I know I'll regret not giving a play-by-play of the entire race, and if I don't write it now I'll forget the little details, so despite my exhaustion, here's a rundown of the race I've been training for...I can't believe it's over.
|Pre-race. Chilly & ready to get going!|
We ran the first 10k together, and it was marvelous. I had prayed for cool, overcast weather, and somebody up there listened. The day was in the low 60s, nicely cloudy but rainless, and in most parts of the run the wind was unnoticeable. K and I kept remarking to each other how great we felt, even as we kept a brisk pace. We eventually grew annoyed with the herd of runners following the pacers, and we broke off to keep our own pace. Running the first six miles with K was a great way to keep my mind off the difficulty of the first four miles. We seemed to breeze through it without trouble, feeling strong and confident. I tend to let off some speed in the middle miles of any race, and being with K forced me to stay fast.
|Crossing the line, big grin in place!|
After we hit the 10k, K took off ahead and I kept my own pace. I still felt strong, and in my chest I could feel the certainty of a strong finish growing. I knew going in that this race would destroy my first Half, but I was concerned that I'd be tempted to walk. Once on the course, though, I just felt totally calm. I knew I would run the entire thing and be true to my own pace and goal.
Around mile 7.5, I crossed paths with SB, who was coming down the opposite side of the road waving maniacally at me. When I finally realized it was her, I waved back and was able to pick up my pace again, feeling great.
I hit the wall at mile 9, where I knew I would. I just kept mentally coaching myself. You will do this. You will not walk. You are running your own race here. Do not let the other runners get into your mind. By mile 10, the wall had passed and I felt ready for the final 5k.
|I couldn't have met my goal more perfectly!|
|Soldiers gave us our medals. So amazing!|
I think if I could have kept my mind clear after K and I split up, I could have come in under 2:10, and that's definitely my goal for the next Half I run, which should be in January. My knees are killing me tonight and I'm ready for some rest days before my 10k Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving.
All in all, this was a really successful, awesome, beautiful race. The "cobblestones" and "bridge" we were preparing for ended up being perfectly even brick roads and a small road bridge with a mild incline. Basically, we were really well-prepared for it and were laughing about how easy it all was! We both indulged in massages post-race and relived/discussed the high points numerous times. Basically, K and I are both thrilled!
Apparently at-home spectators could input your bib number and follow you along the course. I received an email/text from my parents congratulating me on my time, and K's husband - at home with the kids - was able to track her splits and send her encouraging texts. What a brilliant addition to usual bib-tags!
I really can't believe that the race I put so much time and effort into training for is over now. Really, it's a perfect culmination of my year. I set out to be a more consistent runner, and it led me to a Half in which I beat my last time by 40 minutes. I can't wrap my head around how far I've come, and still how much further I want to go. 2:10 and below is within reach! I'm aching for a chance to get there.
Now it's time for recovery...until the next one.