The race started at 9AM, so I was able to sleep in, have a nice breakfast with my family, and then make my way to the race start. My husband dropped me off because it was a point to point race, and he and my two boys headed to the park to play.
When I got to the start, I was surprised at how nice the weather was. It was sunny, beautiful, and there was barely any wind. In case you are wondering, I decided to wear my running skirt, a short sleeved shirt, and a long sleeve shirt. I was glad I wore my skirt b/c I would have been hot in the capris. I still had about 20min. to the start, so I hung out for awhile, made my way to the port-a-potty line for one last time, checked in my bag, and headed to the start area. Because the race was run on a narrow multi-use trail, they had pace signs to help prevent a major back-up at the start. I stood in the 8:00/mile line, knowing that I was hoping to run at or a little slower than this pace.
The gun sounded and we were off! The first 2 miles were run around the main street of Littleton, then headed onto the Platte trail. I felt good and tried to keep my pace above 8:00miles. For the first 6 miles or so the trail was pretty much flat with a couple inclines here or there. I was able to maintain my pace and I was still feeling good. But, after the half way point, the inclines started getting bigger and more frequent. If I would have known there were so many inclines I would have trained on more hills. Most of my training runs were done on pretty flat areas, and although the inclines were followed by short down hills, my legs were just not prepared for all the climbing. My pace started slowing and I started getting worried that I wouldn't meet my goal.
We ran right by the Platte river, so there was always a small, cool breeze while we ran. My long sleeve shirt worked perfectly, but after mile 9, I was burning up. I had to stop to take it off, and when I did, I immediately felt how tight my legs were. I really wanted to stretch them out, but I had already wasted a couple of minutes, so I decided to skip the stretching and start running again. I got back up to pace, but then around mile 10.5 I started getting side cramps...ughh! My pace dropped a little more as I tried to run through the pain. Finally I realized I was breathing pretty shallow, making the cramps worse, so I tried to really focus on my breathing. Before long, the cramps were gone (thank god!) and I just really wanted to be done.
There was one last aid station just before mile 12 where I grabbed some powerade. Then, came the big hill. I knew this was part of the race, but I did not realize how hard it would be. It started at mile 12.1 and lasted until about mile 12.8. My legs were burning and my body was screaming for me to stop and walk, but I didn't. I kept my head up, drove with my legs, and focused on picking people off one by one. At the top of the hill I knew I had to kick it in gear if I wanted to PR. I turned the corner, saw the finish, and gave it all I could. I saw my husband and boys and heard them screaming, "Go, mommy go." It was awesome! I crossed the finish line at 1:47:06, a new PR by 2 1/2 minutes! It wasn't exactly what I was shooting for, but I was happy with it.
Happy and sweaty after my race!Here are my splits:
Mile 1: 7:47/M
Mile 2: 7:48/M
Mile 3: 7:51/M
Mile 4: 7:47/M
Mile 5: 7:46/M
Mile 6: 7:55/M
Mile 7: 7:56/M
Mile 8: 8:08/M
Mile 9: 8:00/M
Mile 10: 9:01/M (Stopped to take long sleeved shirt off)
Mile 11: 8:14/M
Mile 12: 8:37/M (feeling the inclines)
Mile 13.1: 8:37/M (Massive hill!)
Total: 13.18M(according to my Garmin) Time: 1:47 Pace: 8:07/M
I definitely think not training on any hills really played a part in my time today. I wish I could do the same 1/2 marathon I did last year (which is completely flat) and see what my time would be. It's hard to compare race times when they are completely different races. That being said, I'm pretty happy that I PR'd on a course with inclines. I'll definitely be back next year to do this again. Only next time, I'll spend more time doing hills!
This evening, we celebrated my race and the first 70 degree day of spring. I made some homemade guacamole, and we had grilled portabello "burgers", grilled pineapple, and cauliflower mashers. Yum! It was a great end to a great day! :) I hope everyone else that raced today had a good race. I can't wait to read all of your race reports.