I guess this post could also be titled, “Another race the Arkansas Grand Prix Series got me to run…” I’ve decided that since I’m not running Boston this year (or any big out of state race for that matter) I’m embracing our in-state racing series more than in the past. Run the Line Half Marathon was the 4th race on the Grand Prix schedule this year. When I first considered running it I checked with J to see if it would work for our family. To keep it simple/ economical we decided I would go with a couple teammates and make a quick weekend girls trip of it.
Texarkana is a city on the border of Texas and Arkansas located about three hours from where I live. My teammates Natalie, Trish, and I left Saturday afternoon and arrived at packet pickup around 4:30. I realized an hour into the trip that I’d left my cell phone at home. It was going to be a quick trip and my friends had their phones so I let J know. If he needed me he knew how to reach me. 🙂 It did feel a little strange not being able to do all the things I usually do (text, email, check social media, etc.) but it was pretty relaxing too!
After we picked up our packets we checked into our hotel- the Residence Inn. I think it was one of the host hotels because they offered a Run the Line special rate. Then we had dinner at Hopkins Icehouse & Grill. Saturday night was pretty low key and I was actually in bed and asleep by just after 9. That never happens! Honestly, it was probably the best night-before-a-race sleep I’ve ever had! Almost 9 hours?! I guess I needed it and I was definitely not stressing about the race. I really need to do this before other races. I tend to overthink and keep myself awake worrying about things. This was not the case with Run the Line!
Sunday morning we left our hotel just after 7 am. There was plenty of parking near the start. We warmed up a little over 1.5 miles and made a few trips to the restroom. One of my only suggestions for this race would be to provide a few more portapotties/ restrooms. The lines were crazy long and several of us almost missed the start.
I went into this race with a much different attitude than my last half marathon. Most of the winter training I’ve done has been in around 30 degree temps. Race day temps were going to be mid to upper 60’s. With Little Rock Marathon two weeks away I wasn’t going for an all out half marathon effort. The plan was to run a combination of marathon and some half marathon paced miles- 6:30’s/ 6:40’s. I did not want another repeat performance of the CASA Half Marathon.
From the beginning I stayed with a few guys who also run in the Grand Prix series. Around mile 5 we started to separate and after a few miles on my own I found myself going back and forth with a guy from Conway. I finally pulled ahead of him and then fell into another pack for a few miles. There was a little confusion around the 15k point where a right turn sign had fallen. One of the runners I was with continued to run straight but the other guy (I think he was from Texarkana) said he thought we were supposed to turn. Sure enough he was right and we saw an arrow far ahead in the distance confirming our route. If I had been by myself I’m sure I would have gone straight. (We learned after the race several runners went off course there because of the fallen sign.) I’m very glad I was with someone who knew where they were going!
I kept pushing and thought I’d pulled ahead of both of the guys I was with but at the end of mile 12 I could hear one of them right behind me. I decided to kick it up a notch for the last mile. So did he. He actually surged past me in the last split second. I finished in 1:27:24.7. (He was 1:27:24.5.)
Official Finish Details 1:27:24 (1st Female). Results can be found here.
Splits: 6:32, 6:28, 6:29, 6:35, 6:38, 6:44, 6:44, 6:44, 6:39, 6:53, 6:46, 6:47, 6:29, 0:53 (5:43 avg.) for last 0.16.
After the race I jogged over to find my teammates. Natalie finished 4th female and 1st in her AG and Trish placed 2nd in hers and set a new PR!
All in all it was a fun trip to a new city and a great way to get in another race/ workout before the Little Rock Marathon. Only 11 days to go!! Big Little Rock training recap post coming up next.