As the race got closer, I was very happy I wasn’t doing the marathon anymore.
After returning from Pennsylvania (and being able to run again!), I was very happy about the warmer running temperatures. What I wasn’t happy about, however, was my times. Since I started running again, I feel like I’m significantly slower than before. My goal for the marathon has been under 4:00:00 (4 hours), which allows me a 9:09 minute pace per mile. But before my injury, I was running around 8:00 minute miles, even during my long runs. (I was usually running faster than that—starting off around 7:30 and slowing down to around 8:15’s by the end. I blame it on not having my Garmin yet… it was hard to be consistant. I was using the MapMyRun app and didn’t read my times until I finished.) Anyway, despite my best efforts to stay in shape during my injured period, I seemed to have lost speed. (But not endurance, which is good!)
Anyway, I feel like I was sufficiently ready to race a half marathon, but not a full marathon. I think a lot of it was mental, but either way, I was calming to know I would be racing a distance I had run several times previously during long runs. Since my goal time for the marathon had been 4:00:00 hours, and since I haven’t been very pleased with my training times lately, my only “goal” time for the half was 2:00:00 hours.
Conditions: The weather was super chilly, around 45 degrees and windy, and right by the water, but it warmed up significantly throughout the race. A lot of runners near me had on long sleeve shirts, but I’m happy I raced in a dryfit tee. I also ate beforehand (at 4:00 am), which I don’t usually do before long runs. I was really excited—my “reward food” was a peanut butter and jelly bagelthin. I very rarely allow myself to eat bread, so this was a real treat, and I enjoyed every bite. : )
Once the race started, I became even happier I was only doing the half marathon, because the marathon course was two consecutive loops of the half. It was a slow course—a lot of it taking place on a straight stretch parallel to the water (although not always in sight of the water). I think it would have been very disheartening to watch the mile markers pass by and know you had to do it all again.
I started off a little slower than I wanted, but I started to overtake the pacing group ahead of me around mile 3. I passed several people while climbing the “hill” of the first causeway—the incline was nothing compared to even the littlest hills in Pennsylvania. Around mile 7, I could feel myself starting to lose momentum. I decided to start pacing with Yellow Shirt, the young guy running just ahead of me. He paced me (pretty consistently) at 8:04 minute miles, which was just what I needed!
Me with Yellow Shirt, around mile 10
As we finished mile 11 and began to climb the second causeway, I decided I couldn’t let this guy beat me, so I passed him. I can’t believe I actually kept up the pace, but honestly I hardly felt the last two miles.
I finished in 1:46:49, which I was pleased with. After looking at my Garmin around 1:30:00, I wanted to break 1:45, but I think it was too late in the game. I really am happy with what I ran, though, so I’m not complaining.
Now, I’m ready to train for the marathon! And I’m also really ready for a nap. And chocolate chip cookies.