First I'd like to say that packing for a running race is like a dream come true! No bike! No goggles! No wetsuit! Only 1 pair of shoes! I could definitely get used to that... :)
O and I were both running the half marathon today. He was using it as a tune-up before the Philly Marathon in November and I was using it for a Clearwater tune-up. I was actually quite excited for this race all year - I had gone to watch O run it last year and it's at such a beautiful time of fall. It's also held on the trail that we run almost all our long runs on. FUN! And of course I love to race...
Although the weather didn't cooperate as nicely as last year. In fact earlier in the week I was a bit worried because the forecast was calling for mid 30s and rain. And indeed when we woke up this morning, that's what we had. The rain was very kind though to hold off for all of the race and even the awards at the end. It still felt pretty cold but "just cold" vs "raining and cold" is a huge difference! And I was still able to wear shorts to race in which is all I really care about. :)
The race! I'm never quite certain what to expect in open run races anymore. My PR was 1:26:50 so I thought it would be nice to go after that and eventually decided on trying to hit 6:30 pace. Meanwhile O was talking about 5:50 pace...
Long story short - I ran 1:23:35 (6:22 pace)! Sweet! I felt great through 9 miles and then really had to start to work to maintain my pace. For a longgggg time I could see the first place female about 10-20 yds in front of me and I focused on her back and just kept trying to keep the distance between us from lengthening. I kept pushing and surging - it's very rare that my legs feel that good in a triathlon (that biking has a way of making the legs a little sluggish on the run) so I kept telling myself to make good use of fresh legs! The first place female did eventually pull away but I was glad that I could see her most of the race because she kept me motivated. When I rounded the final turn and saw the clock still on 1:23 I got really excited! 3+ minute PR!
The big news of the day though was O's stellar race in which he also had a 3 minute PR and ran 1:16:38! OH MY! AND he finished 3rd overall male! He is a very good runner but has never been in the "overall" standings of a race so he was very excited. And I was really excited for him. I love seeing all his hard work pay off! Philly Marathon watch out! His goal is under 3 hours but I'm thinking he is looking more at 2:50 instead. Either way the best part of the day was definitely seeing how excited he was about his race. :)
O with his award after the race.
So then we were cold. And hungry.
But first we had to be good athletes and go swim. My YMCA has very short pool hours on Saturday so straight from the race we went to the pool and I got my swim in and O got his legs loosened up in the water too. I was so, so cold after the race and was not really looking forward to getting into cold water BUT I had clearly forgotten that the pool water at the YMCA is nice and toasty! I have NEVER been so happy to get into that hot pool! :)
And eventually we got that nice warm lunch. And a Reese's peanut butter pumpkin. And now we are watching Penn State beat Minnesota. A very good day indeed. :)
After the race. I told you it was cold! And apparently I'm falling asleep mid-picture... :)