I suppose I really should do a race report before the week is up.
As usual, I spent hours trying to figure out my finish time and my pace and my splits and my ….
Last year I finished in 3:09:10. My PR during thanksgiving was 2:59:49. McMillan calculator predicted a 2:51 finish (based on my 5k time in the soaking rain at Resolution Run). I was hoping for a 2:48 finish, would have been happy at 2:51 as predicted and ecstatic if I could have 2:45.
The day before the race when you have those nervous butterflies – wasn’t there. There was just no time for it. There was DD(5)’s soccer game in the morning, dance pratice in the afternoon and swim lessons in the evening. I was just exhausted with everything else going on.
The main nervousness was driving downtown to get to the race.
Left home at 5:15am and found the nearest parking spot. Weather was near perfect with just the slightest wind chill. I had a garbage bag on (the ONLY person probably – how utterly embarassing) that worked surprisingly well (Don’t tell the husband or he’ll wonder why I need to spend $$ on wind jackets).
After the customary port-a-potty visit, I went to the GetFit Tent to say Hi and then headed into my corral. Corral N – ALL the way in the back (O & P were the only ones behind me). Another portapotty visit (what’s up with that?!)
I saw the 2:45 group and wondered if I could stick with them. But in the commotion of the race start, I lost sight of them. I found them at mile 3 or so, and lost them again at the water stop at mile 4. (Oh – I tossed my garbage jacket 20 seconds into the race)
Just like last year, the beginning of the race was great. I was taking my walking breaks as I should. A few hills, yeah, but nothing to bother me. I knew there was the monstrous hill(s) after we got out of Piedmont park at 9.5miles, so was saving energy in my legs, calfs and mind for that.
First Gu (Roctane – more encounters on this later) at 4miles. Enjoying the scenic tour of the neighborhoods – Martin Luther King Memorial, Jimmy Carter Center, Inmam Park, Virginia Highlands, … When running it last year, I’d told myself that I’d take pictures next time (if I ever did it again), but really, there is no fun for me in taking pictures when I’m not in them.
When we entered Piedmont park, my pace was at 12:30 – where I wanted it. I had assumed that I’d have a fade of about 5-8 seconds/mile from the hills which would still put me around a 2:45 finish. The husband called to tell me that they were on MARTA to come to the finish line. Second Gu at the water stop. (btw, what was up with water stops in the course? Some of them hadn’t even filled water and one had water and Gatorade on the different sides of the road)
As I exited Piedmont park, I told myself – all right, lets do this. I knew I couldn’t run up the whole hill even if it fell into my 2:1 intreval. So I settled on 30sec:30sec. And kept telling myself that it was only 30 sec of running. I was slow, but steady passed people. Soon I was past all those killer hills (or so I thought) and at Georgia Tech’s old campus. Last mile before the finish line and 2:46 seemed a possibility.
When we got on Marietta St, I thought I could do this … but … I’d not counted on the low grade incline up the ENTIRE last mile !!! It does not look hilly, its the slightest incline, but the elevation is there. And the legs that have just gone up those hiller hills – they feel that slight incline. And … something in my tummy started to protest. Was it the Gu Roctane? Or the cake the night before? I could NOT afford a potty break and willed my tummy to shut up.
So – what should have been 2:1 became 30sec:30sec again. And I saw 2:46 pass on my Garmin, I’m ashamed to say … I mentally felt that I couldn’t even do 30sec:30sec, it became run 2 lampposts, walk 1. My legs weren’t dead, but they were feeling the strain of the hills. I wasn’t mentally exhausted as I’d been at mile 10.5 on Thanksgiving, but there was no more left to push myself through that last 0.5miles. It was just one hill too many. (Looking back at the Garmin splits, I didn’t really lose too much time in the last mile, it just felt so)
The husband and the kids were waiting for me at the turn to the finish line. Walked up to blow kisses to them and sprinted down to the finish line. I looked at my Garmin to stop it … and to my horror it read 2:49 !!! Whaaaat ?? !!!!! It was better than my predicted time, but wasn’t I on course for a 2:47/2:48??
The extra minute came from running 13.35 miles instead of the perfect official course run of 13:1 miles.
Gah … Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy with the 2:49 official time. But next time I will certainly factor in an extra 0.25-0.5 miles while thinking about my pace. AND – I will adamantly stick to 2:48 being my 13.1 time.
Anyway – medal around the neck, I walked down to find the husband and kids. Now comes a mystery – I only found water and bananas. The husband says there were other people carrying other food. A friend who finished at 2:53 (not sure of her clock time, but I’m guessing she was in the same corral as mine) says she didn’t find food either. So – was the food all gone? Or did we both just miss it?
So – Georgia Half Marathon, that I wasn’t even sure I wanted to do – Done.
Half Marathon #5.
21 minutes faster than last year.
11 min PR from 4 months ago.