really, really pleased with how I did and my time was better than I expected. My over all time was 2:03:46 which averages out to be a 9:27 minute mile! I have never, ever run that fast for that long. My long runs are usually around a 10 minute mile and that's how I have been training for the last few months so this is huge. I guess the track repeats and tempo runs really did pay off. It's been two days and I still feel giddy everytime I think about my PR for this half marathon. I'm already looking forward to pushing my training next fall again and seeing what I can do next year.
|Pre race selfie.
In general though the race went really well. My pace was challenging but wasn't unmanageable by any stretch of imagination. My pace wasn't as steady as I might have liked and it certainly wasn't negative splits. I started out a little faster than I intended but that's normal for a race. It's really easy to get swept along by the crowd and adrenaline. My second mile was a 8:51 and was my fastest. From there each of my miles gradually slowed by 3-5 seconds and by the 12th mile were down to 9:49. But I picked up the pace the last mile (which was a gradual uphill slope the entire way) and finished with a 9:33. I'm mostly just proud of my ability to maintain a strong pace even though I started out much faster than I meant to. It would have been so easy to burn myself out at the beginning and I wouldn't have been able to rally back.
|Justin's view from corral B. I was further back in E.
I was pleased with my decision to wear my running pack. I was able to cruise through the water stations and not get hung up by the other runners. I did snag a gatorade at the aid station on mile 7 and take a couple of sips. I then spent the next two miles chugging water and trying to get the flavor out of my mouth. Ick. The sport beans that I carried worked well for me which is what I expected. I had fifteen beans and I ate them in fives. So I ate them at the end of miles 3, 7, & 11. That seemed to be a good balance and I had plenty of energy to sprint to the finish.
|Me after the race and I was very, very sweaty.
I was a little less pleased with my clothing choices. Saturday morning I ended up settling on shorts, a tank top, and my arm warmers. I was definitely cold before the start but that didn't last long. By the end of the first mile I had stripped off my arm warmers and was carrying them. About a half mile later I was ready to take my shirt off. I made it a little further but at the end of mile three I hopped up on the sidwalk, stripped off my pack and shirt, shoved the shirt and arm warmers inside, flung the pack back on and got back on my way. I just couldn't stand being that hot even though it was about 56F outside. I was sweltering. So now I know that even if it is only 53 at the start I should go ahead and skip the shirt. (Note: I did not see a single other person, man or woman, going shirtless. But Justin said he saw several of both genders up with the fasties where he was. I did however see many, many people running in long sleeves, capris, tights, or some combination of the two. People are bat-shit crazy.)
My legs did very well during this race. I wore my ankle brace of course and that seemed to go fine. I didn't have any major complaints during this run. I know I had some aching in my right ankle at a few points. And I also got a couple of mild blisters. But I was really pleased with how I felt and the minimal amounts of aches and pains that I've had since then. I wore my calf compression sleeves all day Saturday after the race and those seemed to really help.
|Justin is mostly dry courtesy of his long wait for me to finish.
And Justin's race? It went fantastic. He blew his previous time of 1:56:23 out of the water and set a new PR of 1:44:37. That averages out to exactly an 8 minute mile but his fastest, and last, mile was a 7:35. He finished up in 286th place out of the 2403 finishers of the race. And those last 3 miles? Yeah, he passed 162 people! Let's just say that Justin's a badass!
So by all accounts, it was a pretty darn good race for the both of us.
|After race selfie. Feeling satisfied and very proud.