This was my second half marathon, after doing the Portland half-marathon last year, which I finished at a pace of 1h58m at about a 9 min/mile pace. I swore I'd never do another half marathon after that race, but here I was. My goal was pretty ambitious: I wanted to shave about a minute per mile off my pace at an 8m/mile.
Kevin had been training for his triathalon this year and was less focused on just the running, so he decided he'd got for a different pace than me. Cathie, Maddie and Nate, my sister Susan and family and my Dad and Judy were there throughout the course to cheer us on. It made such a huge difference seeing them, giving me a great burst of energy.
I ran the first 10 miles at about a 7:55 pace, going strong. I ran in front of the 8 minute/mile pace guy and my goal was to keep my heart rate below 165 bpm for the first half of the race.
At about 10 miles, I experienced side cramps that I'd never had before. Ironically, this is something Nate had experienced when he and I ran and it was Tiffany who taught Nate and I how to breathe through it. It went away after about a mile, but that mile was brutal. At that point the 8 min/mile pace guy passed me and I just wanted to keep him in my sights to hit my target time. By the end of the race, my heart rate was the highest it had ever been at 186 (previously 181 at the end of my last 10k). Every turn I was hoping was the last and I had nothing more to give when I rounded the last turn and saw my family waiting for me, cheering me on!
You can see part of the runkeeper race here. It crapped out part way through when I got a text message from Eli, which started, "Hey, you're probably in the middle of your race..."
It was cool having my Dad there, as he was the one who got me started running years ago when he would take me out with him on his morning runs. I didn't take to it then, but my Dad was always a great role model around exercise in terms of getting us involved with him in biking, skiing and running.
I'm still not there to want to run a full marathon. Maybe someday. This year's training was far better than last year. I felt like I trained more at a pace of what I wanted to do, instead of rigidly following a training schedule. My speed was helped in a big way by doing the sprint relays in my training, and the Playmaker's Running Form class took away my soreness related to my form.
My next goal is to run a 5k with my son. We're training this month to do it.