Sunday, October 19, 2014

That Time I Missed A PR by TWO SECONDS - Columbus Half Marathon Recap

You read that correctly. TWO SECONDS. I'm actually not that upset because it's just so unbelievably laughable and the story of my life. My Half Marathon PR, made on May 6th, 2012, is 2:05:37. I finished the Columbus Half Marathon today in 2:05:38. Yup.


The race was everything I hoped it would be. I've ran two halves in the past year. My times for those races were 2:22 (Oct, 13') and 2:29 (Mar 14'), so this race blew those races out of the water. I trained hard and my training paid off, and for the first time ever I actually felt like I raced this race. All previous races were about making it to the finish, and I always slowed down toward the end. I had my ups and downs (oh, the hills) today, but my pace stayed fairly consistent.

I set all my clothes and gear out the night before to make sure my morning was as stress free as possible. Everyone always says that running is such a great sport because all you need is a pair of running shoes. Yea, about that…


I broke the cardinal rule of not trying anything new on race day by buying a fuel belt at the expo. Luckily, I loved running with it and actually forgot about it from time to time while running. I highly recommend! 


My alarm went off at dark:30. Can you believe we pay money to go running when it's 38 degrees and still dark out?


E and I left our apartment complex at 6:15 and hit lots of traffic. They warned us to get there super early, but we didn't listen. Once we parked, the lines for the bathrooms were out of control too. If you plan on running this race next year, get there early (or stay within walking distance). We literally were running to our corral as the starting gun went off. That's definitely the closest I've ever been to a race start…


We made it just in time for the fireworks - a nice touch. 


And then we were off! The race starts on a slight downhill and then you do an uphill climb for a half mile or so. From there it was relatively flat with a few killers hills in between. I started fairly slow due to runner congestion but realized I had to keep an eye on my pace from the very first mile to ensure I finished with a decent time. 

I ran the first half of the race really well. My pace was in the zone, and I was actually surprised with how good I was feeling. I hit mile seven and my quads started to ache a little. I worked hard (really hard) to bring my pace down again. There was a massive hill at mile 11 that hurt. My left calf started aching a little and I worried that if I pushed it too much, I would be stuck on the sidelines at mile 12. I ran a slow 12th mile, and then I knew I was finishing this race whether I had to break my leg while doing it. I took almost a minute off my time and sprinted to the end. My calf pain went away, and I felt tired but great crossing the finish line. 

Splits: 9:37, 9:32, 9:02, 9:12, 9:15, 9:11, 9:44, 9:42, 9:31, 9:25, 9:49, 10:10, 9:18, last .1 mile in 9:00 pace. 

So I know the question is how do you miss a PR by two seconds. In all honesty, I had my watch and thought I had beaten my PR by about 30 seconds. It wasn't until the final turn when I saw the clock over the finish line that I realized I had slightly miscalculated. Knowing what I know now, there were definitely places I could have pushed harder. I should not have fallen into the 10's at mile 12 no matter how I was feeling, and I should have ran just a little bit faster at the end, but I'm happy with my performance. I ran the entire race and felt strong (there's still lots of work to do, glutes and quads!) Whether I PR'd or not, it's nice to know my base before marathon training is 2:05. That's a great base for 26.2 miles. 

The most important part of the race was the fact that we ran for the Nationwide Children's Hospital. Every mile had children patients on the sidelines with foam hands high-fiving and cheering on the runners. Every time I'm upset with my performance or think about quitting on a run, I say to myself, "run for those who can't." This race emulated that more than any other I've ever done. It was touching and humbling, and those children are the true rockstars. It's always good to reflect on why we do what we do. 

Unofficial Garmin time

They gave us treats when we finished. I've never been given a cookie before, so that was a happy surprise…


Getting our medals was a tad challenging, but they were sparkly…


I'm always thrilled to run any distance with E. She started my love affair with running back in college, and I owe her a whole lot…


We grabbed my brother and went to brunch. Getting to our favorite brunch spot was no easy feat with the marathon race still in progress, but we made it. I only eat pancakes after a long race, and it's been a little over a year since my last pancake. It was the tastiest thing ever. I really should start eating them more often… 


I went back to my apartment and tidied up for the week and found my brother like this. He must have had a tiresome day. And no, he did not watch the race…


My brother and I went to family dinner, and I sipped on warm apple cider from the farm yesterday. It was the perfect afternoon drink since I've had a permanent chill since 6am…


Dinner - no description needed…


And because I ran a whole lot today, I treated myself to a large slice of the caramel apple I bought yesterday… 

#ThisIsWhyIRun

Did you race today? How did you do?!

What's the closest you've ever come to a PR? 

Favorite post race food? Pancakes! 

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