So, here it goes. The You Go Girl! Half Marathon Recap ...
The Expo: On Saturday, Mel, Jill, Katye and I went to the extra mini race expo. There were just a handful of vendors, but I did pick up some super cute tees from Banana Blossom Press for me and my girls. You should totally check them out.
Pre-race dinner: Bloggy Meetup at The Old Spaghetti Factory.
Pretty much everyone ordered some sort of pasta. Except me. I was so full from lunch that I ordered only dessert - MUD PIE. Mel was less than pleased with my choice of pre-race dinner. I told her it was the key to my speed.
Race Day: My SUPER AWESOME pacer Mel and I woke up to rain. Not completely unexpected for Washington, but I was kind of hoping we would get another awesome weather day like we had on Saturday. Anyway, Mel and I got ready and were picked up by the lovely Janna to head to the race.
The race plan was simple. Meet up with our team (Will Run For Ice Cream) before the race.
Then head to the very front of the pack (Mel and I are on the left side - I'm directly behind the race winner. You can really only see my socks).
And once the gun went off, we were going to run at exactly an 8:33 pace for the entire race.
Well. That was the plan anyway.
I didn't look at my Garmin the entire race. I was putting my faith in Mel. I knew she would get me to a PR. Well, 8:33 didn't really happen. Mel let me take the lead and I had fast legs. Our first mile was a 7:58. Um, yeah. I don't run that fast. At least not for 13 miles. But, I was blind to it and I am sure Mel thought she was banking us time by not slowing down (which she probably was to a certain extent).
I was feeling great in the early miles. We passed Zoe when we were around mile 2, where she snapped this picture. How great do we look?
Looking at the race elevation, we knew that miles 3-4 were a climb. We slowed slightly, but were still fine on pace. Plus we *KNEW* that the course was downhill or flat after that. We would make any lost time up. Too bad, we were wrong. The rest of the course was not flat. Yes, there were flat portions, but there were also killer hills (known as overpasses) too.
I was still feeling OK until about mile 9. I was working as hard as I could and even snapped at Mel because I thought she was going to tell me we needed to pick it up. (I was super nice about it though). Honestly, I don't remember much about the last few miles. I was having a hard time getting a deep breath in and was kind of wheezing. And my mile 12.5 all of my energy had been transferred to my legs, keeping me from being able to open my eyes. (Seriously. Mel had me throw water on my head.)
But, the course finished downhill. When we rounded the final corner and I saw the finish line, I booked it, leaving Mel. My final kick clocked in at a 5:05 pace, not really sure where that came from. I crossed the line in 1:58:02, a 3:34 PR!! (I also set an unofficial 10 mile PR by 2 minutes during the race).
And I couldn't be happier! Mel was amazingly supportive on the course (even though she was under the weather) and I finally got my sub-2 hour half. Yes, we didn't hit our "goal" time. I know I went out too fast and it crushed me at the end. But, as you can see from the smile on my face, none of that mattered.
Plus, now I have a new goal to shoot for ...