Saturday, September 25, 2010

Women's Half Marathon

This was what I looked at (on both wrists) during the entire half marathon. When I would get tired (and I did), I would look down and then remember that "The joy of the Lord is my strength!" Then I would keep going, as fast as I could. It worked well, me playing games with my mind, to help me remember that it is God who gives me strength and that my running not only brings me joy but brings Him joy as well!

So much pink! For a women's only race, I guess everyone decided pink was the color of the day.

Today's Women's Half Marathon was the longest distance I've run in quite a while. But I was determined to do it and do it well. I had a few different goals for this race:
  • Finish around 1:40:xx.
  • Run fast for as long as I can.
  • Don't walk at all.
Here's the outcome of each:
  • I finished in 1:48:30. This wasn't the 1:40 I'd been aiming for, but it was a 1.5-minute PR and I felt great the entire time. I ran mostly by feel, rarely ever looking at my watch (of course, there were mile markers and a clock at every mile).
  • I saw the leaders for the first 2.5 miles. Honestly, this was 2 miles longer than I'd even considered possible. Then, not only that, I saw them only about a mile out from the turnaround, which means I was about or less than 2 miles behind them. A great day indeed!
  • I didn't walk at all except through 3 aid stations (necessary walking in order to get some water and gatorade).
Team B in their Swiftwick kits before the race 

Overall, I'm thrilled with how I ran and how I felt. I was close to the middle of the front the entire time, not even close to the front of the back, and not anywhere near the middle of the pack. Hooray! My overall pace was 8:17. My miles weren't really that consistent at all, but it turned out OK in the end. If I could have cut out my couple 9-minute miles or run the others just slightly faster, I would have been right on an 8-min/mile pace. Eventually I'll get there, but this was definitely a hilly course and my times show where some of the worst were!
  • 1:48:31, 13.11 miles, 8:17 pace (6:13 best), 1,577 cal, 154 HR (190 max)
  • 7:43, 7:14, 7:58, 8:21, 8:34, 8:10 (48:04 around 10K); 7:51, 8:57, 8:34, 8:06, 8:04, 8:51 (50:26 around 20K); 9:09, 00:51 (1:48:31 at end)

The start line—more pink!

The Tennessean has a great article about the race. Here are the official results. If I had raced, I would have placed 17th in my age group of 554 (including me, the unregistered) (the largest age group was 30–34, at 740!) and 111 overall out of 4,393 finishers (according to the Tennessean; 3,883 according to Team Belladium was out there as bike support, and Lisa said they were out there for at least 4 hours. That's a long time to be out for a half marathon!

The rest of the day, I pretty much took it easy. Kept my compression socks on all day, ran errands, cooked a little, went to church, watched a movie, all that fun stuff. We'll see how my legs feel for a ride and our softball games tomorrow.

Here is the route from today's race:

I don't think the elevation chart is particularly accurate, especially considering the Korean Veterans Boulevard that we had to traverse during the last mile of the race (which still doesn't look correct in the shortened route's graphic below):

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