Okay, now short story long - I ran the Full Moon Half in Sheboygan WI on Saturday. It was a point to point race, which was nice as most races I've done are out and back races. It was small - the smallest half I've done with less than 200 finishers. It had a 5K and 2 kids races as well; my daughter did the 200 yard dash (I wanted her to run the .25m lap around the track but she would have had to be 8, so she did the 200 yard dash instead.)
Her race was adorable; my friend's husband video'ed it and my husband got this great shot of her shooting across the finish line:
How cute is she?!
Though about the size of a half dollar coin, her medal is nicer than mine...maybe I should have opted for 200yds?
For my run, my friend Barb and I caught the shuttle at the finish line to take us to the start line. We got there early (pre race jitters!) and puttered around looking for the start line before we each went off to do our warm ups; we would later realize the start line hadn't been set up yet, but were a little concerned to start with!
The race started at 6pm (or pretty close) and we were off; I promised myself to keep the first few miles easy but it didnt happen. The pace felt good though - not super easy, but I wasn't struggling at all so I did my best to just settle into it.
Mile 1: 9:48 (I had thought I'd open 10:30...err, ok)
Mile 2: 9:59 (biiiiiig hill. Hai hill.)
Mile 3: 9:48 (Steady...)
Mile 4: 9:49 (Steady steady...)
The second mile brought one of the biggest hills of the course but I kept it pretty close to a steady pace...I was really worried about burning out on the hills but I was still thinking the "downhill course" would be easy.
Mile 5: 10:02 (ended on an up, derp)
Mile 6: 9:50 (hanging steady! pretty happy with my splits at this point.)
Mile 7: 9:40 (Okay, maybe a little too happy...?)
Mile 8: 10:13 (I stopped at the aid station to fill my water bottle; I had finished my 20oz handheld...it was hot!)
Mile 9 was killer though and a huge confidence buster. From about 8.88 to 9.3 was all uphill, with almost 40 feet of climb over that stretch. I have to admit I walked it, even though I ran the other hills on course. I'm not sure if this was a mental toughness thing or just the hill - a lot of people walked it - but it was killer, and mile 9 was my slowest mile of the day. I was a little bummed I walked and spent a little bit of time berating myself, but I got back on track.
Mile 9: 10:18
Mile 10: 10:01
Mile 11: 10:06
Mile 12: 10:06
11 and 12 both came in at 10:06; I did walk the last aid station as I was starting to feel pretty leaden from holding this pace longer than I ever have before. I knew from my tempo runs I had it in me but knowing that and doing it are two different things! But I'm proud of how consistent my splits were for this run.
Mile 13: 9:56
Mile 13.19: 1:26
Mile 13 came in at 9:56 even with a quick walk break as we switched to sidewalks (it threw me for some reason - I didn't walk long but I wanted to make sure I hadn't hurt my knee, because how much would that suck at the end of a race!). Then the final stretch put us out onto the track and towards the finish line; what was HORRIBLE was that as you come onto the track the finish line is right to your left - but you have to go right to do a full lap around the track.
I'm going to admit something embarrassing here; at 13.12 I stopped running for a second. I don't know why, but my brain was just like "I'm done." The guy running next to me literally yelled, "You can't walk now!" I groaned, but he was totally right. I honestly am not even sure why I did that. I mean, what the heck? Dude. Duuuude. IDEK. But thank you, runner whose name I didn't catch - you kept me going when I really needed to. Thank you for yelling at me, and thank you for essentially reeling me in to the finish line. I think there's an honest chance I might have walked it other. (Again, what?! What? I have no idea.)
In the end though, I ran a really good race and I'm really proud of it. My splits were consistent and pretty steady, and while I didn't get the sub-10 pace I was aiming for, 2:11:21 and a 10:02 pace - plus a 13 1/2 minute PR! - sound pretty good to me. I did slow down the second half compared to the first, but I think I really put pretty damn close to my everything into this course.
The race really was fantastic; the aid stations were well placed and the volunteers were awesome. The crowd at the finish line was great. The one complaint? The medal was lousy - a sticker medal for a half marathon? What a bummer, not really a keepsake worth traveling for! I usually take a picture for the blog but it's..a sticker of the race logo. It says half marathon and 5k. Definite blah, unfortunately.
It's not a size thing...the medal is thin and the sticker is peeling. Bleh!