For the past injuries kept me out of the "half marathon season" that starts up every January in San Diego. Yes, living in San Diego has its perks! While others are sitting on the couch watching sports (don't get me wrong, we all know I LOVE my Michigan sports!) we start our year off right!
The week before the race I came down with a cold and due to work stress got VERY little sleep (and lets not even talk about my eating habits since Kona!). The day before the race I went up to the race site to pick up my race chip and number, and felt awful. I wasn't sure I'd actually race. However, I had to be thankful that I wasn't injured and could finally do the race at all. Plus, It is JANUARY! Time to have fun and see how the legs feel after a few months off. So when race morning came, I put on my new Brooks race kit and favorite Brooks shoes (Defiance!), grabbed a few Gu's, and headed up to Carlsbad.
I actually had little doubt that I could get a personal best time. After all my fastest time for 13.1 miles came last season in a half ironman the week after I was hit by a car while out for an easy training ride (The half marathon course went by the corner where the accident occurred, and yes I got chills as I ran by!).
I knew the lead pack would hammer out of the gate, so I stayed w/in myself. But by mile 3 I wasn't feeling so hot. I thought the cold was gone, but suddenly I realized it wasn't! My splits were ok, but my body and stomach ached the whole way. I felt like I was moving a 300lb ton of bricks down the coast.
At the 6.6 mile mark I looked at my Garmin and was right on pace to go 1:28. From there on I was checking out my split every 30seconds. I wasn't feeling good, and at no point did the 7:40-7:45 pace feel remotely easy. Thankfully the Garmin told me my overall average split, and I knew I just had to hold around 7:53 to break the 1:30 barrier.
I had planned to pick up the pace for the last 3 miles, but instead found myself content just holding my pace. I hit the line at 1:29:20.
I didn't realize until the facebook messages started appearing that I was 2nd, out of 844, in my age group. On a day where I wasn't feeling well (and man did I feel awful after the race) I had to be happy. Over 10 minutes off of my best half marathon time, the first time under the 1:30 mark, and the first time I placed top 3 in flat out road running race (except the ones back in MI...competition is no where near as stiff, so those don't count). I haven't done many road races over the past few years, but was reminded of just how much they hurt. I think I prefer running after biking around 56 miles.
I will have plenty of opportunity to test myself this season, and I can't wait!
2009....Ya...I am ready to race!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!