Sunday, November 4, 2012

Women's Half Marathon

The Women's Half is one of the best organized races I've run and despite me complaining about the goody bag, there are a lot of other great touches with the event.

Although I left the house on time, unfortunately I thought I could make a left on Rio Salado after taking the freeway exit and followed the long stream of cars zigzagging through neighborhoods and down dead ends before finally arriving at the parking lot.  There was no problem catching a the real coach bus (as compared to a school bus) even though I was outside of my designated time.  Port-a-potties were plentiful and they even had a hand washing station with real water.

Marianne and Renee were in my corral and we scoped out the runners looking for the serious ones trying to determine who the woman would be.  The race started and I felt pretty good and true to my style, started too fast. My goal was 8:15's/8:20's and if I felt good pick it up at mile 6. My first mile was 8:07, which isn't terribly bad. My friend Becky found me and I ran with her.  I errantly thought we were similar pace and we ran together.  This is where I went wrong with the race.  I know to run my pace and not try and run with someone and yet I went against what I know and paid for it.

Miles 2-8 clicked off well at 7:50, 7:55, 7:55,7:59,7:38(downhill), 7:52, 7;52.  At this point, I was done and told Becky to go ahead.  I spent the rest of the race walking and slogging.  Setting my sights on a tree, pole or bush to run to and then walk for a short distance. My next miserable miles were 9:18,10:44,10:33,10:28 and 10:35. It wasn't just my legs that were tired but my core and especially my arms.  The last 5 miles felt like Boston all over again. Despite the personal worst half time I still managed to run under 2 hours with 1:56:38.

The finisher medals placed around our necks by young men in their military uniforms always makes a nice finish. I grabbed a water but my jello arms were so weak I had to ask someone to open it the water for me.  Marianne, who finished around 1:50, called me over where I promptly plopped on the ground, something I also never do.

One of the nice touches the race did this year was the cold, wet towels, which I gladly welcomed.  There were also bagels, banana's, pretzels, fiber Luna bars and fabulous chocolate chip cookies. After Renee finished, we wandered over to the charm station where the center of the finisher medal was removed and placed on my necklace.
Race bib and 3 years worth of charms. The special 3 peat charm will be mailed
Because I knew I wasn't going to PR on the race I'm not too bummed about not following my own rule and know next time I'll do better.  I need to figure out what my next half will be to prove to the 13.1 mile distance that I can conquer it.


Giorgio said...

Great race, Christina! 1 hour and 56 minutes is a good time on the half marathon, considering that your arms were tired.
When I cross the starting line I sometimes make the same mistake which you mentioned: I start too fast!

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Portable Hand Washing Stations

Kenley said...

Going out too fast you were caught up in the moment. congratulations!!!! still great timing.

Black Knight said...

Every race has its own story. Sometimes we complain because our start was too fast and sometimes because we could run faster.
However 1:56 is a very good finishing time. Congrats!

Johann said...

Great finishing time, well done! I think any run under 2 hours is good for a half. I used to go out to fast when I was younger but at least it seems I did learn something. BTW is the running flag of friendship still in France?