I’m over a week behind posting this. Oops. Let’s rewind to two weekends ago when I ran the Run for the Honeywagon Half Marathon.
I wanted to get to bed early on Friday since Saturday was an early wake-up call, but no can do. After going to Costco to get my new tires’ lugnuts tightened (such an exciting life I lead), getting gas, going out for sushi with John, and making a chocolate pie for my sister’s birthday celebration, I didn’t get to bed until 11.
I woke up at 5:30 on Saturday and was in my car at 6 heading to Bellingham. I got to Bellingham by 8 and after some snuggles with baby Ryder, it was time to go.
Christina, Dad and I arrived at the race about 30 minutes before the start. The first thing I noticed when we got there was the wind. Crap. I hate running in the wind and I was worried that it would impact my PR efforts.
After getting our bibs, making a trip to the bathroom and eating a banana, it was time to start! I wanted a PR so badly, but I didn’t know how my legs would feel and how the wind would affect me.
We started running and the wind was at our side at first, so it wasn’t too bad. My headphones, which had been acting up all week, decided not to work in one ear. I ran with one ear-bud in, which was annoying at first but ended up being a great compromise – I was able to listen to music, but I could still talk to Dad.
Within a few miles, I realized my legs felt pretty good and were strong enough for a PR. The wind was definitely a factor, but it wasn’t too troublesome yet. The first few miles went by pretty quickly and I paid close attention to my Garmin, shouting out our pace for each mile. For the first couple miles, Christina, Dad and I ran together. But Christina has had health issues lately (resulting in a trip to the ER a couple weeks ago), which give her bad stomach cramps when she runs. She ended up walking around mile 2.5 to stretch out her stomach, and Dad and I ran ahead. I was worried about her (running a half marathon is hard enough without stomach pain), but she pulled through like a champ and finished the race.
At mile 5, Dad and I pulled up next to a middle-aged man and we chatted with him for a couple miles. He told us he was trying to finish his first sub 2-hour half marathon and we told him a little about our training plans. We chatted for a mile or two and then Dad and I pulled ahead.
With about five miles to go, I knew that if I could just maintain a 9 minute mile I could PR. By this time I knew which direction the wind was blowing, so every time we turned, I knew whether it would be at my side or blowing against us. It was rather depressing when we turned into the headwind – it seemed to get stronger as the race progressed (that or I was just more tired…).
At around mile 10.5 we turned onto a road that looked like it went on forever. The road was totally flat, but the headwind was so strong that it felt like we were running up a hill. Until this point, I hadn’t let the wind affect me too much. But at this point my legs were getting tired and I was ready to be done. For a mile or so I just accepted that the wind was slowing me down, and my pace dropped from 8:5o min/mile to 9:40 min/mile. Running in the wind is tough!
I don’t know what came over me, but at about 11.5 I decided to stop making excuses. If I wanted this, I just needed to push harder. So I pushed harder and worked hard to get my pace down to 9:10. Thankfully, a little after mile 12, I turned off the evil road and started heading to the finish. The wind was now at my side, not pushing directly against me. Without any additional effort, my pace dropped from 9:10 to 8:20. With about half a mile to go, I realized that 1:55 wasn’t gonna happen but sub 1:56 could. So I pushed really hard and finished in 1:55:58, a PR by two minutes and three minutes faster than I ran this race last year when the weather was perfect.
Mile Breakdown: 1) 8:51 2) 8:30 3) 8:33 4) 8:40 5) 9:06 6) 8:42 7) 8:53 8) 8:53 9) 8:51 10) 8:39 11) 8:44 12) 9:34 (wind!!!!!!) 13) 8:43 last .1) 7:54
According to my pre-race goals, this time meets my C goal. But considering the strong wind, I was and still am totally happy with this time. My next half is in July and it’s in my neighborhood on roads I run all the time, so I’m hoping for a big PR then!
The rest of my week was rather lackluster. I decided to take it easy so my legs would be fresh for the race.
Monday: 1 hour yoga
Tuesday: 1 hour yoga + 7.9 mile “tempo” run. This run sucked – it was rainy, windy and just plain gross outside.
Wednesday: 1 hour spin
Thursday: 1 hour yoga
Saturday: 13.1 – 1:55:58
Sunday: Easy 4 miles
Total: 25 miles