So what do you do when your marathon is cancelled? As I mentioned in my last post– you register for some more races! Besides finding a replacement marathon I also decided to throw in a half marathon as a tune-up race since it worked out timing -wise. Last year was the first time I’d ever heard of this race but it was scheduled just one week after the St. Jude Memphis Marathon so I didn’t do it. When my friend Kerri mentioned it to me last week I looked up the course info and was impressed. Anytime I see the words “fast and flat” in a course description I am very tempted!
Goals for this last minute race? I wanted to have a positive race experience going into my upcoming marathon but bottom line was that I really wanted to break 1:25. This has been my half marathon goal all year. I’ve only run two other half marathons this year and although I have improved each time I was not able to do it in either of these races. The first one in February was incredibly windy and I let myself give up way too early. The last one I ran in September was when I was not feeling so well. (I was diagnosed with strep throat the day after the race…) I knew going into this one that the weather and course would be good and I was healthy! All three huge positives going into any race. No excuses!!
Pine Bluff is about an hour and forty-five minutes from where we live so we needed to leave early. Kerri picked me up around 5:15 and it was a pretty easy drive there. We had plenty of time to get our packets, use the restroom and warm-up. It was 39 degrees and overcast but GPS said “felt like” 34 because of some wind. I jogged about a mile and a half and pretty soon it was time to head to the starting line. There were about 220+ runners in the half. Within the first half mile I knew I was second female and fifth overall. Before the first mile marker I started to pass two guys and one asked me if I was the “Arkansas Runner Mom” on Facebook. Lol!! Yes, that’s me!
Mile 1- 6:28. I knew I needed to hit a 6:27 or better to break 1:25 but it usually takes me a few miles to find my rhythm. During this mile the guy I’d passed who asked me about Arkansas Runner Mom came up beside me. He stayed right by me and seemed to want to run my pace so I just went with it!
Mile 2- 6:29.
Mile 3- 6:27.
Mile 4- 6:23.
Mile 5- 6:24.
Mile 6- 6:32.
Mile 7- 6:26.
Mile 8- 6:21.
Mile 9- 6:24. Around the start of this mile my pacing buddy and I passed the 3rd place runner.
Mile 10- 6:27.
Mile 11- 6:26. Around this mile my pacing buddy said he was going to try for a 6:10 or under last mile. He asked if I was up for it. At this point I was pretty out of breath so I muttered something like, I’ll see what I can do– but I was pretty sure that didn’t include running a 6 minute last mile!
Mile 12- 6:28. Tyler (my pacing buddy) had moved on and was ahead of me now so I was on my own for the first time the whole race. I knew I was right on pace to break 1:25 but I realized toward the end of this mile that if I kicked it in the last mile I might actually break 1:24. It was going to be close but it could happen…
Mile 13- 6:17. I was giving it all I had. After mile 13 I saw the clock in the distance and sprinted in the last stretch around a 5:37 pace. I made it under!
OFFICIAL FINISH TIME: 1:23:50. (6:24 avg. pace).
Official Results can be found here.
4th overall/ 2nd female overall. (FYI- The first place overall winner was also the first female with a time of 1:15:27. And… she also set the course record!)
After I finished I went to Kerri’s car to get my phone to call John. Then I started my cool down by running back to meet up with Kerri on the course. I should note that this was her first half marathon ever!! I found her around mile 11.5 looking strong!
I ran with her until the last quarter mile and then I headed across to the finish to get a picture of her crossing the finish line.
Then we took some finish line pictures to celebrate our new PR’s!
CASA also provided a nice little pancake breakfast.
And I officially met and thanked Tyler for helping pace me to my new PR after the race.
The race awards were quite unique too- Thank you James Hayes Art Glass Company!
|Top 3 overall M/F|
Overall, great morning and just the race I needed going into my marathon in two weeks. I’m so glad Kerri mentioned this race and were able to do this one together. If you live in the central Arkansas area I would definitely recommend this half marathon. Hopefully I will get to do this one again sometime!