When I woke up the morning of my 13th consecutive Sioux Falls Half Marathon, I woke up to lightning flashing outside my windows. Friends were texting me worried about the weather. I pulled up some radar and pretended I knew what was happening and thought we were on the tail end of it, so I didn't worry. I picked up Toni and we made our way to the race start. My stomach was super angry and I was in and out of the bathroom a lot. The races were delayed 15 minutes due to the weather, and I'm very thankful for that one extra trip to the bathroom. Phew.
We snapped a picture with the SFWR group and then made our way down to the race start. I had my last bathroom stop, so we ended up being pretty far back. We saw our friend Jordanne and her dad, and she told us to cut and line up with her. Her and her dad were running together, planning for a 10:30 pace, so I had asked if I could join them for company. I knew Toni would be running faster, so she really needed to head up ahead of us! Before we knew it, Kelly shot the gun and we were off. In true Jeri fashion, I refused to run until I crossed the starting line. I'm a jerk like that. Hah.
The bad part about starting inside is that I didn't have satellite signal. And it took forever for my watch to finally hook up with satellite. Toni ran with me for the first half mile which is great, because once my watch did tell me a pace, it was 15-17 minute miles. Toni confirmed that we were running 9:10 pace. Oh. Ok. It's a little early for that. Before I shooed her ahead of me, I had her tell me what distance her watch was at so I knew how far off I was.
I settled in for some miles, and let Toni go on her way. I was footsteps behind Jordanne and her dad, but I knew they had planned to experience their race together, so I just hung out in their presence. The first two miles were pancake flat, so I focused on hitting that nice 10:30 long run pace. I auto lapped my Garmin at the 1 mile marker so I could get accurate paces from there. During mile three there were some up and downhills, and I made sure to keep it easy on the downhill portions so my IT bands didn't get angry. I chatted with a lot of folks as I made my way downtown.
Around 3.5 miles in, I realized I was feeling really good, and my heart rate was super low. Like, recovery run low (averaging 148, usually my long runs are 155-165). So I stopped being so focused on keeping my pace at 10:30 and allowed myself to run a little quicker, especially during the uphill
I started to see a lot of my friends out cheering on the race in miles 4 and 5 and that made the race really fun. There were some portions of the race in this stretch that weren't my favorite. At one point we ran through a parking lot for part of the route. That's not exactly the best view of our city, imo.
Near mile 5 we got to the Falls Park and ran by the spot my mom has cheered at for years and years and years. I got a little teary eyed heading down to the spot, and then found myself laughing, because for the second year in a row there was no one in her spot. It is *such* a good spot, you can see the runners making their way to the falls, you get a great shot of them coming to you, and there's a great angle as they make their way away from you, hence why she always got that exact spot. I laughed because I could just see her yelling at people to "get out of her damn way" so she didn't miss me. :)
I ran into my running buddy, fellow SFWR pal, and yoga student Holley who was making her way through the replay. I got to chat with her for a few minutes before I hustled on my way.
Miles 7-9 were on stretches of the bike path that I run all of the time. They're fairly flat, so it wasn't hard to pick up the pace a bit. I stopped looking at my watch except for when it beeped the mile markers. I also saw Kyle and his parents during this stretch. Somehow Kyle had missed me at the beginning, so he was stuck twiddling his thumbs until I got to mile 9.
Heading into mile 10 I knew we had our last big hill, but apparently I didn't remember last year's route very well. Instead of being a long abrupt uphill that lasted 6 blocks, it was a long slow moderate uphill that went for about a mile and a half. Shockingly enough, I felt really strong and was blowing by people. With three miles left, I put in my earbuds and turned on my iPod. Miles 11 and 12 are still hilly, but more of rolling hills (the out and back portion from the first few miles of the race, essentially), so I just worked on running that uncomfortable tempo pace. I had hoped to get down to 9 or 9:15 pace for the last three miles, but with the hills, that just wasn't in the cards.
I saw Kyle in mile 12 and told him he had 9 minutes to get to the finish line. He didn't make it. Hah.
I did see him just a few minutes later with his parents, so that makes it okay I suppose. I knew I was going to be close to my 2:12 "goal" time/race estimate, so I ran in the final .2 miles hard.
.2 1:23 (6:57 pace)
2:13:26 average pace 10:10
I'm really excited about how this race was. I felt great the whole time, and it was the first race I've finished in a long time where I thought to myself "I could totally run another 13.1 miles". Usually I'm saying "thank GOD I'm not doing the marathon!" from mile 6 to 13.
I'm excited for the Twin Cities 10 mile next week and the half in Boston in November!
754 / 1379 (54.7%)
79 / 180 (43.9%)
414 / 893 (46.4%)