Sunday morning I woke up at quarter past 5- it was race day. My usual race routine/ running routine includes a mandatory cup of tea and something to eat, but I need at least an hour to digest/ wake up the system, so I go up early and lounged downstairs for an hour or so before changing up and taking off.
The race was only about 20 minutes away in Pawtucket, RI. So we left our house around 6:35 to head to the start.
I didn't want to get out of the car until after 7:00 ( 8 was the start), so I killed time on my phone-- love the iphone! :)
Then it was time to walk to the start, only about .25 miles away, I was definitely in my yawning pre-race mode, which I thought was a good sign. (I usually run well if I yawn a lot before the race!)
While waiting to start I stretched, used the bathroom, and did some very light jogging. I really wasn't in the mood to go crazy and do a warm up, so I just shook my legs out a bit to loosen them. I figured I would use the first mile as my official warming up; plus the temps were already mid to uppers 60s so I didn't think my legs were too tight.
And then it was time to say goodbye to JAB- he was my Sherpa for the day! :)
It was a huge field-- under 1,000 for the half, there was also a youth 1K and 5k followed the half marathon.
Can you spot me and my hot pink socks?
We did a short loop, then it was an long out and back for the course.
I have to say that going into this race I really wasn't trying to PR. My PR is 1:29 and change, and I knew I didn't do the speed work necessary to break that time. Instead, today's goal was to finish. This was my first half in 2 years since developing tendonitis in my knees and dealing with that. I really just wanted to run one last longer race before getting married this summer. I know that as the months progress I will have more wedding things to do, so I wanted to have one last race to focus on and this was it.
I didn't set my expectations high- goal was 1:37-1:38ish. I figured I could have 7:30 pace, but wanted to stay consistent. Thanks to my garmin, I was able to watch my time and kept it steady. I tried not to look at it at first and then settle into whatever pace felt right. Turns out low 7's were the pace. My splits were: 6:51, 7:09, 7:06, 7:07, 7:14, 7:22, 7:10, 7:03, 7:18, 7:24, 7:18, 7:03, 6:59. I had fun out there too, there wasn't a super competitive field, but there were several women that I was legit racing with. I was around the 6th female about 6 miles into the race, but by mile 10 I was neck and neck battling for #2 woman. I totally felt like I was in high school again. This girl didn't want me to pass her and kept cutting me off. So I thought fine, I'll just draft off her until I see she's tired... I did and never went back to third place.
Approaching 11.5 miles I was pumped. We had left the bike path and were back in the city. I knew I was going to finish ( my first goal). I knew I was going to be faster than my target time of 1:37, and I knew I should be able to finish #2 female--- better than I anticipated!! (I couldn't see #1 woman at all, so she was a couple minutes ahead.)
JAB was waiting just before mile 13, so he spotted me coming through my final mile...
Don't you love the knee straps? They may not look attractive, but they've really saved me these past 2 years!
Compression socks are also my new bff.
I proceeded through to the finish, relishing the moment and trying to take it all in. I am pretty sure I will be riding this runner's high for a couple of days! (which is a good thing because I probably won't run for a couple days!)
I finished in 1:34 and was pumped. An awesome morning and my future husband was there to be my #1 fan and supporter.
We watched runners finish, I did a little jog, and then stretched in the shade. It was truly a great morning! It also was great too because we were home by 10:30. I love races that are local!