Naturally, race morning arrived and we had a massive cold front move in. This is comical because every time my running friends and I choose the same race as our "goal races" the weather blows, ie: Sioux Falls half 2011, Fargo marathon 2011, but since all of us were doing this years Sioux Falls half for fun, it was running weather perfection. High 30s at the start. Mid 40s by the finish. Low humidity, little to no wind.
I got to the race start plenty early, because Niki was staying with me and running the marathon. The marathon starts 45 minutes prior to the half. I saw her off at the start, and then met up with Megan, her parents, and eventually my parents. Megan and I had tentative plans to run together as much as possible.
From the start, I wanted to get my heart rate in the upper level of LR pace (~160). Megan and I were chatting along and loving the cool temps. Every time we'd get to a hill (ok Sioux Falls' version of a hill) we'd vow to stop talking, but manage to start up again before we got to the top. Derp.
We stuck together for the first 4-5 miles, and I kept my HR right where I wanted it, but decided to dial it up a bit for the middle section (9:35-9:45 pace). For the next 5 miles I pushed a bit and lowered the pace to around 9:30s, keeping my HR in the mid to upper 160s. I got to see my family and Kyle a ton on the course, which was awesome.
The final 5k I wanted to push as hard as I could but I could tell I hadn't done any speedwork since last spring. My second to last mile was my previous GMP (9:08), and my final mile was 8:38 (slower than my half PR pace, but still MUCH faster than I'd ran in months). My final sprint was 7:27 with a max speed of 6:44. So maybe I have speed, just in teeny tiny doses.
I knew I was close to my 2:05 goal from around the 10k mark, and that kept me from slowing down throughout the race. I crossed the finish line, stopped my watch, and looked at my garmin. 2:04:59. Hah. Take that Kyle. ;)
I was pretty psyched with my race given my non-existent training, and especially because the majority of my training runs for the summer had been in the 10-11 minute range. I knew I was pretty out of shape, but was saved by the super great weather and low temps.
Megan wasn't too far behind me, but had to deal with some cranky hip problems. And then I got to stick around and cheer on all the marathoners, including Niki! Whoooo!
Kyle put my TEAM GREEN shirt on the Ollie Girl for her inaugural race spectating. I die.
Half marathon #16, and Sioux Falls Half Marathon #8 in the books!