Half Marathon #29
SC Half Marathon #21
Resolution Run Half Marathon #3
I almost forgot that this was race #100. Thankfully I remembered about a mile in and used that as motivation through the race.
I’m also thankful that the weather forecast changed. When I saw that initially rain was predicted, I groaned. I did not want a repeat of two years ago when we got absolutely drenched. I’ve run a few races in the rain but that was the absolute worst.
That being said, thanks to the wind, it was a bit colder than I expected. I’m still glad that I went with short sleeves and gloves. I was freezing at the start as evidenced by the picture below but perfectly attired to the race itself.
The half and the 5k started at the same time but since the course was wide enough, this didn’t cause a problem. Well, we did start the first half mile a bit too fast since we were surrounded by a bunch of the fast 5k runners. The hills soon slowed us down. The nicest thing that I can say about these hills is that they are absolutely ridiculous. Mom actually got really lightheaded on the first one.
Mile 1: 8:47
Even though the race is well organized, I have to say that the course is rather unimaginative. It consists of 2 out and backs. The first took us from Trailblazer Park to the George I. Theisen YMCA and back to the park. (The turn around was just before the hill leading up the the YMCA.) The second half was on the Swamp Rabbit Trail. The beginning and ending of this out and back were slightly different from each other but it was basically an out and back.
(I also have to mention that starting with the mile 2 mile marker my garmin started to measure almost exactly .25 off the distance and stayed about the same until the end of the race. Several other runners noticed an almost identical discrepancy. I think that the turn around point near the Y should have been placed a little further back.)
This meant that we had to go right back up those hills. Not cool. I’m glad that I ran the half and not the 5k because I had the relative flatness of the Swamp Rabbit Trail to look forward to once we passed Trailblazer Park again.
Mile 2: 8:48
Mile 3 included the rough hill that is one of the worst I’ve ever run. (I think Paris Mountain qualifies as the most difficult.) This hill really messed with Mom’s head. She was ready to quit and just run the 5k. We walked for a good portion in this mile, hence the slowest pace of the race. It was really tempting since we ran right by the park. I tried to be as supportive as I could and laid out the options for her. I reminded her that we had just a little ways to go before we got to the Trail and after that a muscle memory of sorts would help ease the difficulty a bit since we’ve run the trail so many times. Mom decided right at the turning point to keep running with me.
Mile 3: 10:14
Like I hypothesized, once we got to the trail, it got a bit mentally easier. We picked up the pace a bit and settled in. The next few miles were fairly uneventful.
Mile 4: 8:47
Mile 5: 8:41
Mile 6: 8:46
Mile 7: 8:52
Around mile 7 Mom mentioned that she was still struggling mentally and suggested that I might as well go on without her. I kept trying to encourage her. I really didn’t want to leave her behind. After all, I had the music (iPhone in an armband) and she didn’t. I also didn’t want to leave her behind to struggle so I suggested that we make it at least to the turn around point near mile 8 before she made the decision. As soon as we made the turn she told me to go on. I wasn’t sure I should but I really wanted to get a course PR. (Although, if the course is almost completely different from the past two times you’ve run the race, is it a course PR?)
Mile 8: 8:54
I felt really good, really strong through the next couple miles. I concentrated on keeping up a good pace and maintaining my form. I also kept looking for people to pick off by keeping up a slightly faster pace than “easy.”
Mile 9: 8:27
Mile 10: 8:37
I was feeling great, “run-dreaming” about future races and how much I loved the run and race when my right calf acted up in a way that I’ve never felt before. It’s been a little tight off and on (mainly after runs) so I’ve added some stretches and strengthening and have worn the compression sleeves consistently. I didn’t think it was an issue. That’s a lot of foreshadowing to say that a few times in the middle of mile 11 my right calf actually hurt. It took me surprise the first time it happened and then I started to get in my head a bit when I felt it again. It happened only a couple (2-3 times) but that makes me wonder a bit. I’m not sure what it might mean.
Mile 11: 8:48
I could feel my legs start to tell me that they were ready to be done so I tried to keep myself motivated with a countdown of all that was left. My stride actually felt pretty good and the pace didn’t feel too difficult. I kept looking ahead to try to find people to pick off.
Mile 12: 8:39
After we made the turn at TR Oriental I made some adjustments with my music so that the last track on my playlist, “Good to Be Alive” would help pump me up for the final half mile. Boy did it. It’s my new favorite running song. I picked up the pace and picked off the three people immediately in front of me.
When we turned at the Trailblazer Park entrance I saw a guy ahead that looked just out of reach. I decided that I wanted to try anyway so I poured on a sprint. As I ran as fast as I could at that point I could see the distance between us getting shorter but not fast enough to make it before the finish line came. So close!
Mile 13: 7:06
Just as I suspected, the course measured short. My garmin measured 12.89. Mom’s measured 12.83. A friends measured 12.90. Even accounting for tangent running difference, I find that fairly significant.
Once I finished I took my award and started running back to run Mom in for a bit before making a short cut and getting some pictures of her at the finish. (Side note about the medal: the coasters look great! It’s really cool to have handmade pottery. However, would it have been too difficult to ask the potter to include a small hole at the top for those who would rather hang the coaster?)
Mom was closer than I thought. She told me later that for a good portion of the time after I took off without her she could still see me up ahead and that was good motivation.
Mom finished really well, as she always does.
We stuck around for awards since the race director was able to read them off only 10 minutes or so after we finished. Just before he was about the read them off I pulled up the online results and realized that I had registered Mom as a 30 year old. Whoops! (again)
I hurried over to the timing tent to let Scott Bagwell know. As soon as I told him he laughed and said “you keep doing this.” Yup. At least this time I got her gender right.
He made the adjustment, printed off a new results page and Mom was able to get her award (2nd in her age group) a couple minutes later!
Overall this was a pretty stellar 100th race. I can’t wait to see what the next 100 bring!