Hey guys! A week ago, I ran the fabulous Snohomish River Run Half Marathon. Here’s how it all went down:
I was nervous about my preparedness for this race. I hadn’t been running as regularly as I should, and more importantly, I hadn’t been cross-training. All-in-all, I felt out of shape and in no way ready to do well. However, there were a few things that made me feel like maybe I’d do okay: 1) I ran a marathon 7 weeks prior. (Though, that’s kind of a long time, so I was worried that my endurance was gone). 2) The weather would be perfect…not too hot and not too cold. 3) The course was relatively flat.
I decided to try for a sub-2, but I suspected that I might not be able to pull it off.
The race started off with a pre-race meeting, which was a bit funny for a running race. It turned out that they had the meeting because the first one mile of the race took place in the start area with a turn-around at the .5 mile point, so to avoid chaos, they wanted us to very carefully get into our pace groups.
I went and stood with the 2 hour pacer. I usually don’t like running anywhere near pace groups, because things tend to get so crowded that I feel like I can’t stride naturally without running into people. However, in theory a pace group would be a great tool, and I’ve always wanted to run with one for the comradery and entertainment. I thought about it, and since this was a small race, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to go with a pace group. I decided to run with my pace group.
The gun went off, and given the funny start with the .5 mile turn around and tight quarters, it was one of the most crowded starts I’ve ever experienced. Soon enough, I was slightly ahead of my pacer, because this was where the crowd led me to be. I was running comfy, and my Garmin was telling me I was just a few seconds ahead of my pace goal, so I decided to let myself stay ahead of the pacer, even once the crowd spread out. I reasoned that since I started behind the pacer, if he caught up with me, I’d know that I had to speed up to get my sub-2. The pace group could still be a great tool for me!
At first, I had fun. I was running and comfortable. The scenery was nice. At about mile 4, I found two girls who were having a rather interesting conversation and running around my pace, so I stayed near them. Having their conversation to entertain me was really, really helpful. Though perhaps it was rude of me to eavesdrop??? Their pace was somewhat inconsistent, so at times I’d let them get ahead of me, but then I’d catch up since I was running more steady. In the end, I stuck near them for the majority of the race. Thanks interesting ladies, I enjoyed your chatter!
While I doubted myself at the beginning of the race, I felt good as I ran the first few miles. However, I’ve run enough races to know that it’s easy to feel good for the first few miles. Usually if I’m going to fall apart during a race, it will be around mile 5. Well, mile 5 and mile 6 came and went, and I was keeping up a good pace. Soon enough, I was at the turn-around. And then I realized…what had seemed to be flat during the first half had actually been a slight downhill, and now I was faced with a slight uphill. Dang it! Oh well, I could stick with it! My hip started hurting, but nothing that I couldn’t push through. Miles 9-13 were all kind of uncomfortable, but I just kept telling myself to keep up the pace. Finally I got to the last half mile. I thought that I should be able to pick up the pace, but in reality, I don’t think that I really did. I rounded the corner and saw the finish! Yay! There were Dawn and Andrea! Yay! WHY WAS THE FINISH SO FAR AWAY??? (It was definitely only one block away when I saw Dawn and Andrea, but it felt like a full mile!) I tried to speed up in the chute, but I started gagging like I was going to vomit. How embarrassing. I didn’t speed up much after I started gagging, but I still made it to the finish. Done! Sub-2!
I wore my new Nuun jersey!
When I check my time on the computers at the finish, I was super excited to see a 1:56:57! Yay! While not a PR, it was a post-injury PR, so I was really pleased! I later checked the results at home, and found that my time had been corrected to 1:57:00. DANG IT! Yes, I realize that’s only a 3 second difference. Yes, I realize that it’s still a post-injury PR. But let’s be honest here: 1:56:57 looks so much better than 1:57:00.
Overall, despite my 3 second change in finishing time, I’m proud of how I did. It was a great race, and so many things came together (a relatively flat course, cool weather, chatty interesting strangers, etc.) that helped me to do well.
Thanks Snohomish River Run for the free race entry! I had a blast!
Tell the truth: Would 3 seconds that pushed you up to another whole minute category irritate you??? (Also, I realize that I defined that it a bizarre-o way. I don’t know how to talk math all that well!)