Saturday, April 12, 2014

Race #5: Charlotte RaceFest half marathon

Today was the big day that I was worried about when I first started this training plan. The plan was to run 5-7 miles before the race then complete the half marathon and finish up with a 3-5 mile run home. Last night I checked out the potential routes and the fastest route home was about 3.5 miles, so I knew I needed to get in about 6.5 miles before the race started. I decided to get up around 5:00 in order to get out of the house by 5:30 - that gave me 1.5 hours to get my miles in before meeting up with the rest of the team and get to the start line by 7:30. 

Side note - the dogs stayed in doggie daycare Thursday morning to Friday afternoon and were dead to the world Friday night. I let them outside this morning when I got up and as soon as they came inside, they went straight back to bed!

My route took me 6.5 miles from my house to the start line, then through the half marathon course, and finally 4 miles back home. I knew the route would be hilly, but the half marathon course was tough (miles 6.5 - about mile 20 below)! 
Mile 1 - 11:40
Mile 2 - 11:26
Mile 3 - 11:25
Mile 4 - 11:42
Mile 5 - 11:05
Mile 6 - 11:19

Average pace 11:26

The first mile was pretty rough, but then I got into the groove of things. It was really nice  out and there wasn't much traffic on the road, so I put on some music and just jammed out while running down the road in the dark! By the time I got to the start of the race, the sun was starting to come up and there were some beautiful pinks highlighting the sky.
Mile 7 - 12:25
Mile 8 - 11:28
Mile 9 - 11:36
Mile 10 - 11:18
Mile 11 - 10:47
Mile 12 - 10:37

Average pace 11:22

The start of the race was really crowded, so my first mile was slower than I had hoped, but I really just ran by feel again, so as I started to do the math in my head about how fast I was running, I was really surprised to be so much faster than my expected 12 minute  per mile pace.

Mile 13 - 11:08
Mile 14 - 11:43
Mile 15 - 10:36
Mile 16 - 11:02
Mile 17 - 11:53
Mile 18 - 11:34

Average pace 11:19

I finished the half marathon right around mile 20 and while I didn't spend too much time at the post-race party, I definitely felt my legs tighten up from even that little bit of stopping to talk with a friend. I also had to spend a little bit of time waiting for stoplights once I started my trek back home. During one of my breaks, I stretched out my calves and that stopped them from completely cramping up. 

Mile 19 - 11:25
Mile 20 - 11:20
Mile 21 - 11:24
Mile 22 - 13:08
Mile 23 - 13:04
Last .51 - 11:54

Average pace 12:02

Official time: 2:28:11
Overall pace 11:32

I crossed the finish line with the clock showing just around 2:30, so I knew I had run much faster than my half marathon 2 weeks ago. I definitely wasn't expecting to run that fast, and I paid for it the last few miles with cramping and IT band issues. The lesson learned from this is that I shouldn't stop for any amount of time during my marathon and that I really need to be aware of my speed during the first half of the race even if I'm feeling good. 

Did you race this weekend? 


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