Get in Gear Half Marathon - That was surprising

Sometime in the winter, one of my friends was trying to convince me to register for this race and I kept saying no.  But once it became clear I was going to miss the Flying Pig, I agreed and signed up for the half marathon.  It was two weeks after a 25K I had planned, and sounded fun.  Then the 25K actually happened, and then a couple really slow training runs.  All in all, my lack of pace had me quite demoralized and I was questioning if I could even finish the race without getting swept off the course.

Plan: I really wanted to just go out and run.  I had no desire to deal with intervals, even though most of my longer training runs did involve intervals.  I was all "just let me go".   I'd decided I'd bring headphones with me for the last part of the race.  I'd also learned my lesson on the heart rate monitor and decided to leave it at home.

Conditions: It was a bit windy, especially the headwind between miles 5 and 9.  That was awesome.  Race temps were in the 40s.  The course itself can best be described as rolling.  Nothing too steep or long, but not a ton of super flat either.  Running uphill into a headwind was super.

Execution: I came to the day feeling like I wanted to grind it out and run.  I wasn't in the mood to really suffer, but I wanted to hurt a little bit.  This is something other runners would understand.  I started waaaaay too far up in line.  I'd like to suggest to the race director if corrals are too much work, at least put up signs or something we can use as a guide.  I wound up putting my headphones in almost immediately so I could 'stay in my head' and pace myself properly.

I thought I went through mile 1 in about 13:30/mile which scared the crap out of me.  Maybe I will get swept off the course., But saw myself holding more around 12:00/mile after that.  When I got to the 10 mile clock, the gun time read under 2hrs which I could not believe.  The whole time I just kept chugging along, nothing too hard, but not easy either.  I kept telling myself I could go to interval running if I got tired, but I never had a bonk and kept grinding it out.  At the finish line, I found Lucinda who surprised me by staying to see the finish.  I almost cried when I saw her.  I was almost as happy to see the clock reading a minute under what my goal time had been.  That can't be right.

Results: I ran a 2:32:43 which was about five minutes faster than I thought I could do.  It's also my best non-paced race.  I was really surprised and felt really good when I saw it.  It's a good thing I was in the mood for a grinder because that's totally what this was.  But it definitely gave me a mental boost and enthusiasm for training until the next race at the end of June.
Update: I seem to have a second set of results.  While slower,  I think they're actually more correct.  Not sure where that other time came from.

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