Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Let's Go Halfsies!

For the third year in a row, Jason and I went to Seaside, FL and ran the Seaside Half Marathon.  This is one of my all time favorite races and this year we had my family along with us with Mom and Julie joining us in the race.  The first year we ran it, I got a half marathon PR of 1:44:45.  The second year I only ran part of the course since I was carrying baby Eloise.  And now this, the third year, we took Eloise with us on her first trip to the beach and I ran another good race.  It wasn't a PR, far from it, but it was exactly where I'd hoped to be at this point in my training and I was very pleased by how I did and how I felt. 

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.


  1. That is awesome!!! The whole family did wonderfully! I know what you mean about being excited/relieved at the turnaround point. I always tell myself, "Now all you have to do, is what you already did!" :)

  2. You did awesome and I was so excited to see you along the course and at the finish! Thanks for all your help - your coaching has been invaluable to me!