As I'm gearing up to start my training cycle for my goal race this spring, the Brookings Half Marathon, I thought it was probably about time that I write my race report from last year. Life went slightly downhill after the race (we found out that my mom's cancer had spread to her liver) and a race report seemed really trivial in the grand scheme of things. But I do like to look back on these. So here it is to the best of my memory.
Leading up to the Brookings Half Marathon, I had just started running again. After a rough winter where it seemed like one of my parents was in the hospital every week, sometimes both at the same time (in different hospitals! in different towns! GAH!), I barely had time to breathe, let alone to run. So when the dust settled a bit in the spring, I found myself heading outdoors, working off some of my stress and anxiety by pounding the pavement. I also learned that I'm better off bringing my running clothes to work and running from there, because if I make the 30 minute commute home, there's no way I'll head back out and go. Have you seen how cute my pug is? There's no way!
So with 3-4 weeks of "training" under my belt, my race plan was to start in the 10:45 pace, dropping down to the 10:30 pace for the bulk of the race, and then for the last 5k running as hard as I could. I had really wanted my parents to come up for the race, but they weren't feeling well, so I was excited that Kyle and his parents would be there to cheer for me, and I'd be able to meet up after the race with Megan who was doing a leg of the relay with Crossfit friends.
The first few miles of the race ticked off almost exactly as planned. Mile 2 was a bit of a downhill, so I wasn't too concerned that I was setting myself up for disaster. I did make the mistake of not running over the timing mat at the start. The start was the full width of the street and the timing mat was 10-15 feet long. I didn't want to run back once I realized it, so I ended up with a gun time instead of a chip time. Grrr.
Around mile 4 I ran into a gentleman who was so much fun to run with, that I stuck by him for a good chunk of the race. It was a beautiful morning for a run, and he kept talking about it. He was also sharing his upcoming races. I soaked up his energy and just enjoyed the miles.
During miles 6 and 7 we were running into the wind and it was the first time in the race that I wish I had extra clothes on, namely gloves. My hands were frozen solid. Brrr. I knew there were some long gradual inclines during the final 5k, so when my legs wanted to run a little bit faster with five miles to go, I let them.
The one and only "hill" on the course is around the 9.5 mile mark. There's a weird giant abrupt incline in the middle of the park. It's always super packed with spectators, which is awesome, but also has a super abrupt downhill that I always need to take it easy on so I don't blow out my quads, since my legs are tired at this point and it'd be so easy to just let my legs goooooo.
After the "hill" I really kicked it in to high gear. I knew I had a 5k left, and wanted to see how hard I could run. I had done some finishing calculations and realized that if I worked incredibly hard, I would just hit the high end of my A goal for the race (2:12-2:16). Mile 12 is a slight incline and Mile 13 is a slight decline, I had read my race reports from previous years and reminded myself of that so I wouldn't get discouraged when mile 12 felt HARD.
The last 1.22 miles I really gave it all I had left! This race is impossible to run decent tangents on, but I think .12 over is my personal best on this course!
.22 1:51 (8:29 pace)
I ran 13.22 miles in 2:15:55, 10:17 pace. Yes that does mean I made it in my goal time just by the skin of my teeth. That also means that my official time is over 2:16 because I didn't step on the timing mat. Since this is far from a PR for me, and more of a mental win, I'm calling my garmin time *my* official time. :)