Monday, April 1, 2013

JASR 1/2 Marathon Recap

Saturday was the annual Just a Short Run at North Park, and I opted for 1/2 marathon in preparation for my full in 5 weeks.  Packet pick-up was a cinch at Elite Runners and Walkers on Thursday.  The goodies included shorts and socks, with shirts for an extra fee.  I thought it was a nice alternative.  I didn't buy the shirt, but I ended up receiving one free for volunteering at packet pick-up.  It's the best fitting dri-fit tee I own now.

On Saturday morning, the hubs drove and we opted to park <1 mile from the start/finish and just walk.  It was literally freezing on arrival, and we thought a little walk may warm us up!  We also figured it would be a nice cool down walk without having to wait on a shuttle after the race.

There were plenty of flushing (yay!) port-a-potties at the start, and a small indoor restroom as well.  There was a bag drop too, but the hubs was there for me.  He parked himself near the start/finish so I could drop my warm clothes with him at the last second, and I looped past again 3 more times, convenient to toss my gloves later.  It was a nice setup for spectators to hang near the finish but still see their runners a few times.  Did I mention my hubs is incredibly supportive of everything I do?  While I warmed up running, he is adamant that he froze the entire time!

The course was well supported with water, gatorade, and E-gel every ~1.25 miles.  This was fantastic!  I'd much rather take a few sips on a frequent basis than have to plan for miles between stations.  I also learned to stay away from E-gel in the future, lesson learned.

Thanks to the freezing temps early on, my lungs paid a price.  I slowed to a walk 3x briefly during the race because I couldn't settle my breathing.  All was good aside from that though, and I was able to maintain a steady pace on my own for the first 10.  It was then that the 2:10 pacer re-emerged, and I followed and chatted with them for a bit.  After a mile or so though, he told me I looked strong but that he was losing time, and urged me to run ahead.  I did.

I went in skeptical if I was even going to finish the race considering the hip pain I'd been having the previous week and, therefore, didn't have any goals at all.  It literally was not even a goal to finish; I was 100% okay with stopping if something started hurting.  With the full marathon 5 weeks away, I had nothing to prove.

My final chip time was 2:08:35, a 9:49 average pace!  That is a 7:56 minute PR from my first 1/2 marathon in October, and I couldn't have been more thrilled.  When I started behind the 2:10 pacer I only planned to hold on as long as I reasonably could; I really couldn't have imagined I'd end up finishing ahead.  I kept waiting to hit a wall that never came.  I kept double checking the Motoactv and asking "Am I really still running under a 10:00 pace?!"
Half-marathon #1 in October... not under a 10:00 pace despite it being downhill
I've tossed around some marathon goals in my head for May, but with this half behind me I think I'm ready for some serious goals to get down on paper!  I'm really excited about what Marathon #2 has in store for me now!
And the hip did cooperate the whole time... with a little help.  I will try to pull together an informative ITBS/bursitis post soon!
Anyone else surprise themselves this weekend?  For good or bad, what did you find yourself doing this weekend that you didn't think you would?

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