I initially added this race to my calendar with hopes of improving my marathon time. After a weird season leading up to it, I decided that a fast half marathon was a more attainable goal. A few weeks out from the race, I registered for the half and cobbled together a few weeks of a schedule.
I was excited for the half because when I ran the full marathon last year, I had a great time in the first half. I was hoping that I would have a great time in the first again but without having to do the second half!
Leading up to race weekend, I had an extremely stressful week at work and I was also having stomach problems. Not the ideal conditions to try to PB a race. I decided that I would just go out there and do the best I could.
On race morning, I got a drive to a km from the start and then walked the rest the way as a warm up. It was already hot and humid out and threatening to start raining. I got into my corral and looked for some friendly faces since I knew a lot of people doing this race but I didn’t find anyone.
Way too quickly, it was go time! I had found the 1:45 pace bunny and decided to try to run with him since that was my goal time. At the last minute, he pushed through a bunch of people and lost everyone that was waiting in the corral to follow him. I decided that I’d try to find him later or just run my own race.
The first 5 km, it rained which actually wasn’t too bad because it was warm out. My watch was wrong from the start and claimed I was at 1km probably 200m before the sign and it just got worse from there. I tried to catch up to the pace bunny and found him at around 3km. I stayed with him until I realized that he was running about 10 seconds per km too fast and I didn’t want to blow up my race by doing that.
I saw a couple people I knew between km 6 – 10 which gave me a real boost. And then you run on Lakeshore Blvd with no real crowd support and I was really fading. I kept telling myself that I just had to keep going and that the race would really start at 15km.
There were a couple good spots but for most of the time after 5km, I was hurting. I kept hoping that things would get better so I tried to hang on to the pace. Until 16 or 17km, I managed to stay on pace and starting at 16km, I was counting down each 500m until I finished. I was slowing down but I told myself that the faster I ran, the faster I would be done.
The rain had stopped after the first 20 minutes so I spent most of the race soaking wet and I didn’t realize until later that my leg was badly chafed.
My goal time was 1:45 and I ended up crossing the finish line in 1:46:23 beating my PB by almost 5 minutes. Just looking at the time, it looks like the race was a success but honestly, it wasn’t. I didn’t feel good or enjoy most of it. By the time I was done, I didn’t even care about the time, I was just happy to be done.
The race taught me that having a race where I feel good and I’m enjoying myself is more important to me than being really fast.
As always, the race was well organized and it’s a very nice, mostly flat course. Now that I’ve gotten PBs in almost every road distance this year, I’m ready to get back to the trails and longer runs.