Sunday, October 4, 2009

Race Report: The Middle Half

Alternatively Titled: The Race that Wasn't Really a Race

I know what you're thinking.  "This chick's running a marathon next week and she goes and runs a half marathon 8 days before?!"

Hear me out though... my training plan called for 10 miles at marathon pace for this weekend.  I have also run The Middle Half both years that they've had it, so I felt like I couldn't skip out on it this year.  Who doesn't like to run a race every year they've had it?

So I decided that as long as I took it easy and didn't actually race the half marathon that it wouldn't be so bad to use it as my final long run for Chicago.

My cousin, her husband, another friend and the Bob were all running, and we grabbed a quick photo before the start.  Fall weather has arrived in middle TN (though don't get too excited for me.. there's always a few more hot days lingering somewhere about this time of year) so you'll notice that we all look quite cold.  We were.

This was my cousin's first half marathon ever, so I decided that it'd be fun to keep her and our friend company and try to help pace them along the way.  This ultimately ended up being a really good decision: it helped me to not overdo it, and I believe it helped them to reach my cousin's goal of a 2:15.

I love this next picture.  It's like we're all perfectly in sync.

It was perfect weather for running.  I wasn't cold once we started running, but I never really got too hot either.  We managed to consistently hit 10:00 minute miles, only losing a little time here and there when we walked water stops.  Speaking of the water stops, they were superb this year!  They finally realized that no one likes that Accelerade crap and served Snapple antioxidant water instead.  It was quite good and easy on the stomach.  Not only did I appreciate this change, I was also thrilled that all the Snapple and water was ice cold! Loved it.

Around the halfway mark, we were still smiling!

It was kind of nice taking it easy and feeling good.  I felt like running the 13.1 was a walk in the park, even though I was running it around the pace I'm hoping to keep for 26.2 next week.

I kept encouraging the girls to keep moving forward as we ran the final miles back to the MTSU track stadium.  We all were thrilled to see the end and picked it up to finish strong.

We finished in 2:14:25.  This was indeed my slowest half ever, but that was kind of the plan all along.  I wasn't racing.  I didn't need to end up running too fast.  And honestly?  If I can be at that time at the half mark next week I'll be in good shape.  I finished feeling like I could have kept going if I needed to do so.

We all snapped a few more pictures and enjoyed some of the post-race food and company.  There were a lot of other people running or spectating that I knew, so it's always fun to catch up with everyone.  

I think a big part of what I love about running is the running community.  Races always feel like such a social outing!
I LOVED the medals this year, but it's partly because green is my favorite color.

All in all, it was a great event.  I kind of hate that I couldn't race it because I think I could have gotten a new PR if I had, but I'm feeling super confident now about having a good race one week from today (!) in Chicago.

I was also thrilled for my cousin doing so well at her first half as well as for how well everyone else did!


Nicole said...

Great job on the half! I didnt know you were 'racing' today! I cant believe this time next weekend we will have finished the marathon! I'm so excited to meet you & start with you! Were gonna have a BLAST!!! Way to go today girl!!!!

Heather said...

Nice job on a fun race! What a great last run for your training cycle. Good luck in Chicago next week!

Chic Runner said...

yea! glad you had a great race today and I don't think it will ruin your mary next week, don't worry! :) Nice job having a fun race and good time with the fam! :)

Rachel H. said...

Green is my favorite color too!! Looks like a great time!! :)