Despite my lack of training over the past month, yesterday morning I woke up extremely excited to run the Cox Rhode Races Half Marathon through my city. This was my second time running the course, and I had such a great experience last year that I couldn’t wait to do it again. (For last year’s race recap and a more thorough description of the course, click here ). While I can’t say that I had quite as much fun as I did last year, I can say that I was very happy to be running. Because when it comes down to it, if there’s a race going on in my city, I’d rather be participating than watching from the sidelines.
While I didn’t have any real goals going into this race, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have my time from last year etched into the back of my mind. If I could beat that time without running myself into the ground, you better believe I was going to go for it. I’m really happy to report that I did! I ran a 1:34:41, almost 2.5 minutes faster than the 1:37:07 I ran last year (while in really good shape).
If you’ve never run a race in your hometown before, I highly recommend it! Not only is it really fun to run through familiar streets with all your neighbors cheering you on, you also don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn to make the start. I only live a couple of miles from the starting line of yesterday’s race, so I was able to get up, have a leisurely breakfast and take my time getting down there.
Instead of giving you a complete rundown of the entire race, I thought I’d give you a 13 highlights from my 13(point 1) miles.
1.) Waking up to a cool, crisp morning with the sun shining (last year’s race was cloudy, hot and humid).
2.) Getting down to the start with plenty of time to make my usual porta-potty run and while standing in line, suddenly realizing that I had forgotten my iPod! My dependence on love for running with music has been well documented . It may sound silly, but at that point the thought of not having my music, something I was mentally prepared to run with, was just too much. I leapt out of line and ran back to Becky so that I could borrow her phone to call EC.
3.) Realizing that I don’t actually know my boyfriend’s cell phone number. (In my defense he recently got a new number…and by recently I mean January. Oops).
4.) Sending a flurry of frantic emails to the wrong email address. (If I ever try to convince you that I am a calm, rational-thinking person before a race, please think back on this story and know that I am a big fat liar.) And since EC and I haven’t yet figured out how to communicate telepathically, I never did get that iPod.
5.) Having a great friend who is willing to go without her own iPod so that you can run with music. Becky was planning on running with family, so although she had made a playlist for the race, she told me she’d be fine without it. I have never been so thankful for a sacrifice as I was at that very moment. And when I turned on the music to hear the first chords of “Eye of the Tiger” bursting into my ears, I knew everything was going to be okay.
6.) Feeling the excitement of the crowd and letting that pull me into a much faster start than I was actually trained to run. Especially when the course is not flat. And especially when you basically spend the first half in an uphill climb.
Because any smart, undertrained runner would attack the first flat section in preparation for a series of long climbs, right?
Mile 1 – 6:54Mile 2 – 6:56
7.) Seeing Evan at the top of one particularly long climb that had knocked some of the wind out of my sails and made me realize that the aggressive pace I had started off with was not realistic under my current circumstances (and being okay with that).
Thanks for giving me an extra boost Evan!
8.) Seeing EC and Koli around Mile 5 (after yet another long climb), and knowing I’d get to see them again in 3 more miles (I love how easy it is to spectate on the Half Marathon course).
Mile 3 – 7:09Mile 4 – 7:13Mile 5 – 7:30
9.) Feeling as though the rolling hill section through Pawtucket flew by and I was suddenly back on Blackstone again, heading into the home stretch of the course.
Mile 6 – 7:02Mile 7 – 7:09Mile 8 – 7:26
Sometimes I yell at EC when I run. Fortunately he is a good, patient guy and doesn’t yell back.
10.) With the exception of one particularly nasty hill in the 11th mile, being able to run down all those hills I had climbed during the first part of the course.
Mile 9 – 7:10Mile 10 – 7:02Mile 11 – 7:33
11.) Pushing through those final, gloriously flat miles, knowing I was tired but not completely spent. Knowing that my faithful legs were going to carry me to a course PR, despite the fact that I didn’t really give them the best training they could’ve asked for.
Mile 12 – 7:07Mile 13 – 7:05
12.) Coming around that final corner (and practically running into Lizzy !), seeing the finish, and pushing as hard as I could make these heavy legs move to make sure I finished under 1:35.
Classic Mile 13.22 – 1:23 (6:27 pace)
13.) Being done! Although I do really like the Half Marathon course, there is no better feeling in the world than being done with a race. And since the last race I ran was a full marathon, the time seemed to fly by. I loved it. (Someone please remind me why I keep signing up for full marathons!?)
I honestly didn’t expect much going into the race, and in the end I was really happy with the way it turned out! I can’t say that I felt amazing the entire way, or that I wasn’t tired, or that I didn’t have brief moments where I questioned my sanity (especially because my warped mind equates running for fun with running as hard as I can without killing myself – have I mentioned I’m my own greatest competition?). I loved running through the streets of my neighborhood and finished the race with renewed excitement for my relay this weekend.
Congrats to all the Marathon and Half Marathon finishers!
13.22 miles in 1:34:41 (7:10 pace)
13.1 miles in 1:34:41 (7:14 pace); 128th/2,398 overall
17th/1,450 females; 10th/581 in division
And now I’m off to celebrate by moving. Anyone want to come help me lug furniture?