It is always fun to write about a race that goes well, especially when it goes better than you expect!
And if you are like me, and are too impatient to read the whole blog post and just want to know the results, I’ll save you the time and effort.
The Trent/Waldron Glacier Half-Marathon is held in honor of a mother and son who were killed on a training run. The race starts at Westchester Lagoon and goes out and back on the Chester Creek Trail. It is primarily flat with a few rolling hills on the way out and an overall downhill on the way back. I tell people it is the only race in town that doesn’t end on a hill.
Going into the race, I was optimistic, but not overy confident. I am still three weeks out from Grandma’s Marathon, still in full marathon training mode with only a couple of lighter days going into this race. My coach, Nichole, said my goal time was 1:25. I remember over a year ago when we first started working together that I had to break 1:25 before I could break 3 hours in the marathon, so I desperately wanted to break 1:25 on Saturday. However, I also didn’t know if that would be possible on tired training legs. Not only are my legs tired from marathon training, I am on my feet all day working around the house and chasing a toddler around. So, like I said, while I was hopeful, I didn’t want to set the bar too high and be disappointed.
If I wanted to finish with a 1:24:59 time, my average mile pace had to be 6:28. This freaked me out because my tempo pace is 6:20, and I only do that pace for 30-40 minutes, so to be able to hold a pace only a little slower than that for twice, nearly three times as long, seemed impossible. BUT I know that the racing atmosphere and mindset makes a big difference.
I spent about 30 minutes warming up with some easy jogging, static stretches, a bathroom break, dynamic stretches, and striders. I had just enough time, and the warm weather helped me warm my muscles as well. I think it was in the mid-60s with sunshine, so I, by no means, thought it was too warm, and if anything that probably about my ideal temperature. There was some shade on the trail, which was also nice.
When the gun went off, I always have a hard time feeling the right pace. As with almost everyone else, I start out too fast. I did my best to reign in the excitement, but I accidentally ran 6:17 for the first mile. Oops. I was given specific instructions by my coach to go out a little slower than goal pace, so I settled into a better pace after that.
Mile 2 – 6:27
3 – 6:29
I tried to find a balance between checking my watch obsessively and feeling the pace. I felt really strong from the start, which boosted my confidence the race would go well. (Isn’t it funny you can often tell right from the start how the race is going to do.)
4 – 6:34
5 – 6:27
6 – 6:21
I got to the half-way mark at 42:20, which made me really happy. I knew the second half of the course had some downhill portions, which boosted my confidence I could run sub-1:25, but I also knew I couldn’t slack off.
7 – 6:28
8 – 6:28
9 – 6:30
10 – 6:25
I thought all of the hard work I’ve done, all the sleepless nights that I still got up to train, the bitter cold winter days spent training on the ice and snow. I didn’t let myself think negative thoughts and instead only told myself positive things. Even though I was hurting, I embraced the pain and said, “this is how it should feel.”
12 – 6:26
13 – 6:27
Official finish time – 1:24:22
When I came up on the finish line and saw the 1:24:XX on the clock, I was so relieved! I hadn’t looked at the overall time at my watch, instead just kept the ‘split’ screen up.
As soon as I crossed the finish line, I closed my eyes, gasping for breath. I had pushed hard, and was so happy because I knew my chances of running a sub-3 hour marathon were even better now!
My previous PR for the half-marathon was 1:27:20, so I cut off nearly 3 minutes in 6 months of training. I never, ever thought I could run a time like this for the half.
After the race I did a 6 mile cool-down back home, got ready, and then went to work at Skinny Raven. Life never stops!
Craig, Cullen, and my brother, Mike, who is here visiting from Minnesota, hung out at the lagoon watching the ducks while I raced. Cullen LOVES ducks!
Cullen practiced giving kisses.