It's very hard to understand in the beginning that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants to quit. -- Dr. George Sheehan
I didn't know much about the Star City Half-Marathon before running the race. I knew the race was cheap, local and would be a great training run for Mathis and I leading up to the marathon. Although I was excited for the race, it wasn't a race that I had given too much thought to.
My sweet friends Wendy and Hannah also signed up for the half without much thought, and here we are together before the race wondering what we'd gotten ourselves into! :)
My handsome husband and I together before the race...
The race had a late start, and it wasn't chip timed -- those were the only real downsides to the whole event. Instead of starting at 9:00 as scheduled, we didn't begin running until 9:30 and that felt so late! The weather was cool, but I knew it was also expected to warm up so I was torn in what to wear. I started running with my jacket, but I later took it off, and I'm forever grateful to Wendy who ran it back to the car after mile 2!
Runners gathering together before the race...
And we're off!
I ran the first few miles with Wendy and Hannah before taking off. My ultimate goal in this race was to run my best race. I wanted to get a PR, and I felt that it was very attainable for me to do that. My time at the Blue Ridge Half-Marathon in April was 2:24:53. Not only have I improved since April, but this course was MUCH flatter than Blue Ridge.
I really watched my pace A LOT during this race. I didn't want to go out too fast, but I wanted to push myself at the same time. I eventually found a good pace at 9:45, and I tried hard to stay under 10:00 but over 9:30. At times I ran faster, and at times I ran a little slower. I passed up a lot of people in this race. I don't say this in a prideful way whatsoever. I started in the back and I just naturally passed up a lot of runners throughout the rest of the race. I only say this because I'm normally near the VERY end of the pack like in the Blacksburg Classic when I couldn't see any runners in front of me. I have come a long ways from one year ago when I seriously started to run, and I am proud of the progress I've made. I hope I continue to push myself and progress in my running for many years to come! I'm still a slow runner, but I'm making progress each and every day.
The course was very flat, and it was a beautiful run. It never felt too crowded, but I also felt like I had enough camaraderie to enjoy the race with other runners. I love being around other runners! I took in a lot of conversations, and I chatted with a few other people during the race. I didn't run with music, but I haven't run with music in months so that's nothing new!
I started feeling pretty tired during miles 8-9 but I told myself to keep running as fast as I could. I could tell that I was going to definitely PR by this time, and I got really excited. I began to reset my goal in hopes of running under 2:20. Then I realized I could probably run under 2:15!!!! The excitement continued to build.
Around mile 10 I ran by my friend Stacie. I was a little out of it by this point and it took me awhile to notice her. I got so excited once I did!!! She was with Hannah and Wendy's husbands (who I expected to be there), but it was such a fun surprise to see Stacie with her camera. She got some fun pictures of Mathis and I (click to see them larger)...
Seeing Stacie gave me a big push to keep going! Unfortunately right after I passed her, there was a BIG hill. I had to walk some of this hill, but I'm a fast walker and I ran fast after finishing the hill. From this point on I tried to really book it. I had less than a 5K left, and I meant business. My legs were starting to hurt, but I told myself to keep running.
I saw Mathis waiting for me at the finish line, and I could tell he was really proud of my finishing time. It meant so much to me that he was there to see me finish! He knew that I had blown my PR out of the water, and it felt SO great! I finished the race with an official gun time of 2:13:17.7 which averages out to a 10 minute, 10 second pace. I am really proud of this time, and it was much faster than I had expected.
Here I am after finishing Half-Marathon #2!!!!!
The medals were stars, and I thought they were pretty fun. The race was only $35, and I'm amazed at what they did with that price!
Stacie had put together race packets for us with food, gatorade, CHOCOLATE MILK and even fresh cupcakes. It was such a nice treat to have all of that after the race! :)
Mathis had hoped to run the half in under 2 hours, and he beat this goal by running the race in 1:55:12.6. His old PR was right at 2 hours, and I know he's proud to have beat this time!
I had a lot of fun at this race. It was pretty low-key, but a great experience overall. It was a lot of fun to have Wendy and Hannah running the race too, and they both did so well. They didn't train much at all for the race, but they both got out there like running champs and ran 13.1 miles like it was any other day. :)
I really love the half distance, and I'm already looking forward to my next half-marathon in March. I was able to send in my race time to Disney so now I'll have a better corral for the marathon. I still don't have any goal times for the Disney Marathon, but it will be nice to start a little bit ahead. Disney will be my first marathon, and I simply want to enjoy each and every mile -- all 26 of them! :)
Time: 2:13:17.7 (10:10/M)
Miles this Month: 87.5