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|
|And the hip did cooperate the whole time... with a little help. I will try to pull together an informative ITBS/bursitis post soon!|