Tales of Half Mary Bliss

I woke up Saturday morning ready to take on the day. Yes, even at 4:30 in the morning. While some of my friends were just hitting their heads on pillows of feathers after a night of dancing and debauchery no doubt, I was lifting mine off. The stomach was in knots and the bathroom was visited far too many times in such a short duration of time – But I was ready to run The Brazen Summer Breeze Half Marathon! I felt confident. Of course I had a few goals in mind, but really I was going out there to have fun and run hard…And that is exactly what I did.

Katie picked me up at 6am, where we filled her car with pre-race energy. We got there early and meet up with Jessica where we chatted about the race and did a mile warm-up. The weather was overcast and brisk. Not too cold, perfect running weather conditions for me. Meeting fellow daily miler Dennis, was certainly a treat and before we knew it – We were heading to the start to begin our running adventures. Katie steps up to the front – Confident and solid with her long distance running. I stood a bit behind – Not so confident, but ready to run strong. The horn was blown – And we were off! 

Pre Race w/ Katie and Jessica

Another pre race photo this time w/ Dennis
As always – I started off far too fast. I couldn’t help it. I ran like I was being chased and stole from the energy of the crowd. Ahead of me I saw Katie in the lead, then Jessica, and Dennis. They are faster than I after all, and I looked on in admiration…Hoping one day that would be me! It was almost like I was running a short distance race as the first four miles were at a 7:45 pace. I slowed slightly when I stepped off of bridge and onto gravel. Not such a big deal, but the gravel is a bit more trying to run on verses pavement. And unlike trails where it provides a softer landing, the gravel was rough and loose, thus making it a bit of a hazard. The course was also not the most scenic of courses. Yes there were water views, which as you know I absolutely love, but everything surrounding the water was dry, brittle, and desolate. At one point I even passed an electric tower that was making noise in the background – A buzzing or something of the sort. A gal running behind me announced loudly – “Great now we are going to get radiation shock while running.” 

Close to the turn around I saw Katie and we high fived! I was so damn proud of her as she was the first female, with minutes ahead of the second. I knew she was going to win that damn race – And she did! At the turn around I was still pretty consistent with my pace running no higher than at an 8:20 pace. I love my Garmin, but it is evil. I am obsessive with it. Yes it helps me speed up when I am slowing down, but sheesh – How many times can I look at the damn watch in a race. I didn’t count – but I am certain it was well over a hundred. It makes me a bit erratic. One day I might just try running naked during a race and see what would happen. Maybe I would get bored because I would have nothing to occupy my time with.

Miles nine and ten were the slowest of them all as I ran at a 9:00 pace and mile ten at an 8:43. I told myself it was okay to slow down, but I better get my speed back up at mile ten. Yes, I talk to myself – Let me do my thing. It was at this point that a guy passed me and told me that I was running well as he was behind me the whole time. This was also encouraging to get my speed back up to par.
I took half of a Hammer Gel in hopes that it would help. I should mention that this is the only time I gelled. It should have been at least twice, but I didn’t want anything to slow me down. The half of gel helped and when I reached mile ten my pace went back down. I did what I set out to do.

Apparently, I have mad expressions when I run. People that I passed kept giving me encouraging words and the such. Of course it was nice to hear and as I said in a post back, I love the running community. Katie told me later that when she passed me she thought I was pissed and figured I wasn’t going to hit my goal time. For the future I must work on not looking so agro when running.

Those last miles flew by with my pace being 8:25, 8:19, 8:05, and .10 at 7:08. I saw the clock and was shocked. My previous half marathon PR was a 1:53 and something seconds. My goal was 1:50, but the clock, the chip and my Garmin all stated 1:48:32. Over a five minute PR!!! Wow!!!  I performed above my expectations and I am so proud of myself. Familiar faces all met me at the finish line where Katie won the race. Jessica placed first in her age group and Dennis ran over a seven minute PR placing second in his age group! Clearly it was a good day for running regardless of the harshness of the course! I was in PR bliss!! 

The girls with their win medals!
I just love seeing my progress. It inspires me to push harder to see how far (and fast) I can go. Possibilities are endless really and I can’t wait to see what will happen next!

Post race - Sweatie mess me happy as can be! :)
I know a lot of you raced this weekend past. How did it go? Are you also still glowing from PR bliss?

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