The course is an out and back along 30A. It is not right alongside the beach, but the scenery is gorgeous anyway. There are a few hills but I rarely pay them any mind because of what I run on here. We usually have a slight headwind in one direction and this year it was thankfully on the way out. I was a little conservative on the way out because I really had no idea what I could do for 13 miles. It has been a LONG time since I have run this far and even longer since I have actually trained for a half marathon. I was hoping for at least an 8:40 average pace, so that is where I tried to start for the first 6 miles.
I saw Jason around mile 4 or 5 as he was headed back and he was 4th or 5th overall at that point. We slapped hands and I cheered for him. It is always so invigorating to see him. After that I started to pick it up. I felt good and I felt brave. I was tapping into my inner Jason-like and Katie-like thoughts, remembering advice and conversations I've had with both. The worst that would happen if I went too fast would be to run out of energy and slow down, and I was prepared to handle that if need be. I had one Gu pinned to my shorts and I sucked that down around mile 5. It was some horrendous flavor of orange but I knew I needed it. I took a sip of water after that and soon reached the turnaround point.
After that, I was headed back and ready to push it! I saw my mom first and she looked great. I cheered for her and she cheered for me. Again, I was invigorated. Next I saw my client, Donna, and she too looked great. I cheered for her and was filled with excitement because this was her first half-marathon. I saw my sister next and although she had been worried about her training, she was doing just fine as well (although I didn't know at that point that she had fallen at the beginning of the race). We high-fived and after that I got serious about digging in and focusing on my last 3-4 miles.
Turning back always makes me feel like I am almost done, even if I have just as much ground to cover as what I have just run. My splits got faster and faster so that they were almost negative the entire way. The last split I saw, mile 13, was my fastest at a 7:58. I wasn't expecting that. I was watching my time, adding it up in my head, and reaching for as much under 1:53 as I could get! My finish time was 1:52:14 and I was very pleased with that. I felt GREAT at the end which showed me I might have been able to go a little faster at the beginning, but these are the things one learns when racing for the first time in a long time!
I walked through the lovely tent of Vera Bradley bags, choosing one I thought Eloise would like, and Jason was waiting for me on the other side. He was happy for me and when he told me his time (1:18), I was thrilled for him. He was 3rd overall when he finished the race, overtaking those 2-3 guys in the last few miles. That was the exactly where he had hoped to be as well, so we had both had a great racing day.
My splits according to my Garmin are below:
Mile 1 - 8:56
Mile 2 - 8:42
Mile 3 - 8:48
Mile 4 - 8:37
Mile 5 - 8:52
Mile 6 - 8:39
Mile 7 - 8:31
Mile 8 - 8:21
Mile 9 - 8:21
Mile 10 - 8:21
Mile 11 - 8:25
Mile 12 - 8:17
Mile 13 - 7:58
The results show my average pace for the 1st half at 8:47 and my average pace for the second half at 8:21. Ha! What a difference! What I'd like to see is those 8:50s come down to 8:40s or 8:30s. I believe I was probably capable of that, but again I just had no idea so I was a bit conservative going out. Either way, it was a great race and I was very happy with the results.
As always, Seaside was a great trip and we had a great time. That post (with lots of super cute pics) will follow. For now, here are two of my favorite peeps in the whole world!
|Mr. 1:18 3rd overall half-marathoner and his good luck charm.|
|He put some lucky initials on his leg in hopes of catching a picture to show is baby girl one day.|