This race was such a great one. I ran the 30K last year, but since I have no real interest in running anything longer than 13 right now, I signed up for the half marathon.
At the last minute, I decided to run without a Garmin, and I think it ended up being a great decision. I pushed myself hard the whole time, without getting caught up in what my pace was or how much more distance I had to cover.
It was an absolutely perfect day for running, and a little bit warmer than last year. The first couple miles wind around the lake on a paved path. It always takes me a few miles to warm up, and this race was no exception. I felt pretty crappy for the first half hour. Tight legs, upset stomach, head not in the game.
But as soon as we switched to the dirt trail and started climbing, I felt a lot better. I could see a few women in front of me, but couldn’t tell whether they were running the 30K or the half (they stay together for 6 or 7 miles). I sort of tried to keep up, but without killing myself. We reached the first aid station and I skipped it because I felt great and still had plenty of water in my handheld.
This year I was totally prepared for the shooting range, so I didn’t freak out at all when I hear gunshots. I did try to get through that section as fast as possible, though!
At one point I ended up running near a guy with a dog. He asked if I knew how much we had left, and I happily told him I had no idea. I assumed we were probably around the 8 or 9 mile mark, but couldn’t be sure. A few more ups and downs, and before I knew it, I was approaching the second aid station. I figured there couldn’t be more than 3 miles to go so again, I just ran through.
Eventually the trail turned back into asphalt and I thought there would only be a mile or so left, until I saw a sign that said “marina, 2.8 miles.” Damn.
The last 2.8 miles were rolling hills that were sort of crowded with families out for a walk (how DARE they enjoy time outdoors when I paid at least $30 to shuffle my way through a half marathon?!), and I kept passing and getting passed by the guy in the red (who you can see over my shoulder in the picture above).
I was pushing it pretty hard for the last mile, but was shocked when I came around the corner to see the clock read 1:48. Based on the elevation chart and how little I’ve been running this month, I told Mike I was sure it would take me about 2 hours.
1:48:22 (8:16 min/mile)
I cannot wait to sign up for more trail races!