First off, I want to apologize for being M.I.A. lately. Life has been CRAZY!!! I’m still going to school, I landed a part time job after being laid off a month or so ago. Plus, I don’t have internet access at home (I’m too poor).
But, on 10/19/13, I completed my last race of the year. I ran the SoJo 1/2 Marathon. I was really excited leading up to this race. I thought for sure this would be my chance at getting a sub 2 hour 1/2 marathon because most of the race is either flat or downhill.
A couple of days before the race, I decided to look at the course map again and that’s when I realized that my chances of a sub 2-hour 1/2 marathon just wasn’t going to happen. The course ended up being 13.4 miles, not 13.1 miles. In order for me to come in at 1:59:59, I would have had to run an 8:58 mile the entire way. That just WASN’T going to happen. I was pretty bummed about it.
I was however feeling pretty strong leading up to the race. I thought I had a good chance at getting a pretty good time.
The morning of the race, I got up & helped get Rob off to work & then I headed out the door to catch the bus to head to the starting line. I was a little disappointed in the fact that their shuttle service to the start line was REALLY slow. They only had 1 bus going at a time. I was scheduled for the 6:50 a.m. bus (I don’t know why) and the race didn’t start until 8:30. However, my bus didn’t leave until 7:10 a.m. It was early in the morning and it was VERY cold, so standing around for 20 minutes was very unpleasant.
When I did get to the start line, I hurried & used the potty & then met up with my parents for a few before pictures. I don’t look happy because I’m nervous and it was COLD!!! I knew once I started running though that I would warm up.
It was finally time for the race to start & I started out with the 2:00 pacers. I still thought I might have a chance at running a 2 hour 1/2 marathon. I quickly ended up between the 2:00 pacers and the 2:10 pacers. I was happy with that though. I just didn’t want the 2:10 pacers to pass me.
The day before the race, I was dared by my coach to not look at my watch during the race. Not to look at my pace. I told him I’d try my hardest. The only time I really looked at my watch during the race was to see what mile I was at, so I could gauge if it was time to take another gel or not.
I felt strong for the first couple miles of the race, but after that, I don’t know why, but I just didn’t feel strong. I was really worried about the hill at mile 3.5. It was a BIG hill. One thing that helped me get up the hill was at the base of the hill, a guy was holding a sign for his wife saying “Channing Tatum is shirtless at the top of the hill…run faster!” He was also holding a sign that said “Ooops…forgot the baby at home…run faster!” (He had the baby with him in the stroller.) I was able to run up the hill, but I was pooped by the time I got up there. I was very thankful for the downhill.
There were a couple of other minor hills on the course, but my legs just didn’t feel strong. I was a little disappointed that I had to stop & walk a couple of times.
By the time I got to the finish line…I was TIRED and my feet hurt!!! I finished in 2:12:09. That ended up being an average pace of 9:51/mile.
I’m going to blame my poor performance of this race on my shoes. I was wearing OLD shoes for this race. The shoes I wore, I bought 1 1/2 months before my 1/2 Ironman in June. I didn’t have the money, or the time to buy new shoes before this race.
However, there is a silver lining here. Today, 2 1/2 weeks after the race, I got an email for our finishers certificates. As I pulled mine up, I found out that I placed first in my division!!! I registered for this race in the Athena division. In the past, the Athena division is just one division, but they broke down the Athena division in to age groups. So, in the Athena: Age 31 – 34, I came in 1st!!! I came in 3 minutes ahead of the 2nd place person in that division! I came in 16th overall in the Athena division! I have to say, I’m pretty pleased!!!