Mobile Half Marathon.
A slight sidebar before I talk about my race at the 2019 Mobile Marathon. I am super stoked to announce that I have been selected to the Altra Red Team!! I’ve been running in Altras pretty much exclusively for over five years. (I did try a pair of Hokas for a couple of runs about a year ago). I am so happy to be representing a brand and company I really believe in. I am so thankful for this great opportunity, both to get more exposure as an athlete and to get to meet, virtually (and hopefully in person) some amazing athletes that are part of the Red Team!! There really are not enough exclamation points to get across my level of excitement!
Okay, from that super exciting news to more good news. My first race of 2019! First, just a bit about the race. The Mobile Marathon (formerly 1st Light Marathon) benefits L’Arche, a foundation that supports individuals with intellectual disabilities. The residents of the L’Arche house hand-make the finishers medallions and awards, which makes them super special. Some of the residents also come to the race to hand out the medallions and awards. It’s an extra benefit to know that by doing what I love, running, I’m supporting such a great cause!
This was an interesting race because going in, I didn’t really have a time in mind. I needed to push it. Race it. But, I wasn’t sure how that equated to a time. The focus has been on getting ready for the 50 miler. I figured if I started out around my recent PR pace, I could see what happened from there. I decided to shoot for 6:55 pace, or so. Took off a little fast, but tried to settle in that first mile. 6:53. Okay. I came alongside a woman, at a similar pace to me. I thought we’d be able to hang together for a bit. As I caught up, she pressed. So, I backed off. Then, I eased up towards her (or she eased back to me – not sure which). Again, when I got close, she sped up. Really? We’re 3 miles into a half marathon. Not the time to be racing. This happened a few times, and apparently caused me to push the pace a bit more than intended. 6:47-6:50. But I felt good, so went with it. There was a pack in front of us that we were closing in on. Once we reached them, about mile 4, I settled in with them. We went thru a water stop around mile 5. When we came out, I was next to one of the guys who had been leading the pack and the rest disappeared. We started chatting and settled into a nice groove. A couple of 6:46 miles. Chatting and putting down the miles, we caught up to a guy (Aaron Rodgers doppelgänger!) who hung with us.
They were both running the marathon, so at the split, a little past mile 8, I was on my own. 6:54. Still ahead of my intended pace. Even if it was a bit of a last-minute decision for that pace. I still felt comfortable, so I focused on maintaining. Keep on trucking. 6:46. Then, I could start to feel my left hamstring. I knew it wasn’t anything serious, but I also didn’t want to press. Just kept steady at it. 6:52, 6:53. With a mile left to go, I realized, I’m looking at a new PR! Picked it up a little. 6:43. Crossed the line at 1:29:54!! Finished feeling strong. With a 30+ second PR, and 2nd female!!