...and ending my long distance running season with a bang, too! I can't express how HAPPY I am to FINALLY have a race that I feel reflects my abilities. Woo Hoo! My secret goal was 1:50 and I finished in 1:49 something. It truly was a perfect day, weather wise, and it is called the Flat Half for good reason! There was one little hill at the end, and I booked up it and was able to finish with my favorite type of road- yep, you guessed it- a downhill! I needed it, too, so that I could make my goal. It was nice to have a clock that worked when I ran in. :-)
Okay, so the beginning of the race started out well. I went with Suzie Petunia, of course, and my other good friend and running partner Marnie and her sisters. It was my first race with Marnie, even though I have been running with her for a year and a half. She was my loyal training partner who woke up at 5:30 with me last year to train for Newport. She ran the Salt Lake Marathon last April, and then proceeded to conveniently get pregnant before Newport. She ran 5 miles of it with me. She is also one of my heroes for 2 reasons: a. She has run the Boston Marathon and b. She ran until she was very pregnant. :-)
Thanks to Marnie picking the meeting time (I would have said 6:15, not 5:45) we got there early enough to relax, warm up and stretch! (Good call, Marnie!) Cherl from the online blog world found me and said hello. It was great to meet her! She went to find her friends and I lost track of her. When Suzie came over and I told her Cherl stopped by, we went looking for her to try to run together. Unfortunately, it was a crowded race and we couldn't find her again. So, we were lined up with the "real" runners and started out a little faster than I planned on. It was 7:52 and felt great! We ran the second mile at 7:53, so I must not have felt too bad. Suzie and I stayed together until after mile 3 where we slowly parted ways. I love that Suzie and I feel comfortable enough with each other to run our own races. I was sad to see her go, though. It was a little lonely after that. We hadn't really been able to talk though anyway because of the faster pace. :-)
I kept pretty steady after that and just tried to keep my heart rate down. It was steadily climbing and by the 9 mile mark was already staying put at 200 beats per minute. I started getting nervous that I would have an asthma attack, so I decided not to stop. I drank water on the go along with some gatorade. I was on my own and determined to make it. Mile 10-11 was the hardest of the course for me. I honestly didn't know if I would even finish, let alone keep my goal time. I stopped worrying about my goal and just tried to stay relaxed and in a good rhytm. It was strange to rely on my own pace. Miles 11-13 went really well, even with my heart rate up. I was definitely pushing it, but I wanted to be done. There is a little hill, where I picked up speed as much as I could. When I looked down at my watch and saw 1:47, I knew there was a possiblity of making my goal. I just stared ahead and didn't look at my heart rate again. I took deep breaths and moved my legs as fast as they would go. The downhill was so fun and I just stared the clock down, determined to beat 1:50. It was the best feeling in the world to see Suzie there waiting and know I made my goal. All the hard work, and I finally feel satisfied. I know Suzie is the most relieved to hear me say, "I can be done now." At least for this season! Next January, I willl start focusing on the longer distances again. For now, my body is begging me to lay off the long miles, so I will be running a 5k and a 10k. Thanks to all my running buddies who have kept me going. I am excited for many more runs. Suzie had an AWESOME race and I will let her tell you about it. Cherl was right behind me, so I know we could have stayed together if we started at the same time. Oh well, next race! Marnie and her sisters came in a little after that and I am proud of her youngest sister finishing her first half marathon!
My kiddos were at the park for the 4th of July picnic with their dad and they had a great time! Whew, now I am resting, for real.