Gulf Coast Half Marathon Part 2

The race started at 7:00am. By the time we parked the car and went to the restroom, it was time to line up. We made our way quickly to the line up area, sang the national anthem, and we were off. I was so worried about going out too fast and not having anything left at the end. My goal was to start off very slow with a pace between 10:30 and 10:00. As we are running mile 1, I keep checking my watch and see that I am holding exactly were I wanted. Terri looks at me and asks my pace. When I tell her, she informs me that her watch is reporting a pace in the 9:00s. We ask someone running on the side of us and he tells us his pace is 9:49. I realize that my watch is way off! Terri and I stay together for the first couple of miles, and I forget about the watch and start to enjoy the race. I run at a pace that feels great.

By mile 3, I am running by myself. I let my mind wander and enjoy the sights and people for the miles 4-6. The trees along the route are amazing, the houses beautiful, and the spectators friendly. The teams of people at the water stations are outgoing and make an effort to yell out names of runners by looking at our bibs. This was really a nice touch!

I maintain a comfortable running level only slightly increasing speed with each mile. Mile 7 and 8 are along the water and the spectators cheer us on. I find myself making calculations in my head during mile 9. How many miles left? Do I think I should increase my speed yet? Is my watch still about 30 seconds off on the pace? If so, what is my real pace compared to my watch pace? All of this helps mile 9 go by. When I finally made it to mile 10 I was shocked by how good I felt. Should I start to push? Just as I was wondering this, a woman my age or a little younger passes me. I decide to keep up with her and stay behind her at a new, faster pace. During mile 11 she and I pass several people. At mile 12 she slows a little and I cross her. I continue to cross a few more people. I can hear the announcer, but can’t see the finish line yet. I’m in a curve and can’t judge the distance to the finish line. I decide to push and run all out. This speed and the cheering crowd take me across the finish line at 2:00:52 (chip time) 2:02:16(gun time).

 

Terri also ran a great race and finished in 2:17. Afterwards we celebrated with Abita at the post race party.

We are checking “half marathon” off of our list! (Although there will be more half marathons in our future.)

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