I had been looking forward to yesterdays all girl half marathon since the day that I signed up.
I absolutely loved the idea of an all girl event and also loved that all of the proceeds went towards Autism. In addition to that my awesome friend Francis asked me to sponsor her business Active Bands in the event and gave me an adorable new Active Band and shirt to run with. Oh and on top of that they were offering chocolate, cupcakes, and sugar cookies at all of the aid stations!! Seriously could it get anymore awesome? Needless to say I was thrilled and knew it was going to be a great experience!
I had two options in mind for this race. A: take it easy, stuff as many sugar cookies in my mouth as I can fit, and have fun running with Julia and the girls. Or B: Use it as a good tempo workout and some great marathon training. I had already done my long run for the week and had 60 miles on my feet so I knew that without a taper it would not be my best performance. However I also knew it was an incredibly hilly course and would be great training.
When I got to the race I quickly realized it was a small event (probably about 100 female runners) and it didn’t look too competitive. I decided I could either sit back and take it easy or maybe I could just win the entire race! Of course my competitive juices came out and I just decided to go for it.
Mile 1: 7:40 -I did not get a warm up and felt incredibly slow. I also had a difficult time breathing to begin with because the elevation was a little higher than I was used to. I ran with a girl name Katie and was glad to have a little company.
Mile 2: 6:44 -I pulled ahead of Katie and was all by myself for the rest of the race.
Mile 3: 7:05 – Still all alone and worried about getting lost. I just started running from sign to sign and there was a cop ahead directing me.
Mile 4: 7:20 – hmmm this is weird it just feels like a training run.
Mile 5: 7:01 – passed by a lot of bikers and joggers and chatted with each of them. They were all wondering why I had a bib on since I was all by myself.
Mile 6: 7:56 – Stopped at the aid station and chatted with the volunteers. Took some poweraid and water and took my time thanking them. At this point I realized I had a huge lead and debated on whether I should take it easy or keep running hard.
Mile 7: 7:25 – Still just running all by myself.
Mile 8: 7:37 – The beginning of the hills that lasted for 3 miles!
Mile 9: 8:18 – stopped at the aid station and talked to the volunteers. Also stopped and talked to a pacer who was there to help some of the struggling runners. He told me I had a good 5 minute lead and it felt weird having no competition.
Mile 10: 7:36 – Ran through some neighborhoods and just kept on shuffling my feet. Gradual incline.
Mile 11: 7:36 – Feeling good but it was getting hot and the hills never seemed to end.
Mile 12: 7:52 – seriously more hills?
Mile 13: 7:02 – Finally caught up to the 5k runners and had a little motivation to run fast. 🙂
Mile 14 (.30): – 6:42 pushed it to the finish.
Overall Results: 13.3 miles, 1:39:15, 7:28 average pace, 900 foot elevation gain
Since the course was long I believe my time at 13.1 was slightly sub 1:38 but it didn’t really matter. It was a fun race and great training. I definitely do not feel like I ran “all out” but I did accomplish my goal of getting a great tempo workout and awesome training on hills. Soon after I finished I did a 3 mile cool down by running back to cheer on Julia, Francis, and RaeAnn to finish line!