Since we lost our point-and-shoot camera, I couldn't take any photos before the race. Bummer. Tom dropped a few of us off downtown and we met up with my running group in a building to stay warm before the race start. I think it was in the 30s. It was cold.
The half started at 7:30. And it didn't take long for us to warm up a little. While Tom was waiting to see us he watched some of the 8k runners. Here's a weird one for you...
|Not sure what that's about.|
|That's me with my arm up in the center.|
|Heather, me and Niki at mile 4.|
Miles 6 and 7 are in Bryan Park. The three of us stayed together until then. I was feeling so great, that I went on ahead and picked up the pace and ran ahead. I couldn't believe how great I felt. It was awesome to be able to run and not have pain - other than just fatigue as the miles went by.
The next time I was supposed to see Tom was at mile 8. I looked for him, but didn't see him. He did not expect me to be running faster than usual. And he said it took longer to get there than he anticipated, and he thinks he missed me by just a few minutes.
Miles 7.5 to the finish is the same course as the marathon. And as I ran, I vividly remembered exactly how I was feeling running those miles last year. They were awful. And it felt great to be feeling strong again. And I had to wonder, what if... But it was only for a second. Brook Road is a particularly hard part of the marathon course and that's where you see some good signs. My favorite this year was "Worst Parade Ever." So funny!
I kept on looking at my pace and doing the calculation in my head to see if it was possible to beat my best time. I couldn't believe that I was running in the 8-minute per mile range. And maintaining it!
I knew it was going to be close. But, by mile 11 I knew there was no way I could make up 3 to 4 minutes.
As I was running the last mile, I started to run faster. And I couldn't believe I still had so much energy. I think my goal for now will be to work on my speed and learn how to figure out when to pick up the pace to time it so that I have nothing left after the race.
I didn't see Tom again until the very end. And he said he barely caught me. He had just asked a person if he could slide in beside him to get to the fence and then there I was...
|Me at the finish - just up ahead.|
But, regardless of that, I had a great run and that was my ultimate goal. It restored my love of running. And I do think that the Half Marathon is a great distance. It allows you to dig deep and ask a lot of yourself, without putting you into complete agony.
|Murphy and me.|
|Me, Tom and Murphy|
|Natalie, Heather and me|
|John, Katy, Heather, me and Natalie|
|Heather and me|
After we were done, we went and grabbed a few recovery beers down the street. Then Heather and I walked back a few miles to cheer for our marathon-running friends. They all did great - I think every single one of them beat their times from last year. Well, one was a first timer - and she did great, too. Congratulations, Katherine! When they arrived at the restaurant, they told Tom that they missed his support along the course this year. It made me sad for them. He really was awesome last year traveling to so many places along the course to cheer us on.
That night some of us met for dinner. Good times.
|Anna, me, Heather, Allison and Katherine|
Congratulations to all the runners who ran this weekend! And thanks to all the supporters who cheered us on along the way!