Race Recap: Women’s Half Marathon

November 8, 2010 § Leave a comment

I decided to do this race a couple of weeks ago when someone offered me a free entry. Races nowadays can cost quite a bit (this one was about $100), so I thought I’d take advantage of the offer and go for it. As with the GoDaddy Half, my intention was just run this event, not race it. I am in the final stages of my marathon training and I need to reserve my energy for a 20 miler and get ready for my taper, so I knew I didn’t need to be going out there and crushing it. 

It was a beautiful morning for a race (mid 60’s) and the skies were clear. I’ve never been surrounded by so many women in one place before – it was cool and crazy at the same time! When the announcer called the racers to enter the corrals I made my way over to mine and that’s when I saw it – the 2:00 pace team. Going into this, I had told my husband that one day I’ll focus more on training for half marathons and breaking 2:00. My current (unofficial) PR for a half is about 2:06-2:07. To knock off 6 minutes would take quite a bit of effort and I knew I wasn’t there, and yet I couldn’t take my eyes off that pace sign. Hmmm. I thought that maybe I could just try to follow them and see what happens. And so I did. The race started and I hung with the pack for more than 8 miles and I felt great. 

That’s when it happened. I felt a sharp twinge behind my left knee. NOOOOOO! I was doing so well and my knee issue came back to haunt me. Sigh. Good bye 2:00. There was no way I was going to let this race ruin the rest of my training. I’ve come too far to be taken out by a race that I wasn’t even planning on doing. So, I slowed my pace and endured the remaining hilly 6 miles on my own. It was sad to see the pace marker bob up and down in the crowd of women and slowly get further and further ahead until it completely disappeared. I managed to keep up a decent pace and tried not to concentrate too much on my knee. Mile by mile I chugged along, stopping a few times to ease the pain a bit. 

Finally, I rounded the corner that lead to the end of the race. But wait a second; my watch says we’ve already gone 13.1. Why am I not crossing the finish? I headed into the finisher’s “corral” and it kept going and going and going. For crying out loud! When does this thing end!? Then I see the line and I push the last few meters and cross at 2:03:24 for a total of 13.24 miles (which other DM’ers reported as their mileage, as well!).

I happily accepted my pretty flower-shaped medal from a serviceman all dressed up in his uniform and I hobbled my way toward the drink station. I proceeded to down an entire bottle of G2 Gatorade and scanned the crown for my husband. When we finally found each other, I was happy to report that that I shaved 3 minutes off my PR, but bummed I got hurt in the process. He is always very supportive and he helped me focus more on my accomplishment then my injury. Finding faults in our runs seems to be a common thread among the runners I follow on DM and twitter, but that’s when everyone steps in to remind you of all the positive parts of what you did.

Up next: I’ll see how it goes with my knee, but I’ll most likely keep up with my strength training workouts this week and skip my Tuesday run so I can do the whole R.I.C.E. routine and prepare for a 20-miler on Thursday. Fingers crossed everything works out.

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