I was really hoping for a PR today. The course was flat (mostly), and I feel overdue for a PR...since I haven't set one since Myrtle Beach last February when I ran a 1:28. According to this race's results from the past two years, I had a very good chance of winning the race if I ran a PR. Unfortunately for me, I did not PR or win. And the two people ahead of me either did not run in the last two years or got drastically better. They were fast. 1st place finished in about 1:27. I finished in 1:30:54, making this my 3rd race in the 1:30 time-frame. And the slowest of the 3. But, I gave the race everything I had. I just didn't have as much as I had hoped for. I'll blame the crappy weather I had to train in for the last 2-3 weeks.
I started the race pretty fast. Probably much too fast. But I don't race with a watch anymore (so that I can't be constantly obsessing over my splits), so I don't actually know how fast it was. But there is a very good chance that my first mile was sub 6. I was in first place for the first mile or 2. I kept a good steady pace for at least the first half of the race. I started feeling the wall by mile seven, but valiantly tried to ignore it. By the last 2/3 miles, I was going in spurts. I'd slow down, then tell myself to stop giving up and surge forward until I died again. There was no one in sight behind me at that point, but I was still afraid someone would have a massive kick and rob me of 3rd place. So that helped me keep surging ahead.
This is the first half marathon I have done that did not hand out finisher medals. I find this very disappointing. Every finisher medal I have is unique, usually depicting something special about the race/town. And it's nice to have medals to keep count of how many halfs I have done. Another disappointing aspect of this race is that they did not acknowledge top 3 places, only the overall winners. So instead of walking away with a trophy for 3rd place overall, I walked away with a trophy for 2nd place in my age category. Not nearly as glorious in my opinion. Although I am in the most competitive female age category, so it's still a good prize to walk away with I suppose. All in all, it was a good race and I'm glad I did it, but I have no desire to return next year. Too bad, because February races within reasonable driving distance are hard to find. Last year I went to Myrtle Beach, but that was even flatter than this race
and I don't want to run that one again either.
Also, medals are way nicer that trophies because they take up less space...I suspect that I will keep my medals longer than I keep the trophies. The trophies are cool, but at some point I will probably get tired of them collecting dust. Also, I am running out of space on my trophy shelf. Medals hang nicely on the wall.
The race didn't start til 11 am, which was really weird. I was awake early because of insomnia/not sleeping in my own bed, so I had a lot of time to kill. Also, I heard there wouldn't be much parking, so I was there by 8:30 to get a decent parking spot. Clearly, no one else was that worried, because I got a spot right next to the start/finish line. And then I wandered around the state park for awhile, taking pictures.
Sunrise at the hotel.
I love this type of fencing. It always looks so cool.
Would you want to live on a street with this name?
It was very hard to decide which shoes to race in. I'm not entirely happy with any of my shoes right now. I got a new pair in November, and these ones in January. It drives me crazy that shoe companies can't just leave a good thing alone. They always have to take my favorite models and change them.