My fastest half marathon of 2014! Didn't get a PR this year, but after spending more than half of the year injured, I'm just happy I got within a minute!
My watch clocked me at 13.28 miles in 1:28:55. Strava says I ran 13.1 in 1:27:53, which is my long-awaited PR, if the GPS was accurate! I have no way to know for sure, so I can only unofficially consider it a PR. But it is a confidence boost for future races, when I will hopefully break 1:28 again.
I am ridiculously happy with how this race went. Finishing under 1:30 after only 3 months back in training is better than I dared hope for. I knew I was on track for a great finish throughout the whole race, but I was never sure if I would be able to keep the pace or if I would crash and burn. The first 6 miles were run with the 10k, and I went out fast. It felt good, so I decided to just keep it and see what happened. The course was mostly flat, a few small roling hills here and there. There was a long hill around mile 8, and it was perfect. It was just the right steepness to energize me and I was able to really power to the top. I had claimed second place somewhere around mile 7, and I claimed first place around mile 8.5. Both girls came into my sight at mile 6 when we split off from the 10k. I kept my focus on them, one at a time, and slowly reeled them in. When I passed the girl to take first place, I could tell she was struggling, and as far as I could tell, she didn't try to stay with me. I didn't let myself get too confident about my place in the race; there were several times when I really wanted to slow down and just hope noone would pass me, but I managed to stay strong all the way to the finish.
I was very relieved that my lungs never gave out on me during the race. The temp was in the mid-high 20s, so I did end up with a pretty violent coughing fit as soon as I broke from a cool down jog to a walk. I'm so glad the cough always holds off until I stop...I could never start running again after coughing like that!