March 23, 2013 was the Savin Rock Half Marathon. This is my fourth half marathon and I was pleased with my results, compared to my last two half marathons. I finished at 2:29:37 and 11:27 per minute mile. I have been averaging that for my training runs so I seem to be right on target with my training runs and my actual race results. I was also real happy with that time because I had a very bad chest cold. But I wasn’t going to let that stop me from running this race. It was a gorgeous morning. The air was cold, but the sun was warm and the sky was blue. It was perfect.
I went to packet pick up the day before. I woke at 6:00 a.m. before my alarm clock and didn’t waste any time getting out of bed. Seems that on race days I don’t even need to push the snooze button. I want to get out of bed and get on my way. I left for the race at 7:00 a.m. but my son woke up and wanted some love, so we snuggled a little and I gave him kisses through his bedroom window. I was finally on the road by 7:10 and arrived at the race location on time. I waiting in a long line for a bathroom and talked with the girls behind me. Joelle was running her first half marathon so he had normal first half marathon jitters. We talked a bit about running and her mom was waiting in line with her and I told them about the WDW marathon. I think it planted a seed in their heads to make that as a goal for her future. I love sharing the Disney magic. The girl behind Joelle also ran the Princess a few years ago so Joelle had a lot to consider and research now that she has heard what is out there for options.
They were telling the racers they were going to start very soon so we were getting anxious. We got to do our business then rushed out to the starting line just in time. As we started I searched out Joelle. I ran with her for the first 2 miles without doing my intervals. I told her that I would split off after mile 2. We talked about her training and normal first race jitter questions. It was fun. The first 2 miles went by fast. I told her to go off on her own and I’d meet her at the end.
From mile 2 – 4 it was flat. I saw Joelle’s parents at mile 4 and handed them my gloves. That was a good reason for us to hook up at the end for sure. At mile 4 the hills started. They were pretty decent sized hills too. I ran them as much as I could but also walked when necessary. I started to use Gu to keep my fuel going. I was feeling a lot of fatigue in my quads which surprised me; but I am suspecting that could be because I had such a bad cold and a few nights without good sleep. Basically I just wasn’t 100%. I was really surprised at how hilly this area was. I reviewed the route map the day before but when you see the squiggly lines on a chart you really don’t realize how those hills will feel.
I noticed that I kept running close to a woman with the cutest stripped tights and a jacket similar to mine. I would do my walk break and then catch up with her. Around mile 6 we were walking on a hill and we started talking. She said she was going to start running and walking my intervals since we were neck and neck most of the race. She introduced herself as Martha and we ran the rest of the race together. She ran this race last year and said there is a monster hill at mile 8.5. I was surprised since we were once again going up another one.
The time went by real fast having someone to talk to. And we maintained my pace and were on target to finish under 2:30. The last hill slowed us down, but we kept up the pace on the flat return back to the finish line.
The last 3 miles were great. I never felt so fresh at the end of a race. Usually at mile 10 I am pushing myself real hard and my quads and hip flexors are tight and giving up on me where I end up walking 10 seconds running 20 seconds and getting angry and frustrated that I was fatigued. This didn’t happen at all. I told Martha I wanted to pick up the pace for the last .10 of a mile and we sprinted to the finish line. I saw the clock at 2:29:50. I forgot that it was the start time for the entire race and wasn’t sure if I got a PR.
My final time was 2:29:37 and that was only 30 seconds slower than my first half marathon results of 2:29:07. I am real happy with that considering how sick I was and I wasn’t sure if I had trained well enough for this race. I also ran this race with my headphones most of the time. This has been something new to me lately. I have been feeling the need to be more aware of my surroundings and to hear my breathing and listen to the birds and appreciate the world around me.
So now the question is what other races will I do after the Cheshire Half. Will I do the Hamden Hills (minus the large hill at the end now)? Probably cause I always want to improve on previous year’s results.
I hope to find future runners to hook up with at my next half. Having someone there to talk to and pace with at the end is really uplifting and I love making new running friends. I am trying to get Joelle’s and Martha’s email addresses so I can see how Joelle was feeling the day after and to see if she will do another race in the future and hopefully drink the Disney Koo-laid. Martha also said Disney was on her bucket list. I’d love to talk those two into doing it!