Half Marathon #31
SC Half Marathon #23
GHS Half Marathon #3
After Hilton Head I was sure that I would aim for a faster time during this race. Then my left leg decided to mix things up a little bit and get all weird. (I think it’s done now but I still don’t know what happened.) Thankfully, everything started to feel pretty good a few days ago so I went back to the original plan of aiming for around 8:00 miles which would hopefully bring me on the short side of 1:45.
I also had planned to get in twenty minutes of warm up before warm up before hand. Unfortunately, I was unable to get in that much. The only negative I have to say about this race comes at the beginning. Traffic on S. Main in Travelers Rest was ridiculous. It took almost five minutes to go two blocks. I ended up getting out and running to the school so I could pick up my bib. I had to have that.
If a race says that packet pick up is at x-name high school, wouldn’t you expect the packet pick up to be inside or at the very least on the sidewalk near the door? That’s where I headed. No luck. I couldn’t believe it. I asked someone where it was. He said “it’s at the edge of the parking lot.” I ran up to the edge where I could see the start line across the street but could not see packet pick up anywhere. I ran back through the parking lot and back up to where I started and found someone else to ask. He pointed over at a table which I could best describe as “middle of the parking lot.” It was a single table manned by one person. For a race this size, that does not show a lot of foresight which is surprising considering how well run the rest of the race is.
At that point I had enough time to get in another 10 minutes of warm up before heading to the start line. Technically, I probably did have enough time to get the full 20 minute warm up in since the race did not end up starting until almost 7:40, ten minutes late.
Mom didn’t run the race with me. (She had another obligation.) She did drive me to the start and take a pre-race picture.
Yes, I did wear a shirt for the first time. It will definitely have a place in my running shirt rotation.
When we were finally off and running it was hard to keep from going out too quickly. My split does not reflect it since there’s a helpful incline on the second half of the mile. I don’t remember much specifically about this mile except for the fact that I was already checking my Garmin frequently to make sure I was on pace.
Mile 1: 7:59
Miles 2 and 3 were more of the same except for they had a few more rollers, some of the most significant incline in the race. (There wasn’t much.) I still checked my Garmin frequently.
Mile 2: 8:05
Mile 3: 7:54
Somewhere in the third mile we got back onto the Swamp Rabbit Trail. The congestion had thinned out a little so the narrower trail wasn’t a problem. Also during this mile, the 1:45 pacer caught up to me. At first I could hear him behind me and then the group moved up around me and passed me a little.
I still wasn’t sure what I was going to do but I also am way too competitive to let them pass me, especially since my goal aligned with that pace goal. I decided to stick with the pacer if I could but to run my own race.
Mile 4: 8:02
As I ran with the pace group, I stopped checking my Garmin. I realized that the pace felt good, exactly what I wanted. I decided then to stick with the pacer all the way and to ignore my watch. I did not want to know my pace. I can hardly describe how freeing this was. I didn’t have to do mental calculations. I wasn’t constantly checking to see if my pace was too fast or two slow. I was running strong and enjoying myself. The middle miles were great, not really extraordinary either direction. I stuck right with the pacer and got another “thanks for sharing the tunes.” The pacer mentioned later in the race that he really loved my playlist.
Mile 5: 7:59
Mile 6: 7:57
Mile 7: 7:54
Mile 8: 7:58
Mile 9: 7:59
As we drew close to mile 10 and the final 5k, I started to feel this. I battled some mental doubts and won. I just barely starting considering dropping back from the pacer and just floating in but kept bribing myself to get to the next point and then the next. I even was able to eat my chews and keep running. At that point, that was a monumental feat. Those three miles were pretty tough but I stuck with the pacer and avoided looking at my Garmin.
Mile 10: 7:56
Mile 11: 7:51
Mile 12: 7:54
When we hit the 12 mile marker, the pacer encouraged us to take off. We could do anything for a mile. I admit that I was surprised when everyone did just that. I had planned to stick with the pacer but I found myself pulling ahead so I kept pushing even though I was more than ready to be done. Besides, the pacer shouted to the disappearing group that if he passed us before the finish, we owned him a beer. 🙂
I am so glad that they changed the course to take out the dramatic downtown up hill that Spinx still has, the uphill heading towards the stadium. The new finish is fantastic.
Just as we made the turn off River Street – I think – we hit the 13 mile marker. I love the fact that my Garmin was right on with the mile markers.
Mile 13: 7:49
I had little left in the tank for the last .1 and it showed. Several people charged past me at that point. I did manage a bit of speed through.
Aunt Kathleen volunteered to be my “athletic supporter” at the finish. It was too crowded for me to see her at the finish but I did hear her cheer as I ran by. She even came around and got some pictures of me as I walked off the platform/stage. Very cool finish area.
Final time: 1:44:13 – third fastest half marathon time
I’ll take that, especially since this was just a training run of sorts and I ran 9 miles yesterday at roughly the same pace.
I think I might just be a convert to running in a pace group. I really enjoyed it today. I really enjoyed the race too and hope to see it continue to grow. It’s come a long way since I ran it for the first time four years ago, mushroomed really.
Great job GHS!