I ran my second half marathon this year on Saturday. I wanted to hit a 1:50:00 pace, which is an 8:24min/mile pace. I have been training hard, but am not sure that I am fully recovered from my last half marathon, which was only a month ago.
I started my race day ritual, waking up at 5:00. I threw on my clothes and went out for a 1 mile warm up run. After getting back home I ate some pancakes and a banana before headed out the door. The race I did was the Lucky Run in Davis. There were 606 people who ran the half, the smallest race I have done so far. I decided I would try to stick with the 1:50:00 pace group as long as I could.
We started the race and after the first half mile I realized that the pacers were going a little too fast (about 7 seconds per mile faster than they should). This trend continued and mile number 3 they averaged an 8:10 min/mile pace (14 seconds to fast). It really started to take a toll on my legs that I was trying to keep up with a pace group that was banking time. If I was smarter, I would have just run my 8:24 min/mile pace using my Garmin.
I was running an average pace of around 8:17min/mile for the first 8 miles. At that point, my legs just started to get tired. Trying to push too hard almost pushed me to the point of having to walk. At that point, I just tried to run a little bit at a time until my legs came back. It took almost 4 miles of wanting to give up, but I was back on track. That gave me one mile to try and make up some time to catch my goal of 1:50:00.
I pushed like I have never pushed before. I kept my cadence up and tried to gather strength. That last mile was tough. I started passing people and almost lost my breakfast a few times. With about .25 miles left, I started to run out of steam. I pushed with every available drop of energy I had left. As I approached the finish line, I knew that I missed the 1:50:00 mark. I ended up with a 1:50:20. That is a 2:17 faster than my last PR and 10:14 faster than my first half marathon, which was in April 2014. The training has definitely paid off.
I am extremely happy with the results of the race. While I wanted to reach my goal, I accomplished something far more important. I once again pushed my body past the breaking point and came back stronger than ever. Our bodies can do amazing things. Sometimes we just need to tell our head to shut up. With my next Half Marathon in less than a week, I don’t know how I will do, but I can’t wait to see.