Just Two Laps Around the Lake

Today, I ran my 2nd Half Marathon, Just a Short Run.  This was a HUGE race, with around 2,500 participants, which, admittedly isn’t an enormous race, but considering the venue, it was packed.  I ran into a friend who I haven’t seen in 2 years, Nicole.  I also met up with several other friends who I knew would be there, Jennifer, Marlene, Lori, and Mike.  I did not see Lisa, but I know she finished her 8.1 miles well before I finished my 13.1.

It was a beautiful, but cold, start.  The temperature was a chilly 26° Fahrenheit, but as the race went on, it reached the mid-50s. It was a quite beautiful day, and I was able to remove my gloves and jacket on my final mile or so and push by Bondi Band back behind my ears. 

I run using Galloway’s run/walk/run method, and was pushing for a PR (personal record).  My previous half was officially a 2:49:51.  I wanted a 2:45 or better, but as long as I made some improvement, I knew I’d be pleased.  My run/walk ratio is 2:30 minutes/1 minute, and I pace between 12 and 13 minute miles.

Our course started out and soon headed for a nice, big hill.  It was crowded on the course, so I ran a fair bit before I took my first walk break.  The hill didn’t kill me and my breaks started working out, hitting at the perfect times.  I planned when to take on energy gels, water, and Gatorade, and didn’t take anything on until we finished the 5k piece.  My mantra at the beginning of the race was, “just two laps around the lake”, pretty much ignoring the 5k piece. 

As we started around the lake after the 5k finished, I muttered my mantra one last time.  The lake laps are 5 miles.  I tried not to pay attention to my GPS except to hear the interval tones.  Around halfway through the first loop, I noticed Jennifer had slowed down, so I encouraged her to run/walk with me.  She had hurt her ankle previously and it was acting up.  Marlene caught up to us a bit later, and we all worked intervals mostly together until Jennifer finished her 8.1 miles.

Marlene and I kept on for our final lap.  Now it was simply will power and making sure we fueled well for that lap.  About halfway through, Marlene noted a blister, and began to slow.  We stayed together for most of the final loop, but then we hit less than 1.5 miles left and I noted the time was 2:30.  I began to speed my runs, and Marlene no longer kept up.  At the last half mile, I decided to drop my walks and run all the way in.  My time was (unofficially) 2:47. 

I’m very happy with my run, and my medal is the biggest and heaviest yet.  My next half isn’t until August, so I get to relax my training.  My next race is my family run, the Superhero 5k.  All 6 of us will be “running” it together, at the same location I was at today.  I guess I should get serious about sewing up our capes.

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