Going into this race, I was pretty excited. I felt like I had good training gains, despite not quite getting my pace back from before my “end of season” break. This race last year gave me my personal best to date, and I was ready to PR again.
Something else that I was trying to keep in mind was that for the previous year’s race, I hadn’t had the four weeks off running at the same time. My break was earlier in the year, due to a January marathon. So, trying to pay attention to the differences in my body and training paces was important to me. All things considered, I felt like I had a 1:23-1:25 half marathon in me.
The morning of the race I felt tired, not sleepy tired, but my legs felt tired. I had had a long day at work the day before. Figuring that my adrenaline would take care of it once the race started, I wasn’t too concerned. During the first three miles, I avoided looking at my Garmin in order to simply focus on steadying my pace and breathing – finding my “groove.” But after mile 4, I could tell I still started a little too fast. I tried to focus and regain control as best as I could. I steadied out, but couldn’t find the “comfortable” burn I was looking for. The feeling of light and smooth eluded me. There was a big hill at mile 9, and after that it was a smooth downhill finish. However, I still couldn’t get my legs to turn over like they should have. I finished the race realizing I just barely beat my previous time by a mere 36 seconds. This disappointment set in. It wasn’t a good effort, and I knew it. I didn’t feel exerted enough, but my legs were so heavy. You can’t have a good race every race, and I’m not saying it was a bad race. But I think I had more in me at my current level of running fitness.
Regardless of my disappointment, it was still a slight personal best. All I can do is keep learning and reflecting. Real progress is coming in the year ahead – I can feel it in my bones. For now, I’m looking forward to a hopeful redemption race with a 15k in a few weeks.
Finish Time – 1:27:51
Overall – 89th of 5044
Female – 14th of 2701
Age Group – 4th of 462