Holiday Half Marathon
Apologies for the slight delay on getting this up and out to y’all. But, as promised, a recap of the race to a half marathon PR almost two weeks ago. A bit of a backstory. My half marathon PR was 1:33:56. Then, en route to my marathon PR in Indianapolis, I came through the first half at 1:33:30. A new half marathon PR! But, I didn’t really want to call it a PR because it was in a marathon. My husband argued that it didn’t matter. World records, American records for shorter distances count in marathons. (He’s right, but still…) I went into the Holiday Half wanting a “legit” PR. I didn’t really have a time in mind. I figured 7:00 minute pace was do-able. That would put me just under 1:32. Solid PR range. Okay, if I don’t run a mile over 7:00, I’ll be in great shape. That was the plan when I hit the starting line. The course is super flat. The only issue can be the wind, and it was a cool windy day. And, running alone.
After the start, I very quickly found myself alone. A couple of guys I passed hung with me for a bit and chatted about their plans for a big negative split. The race was a training run for them and a progression run was on the schedule. They wanted to start around 7:15. We went thru the first mile together right at 7:00. Good for me. Just keep at it. Next two miles seemed to take forever. 6:55, 6:57. Solid pace. Mile 4, 6:59. And it felt like a struggle. I kept checking my watch to make sure I was on pace. I felt like I had to keep pushing. More than I should for this early on. Was I really going to be able to keep this pace for 9 more miles? Push through as we got out to a point on Mobile Bay. Super windy, but hit the turn-around (the course is out and back with a dog-leg on the return) and had a tail wind. 6:55. Hey, this feels much easier now. I must’ve been running into the wind without noticing. Whew. Mile 6 done. 6:44.
The wind evened out on the dog-leg (miles 7-9). 6:52-6:58. Still keeping everything under 7:00. Saw a friend on the back side of the dog-leg and he said “sub 1:32”. At that point, I thought “I can hit that… how much lower?” Then it turned into work. Hard work. Focus on not easing up. I told myself to hold it near 7:00 for the next few miles, then see if I could push the final two. 6:55, 6:57 for 10 and 11. I tried to pick it up. 6:51. Okay, that’s a little push. Last mile. Go for it. I heard the negative split guys behind me. I did not want them to catch me. 6:40. Just one final turn to the finish. 1:30:29!! A real half marathon PR! By over 3 minutes!!