Just like that, half marathon number 5 is said and done. I was not ideally prepared for this race, but I was determined to run the race regardless. My longest training runs were a 7 miler and an 8 miler. I was hoping my leftover marathon endurance and race-day adrenaline would power me through the race. On top of sub-par training, I have been sick with a head cold all week.
Not sure who scheduled daylight savings time the night before my race, but I was up bright and early at 5AM (which was really like 4AM) for the typical pre-race ritual of peanut butter and banana toast and coffee. Aaron drove me to the race start at Raley Field in West Sacramento. With 5,550 runners, the race consisted of 3 waves. I was in the first wave, starting at 7:45 and was excited to get things under way. As I like to say in races, “The faster you run, that faster it’s done!”
The course wound through downtown, along the bike path, through Old Sac and back downtown.
It was sentimental starting the race in the same part of town where I finished the marathon. It got me pumped up.
For the first 2.5 miles I ran side by side with the 2:00 pacer and was feeling really good. By mile 3 I realized there was no way I was going to keep that pace for 10 more miles.
At mile 4 I took my first walk break and came up with a plan – every mile I would walk .05 miles. That way I could keep up a strong pace during the other .95 miles. It also helped mentally to break the race into 1 mile chunks.
I felt great during mile 4-7 and my average pace was right at 9:23/mile which I was stocked with! After mile 7 is when things started to change. My chest got really tight and breathing became more and more difficult by the mile. I continued my walk/run strategy, but my overall pace began to drop.
It then became my goal to stay positive, enjoy the race, and be proud of the accomplishment of finishing. The coolest part of the race was the finish takes place on the baseball field. I felt like Charlie Sheen in Major League when he walks in through the back of the field. “Wild Thing, I Think I Love You”.
Haha – who knew I could figure out a way to slip a Charlie Sheen reference into a half marathon recap? WINNING!
I finished the half marathon in 2:11:48 on my Garmin (it was really 13.19 miles according to the Garmin, too). That puts my pace at 9:59 – officially under 10 minute miles! Haha.
While half marathon #5 came in as my 4th fastest finish time, it was an accomplishment in other ways:
- Just a couple days ago I didn’t even know if I was going to make it to the starting line.
- I stayed positive even when I knew there was no chance of a PR – it’s not always about running your fastest race.
- Hell – running 13 miles in a row is an accomplishment no matter how you slice it.
I have a new shiny medal to add to my wall display.
Aaron picked me up after the race and got my home quickly for my ice bath (thanks, baby) :). It wouldn’t be a half marathon day without Mexican food, so after some time relaxing, we headed to El Palmar for beer, chips and salsa and cheesy goodness.
The rest of the afternoon entails relaxing on the couch and trying to recover! Happy Sunday! I am looking forward to my 10 mile race coming up in a few weeks – time to get healthy and get in some good training!