June 2, 2013
This was scheduled as a throwaway race. I signed up for this race series because it was just a fun set of races with great medals and swag. I was also gunning for Half Fanatic membership (minimum criteria is 2 HM in 16 days, or 3 HM in 90 days…this was number 3).
This became a far more crucial event.
I had been battling a chronic injury for 6 months, and finally winning. This was going to be a big month with my second Ironman 70.3 and my fourth marathon scheduled. The Ironman event was a week away.
This was my final test run. I was feeling good. The course was new and flat. The weather was perfect. I had run a sub-2 hour half once. I figured it would be pushing it to try again, but I lined up with the 2 hour pace team and would see if I could hang or not.
The first couple of miles were good. It was a big pace team, and I ended up just staying ahead of them as it was easy to get lost in the crowd behind them. There was someone else from the pace group that was also just staying ahead, so I just used her as my pacer. After awhile, I noticed that we had pulled away from the rest of the group. I assumed that I was going too fast and would burn out. But I ended up sticking with my pacer. The 2 hour crew faded into the distance.
I finally caught up, and we started talking. She had no idea that we were so far ahead. We started doing the mental math, and a big PR was in both of our futures if we could keep this pace.
We kept it…and more. We usually hovered in the 8:05/mile. If we dropped to 8:30, we would motivate each other to step it up. We had to slow down sometimes as we hit the mid 7’s.
By mile 11, she was starting to fade. I was having a power surge. Usually I am the one telling the other runner to keep going and not to let me slow them down. This time it was the opposite. With that little bit of encouragement, I took off. It all came down to if I had enough left in the tank or not. Would I run out of steam before I ran out of course to run?
Finish Time: 1:54:43
About a 5 minute improvement on my PR (and enough to move me into my second “A” coral at the DisneyLand Half!)
My pacer came in a couple minutes later (still under 2 hours), then my “official” pace team. I had promised my beer ticket to one on the “real” pacers if she got me in under 2 hours. I only saw her for a few minutes at the beginning of the race, but I did get sub-2, so I coughed up the ticket (I have no idea how anyone can drink a beer after a race…)
I was feeling amazing! This was the feeling that got me hooked on running! My foot was good, and I was ready to tackle my upcoming marathon and Ironman 70.3!