Run the Line Half Marathon is the 4th race on the Arkansas Grand Prix schedule and once again this race turned into a girls weekend. Good times! I rode down to Texarkana with my friends Natalie and Beverly. There we met up with Amy and Lorri. We picked up our race packets and then headed to dinner.
After dinner we checked into our hotel and got everything ready for race morning. I never know what my sleep will be like the night before a race (especially when it’s not at home) but since I wasn’t stressing about this one I slept really good. I guess I need to put less pressure on myself for all my races!
We got to the race with plenty of time to warmup and use the restrooms. I had an annoying side stitch the first mile of my warm-up but fortunately it went away during the second mile. After we did some strides it was time to head to the start.
I didn’t go into Run the Line with a specific goal time in mind. I had a goal pace range but I really wanted to focus on started conservative and finishing strong. Having run this race last year I knew what to expect and I looked at last year’s race splits to see what I could do to improve. Last year I started closer to goal pace and struggled through the middle/ later miles. It was warm (mid to upper 60’s) and I wasn’t expecting so many hills. Last year’s race experience can be found here. This year I wanted to start in the upper 6:30’s and work my way down from there. Mission accomplished!
Mile 1- 6:39. It didn’t feel as good as I would have liked but I chalked it up to finding my pace.
Mile 2- 6:38. Starting to get better. I found a little pack to run with which was convenient.
Mile 3- 6:34. Sticking with the pack.
Mile 4- 6:40. A few turns and rolling hills.
Mile 5- 6:31. Toughest climb in mile 5 so once we made it through this I let myself pick up the pace a little.
Mile 7- 6:20. The pack was down to me and another guy (Jerry) but he was setting a good pace so I stuck with him.
Mile 8- 6:22. Just tried to get though the park section. This was the toughest stretch for me mentally.
Mile 9- 6:22. Jerry pulled ahead but I kept him close within sight.
Mile 10- 6:28. Now I was focused on getting through the neighborhood section.
Mile 11- 6:22. Last 5k so I started counting down.
Mile 12- 6:23. Seemed like every mile started with a hill so I spent the second half of each mile trying to get my pace back on track.
Mile 13- 6:17. I knew from last year I could pick up the pace in this mile. I was able to pass 2 guys in this mile but Jerry was still ahead of me. I just stayed right behind him.
Mile 13.17- 6:07 avg.
Official Finish Time: 1:25:10 (1st Female OA). Official Results can be found here.
This was actually my first race win of 2017. I felt good about race effort. At the start my watch average was around 6:40 and when I finished it was 6:28. Definitely encouraging to see it go that way.
This isn’t an easy course by any means but it is very well organized and well marked. We ran through Arkansas and Texas at different times during the race and each mile marker was in the shape of the state we were in which was fun. My advice to anyone running this race would be to start conservative (slower than goal pace) and once you make it up the hill from 5-5.5 then pick up the pace. I had a much better race experience this year since I raced it that way.
All in all a good last race before the Little Rock Marathon! Now I’m just trying to stay relaxed, positive, and know that I can do this.