Ok, so I totally fell off my weekly recaps after Seattle. That’s probably ok because there wasn’t anything super notable about those final weeks of training. I survived one more punch of winter when we had a blizzard right before my 11 mile long run. I still managed to get in 7 miles outside and finished the last 4 on the treadmill. The weather took a turn for the better after that and spring has arrived.
That brings us to race day! The first part of my running year has led to this race. I felt ready for it but also didn’t know what to expect all at the same time. I knew I wanted to push my pace, but I also wasn’t very confident that I could get anywhere close to my PR time (1:58:08).
It was a beautiful, sunny morning with temps in the 50s at the start, but I knew they would keep going up as the race got going. I hopped off the shuttle and had just the right amount of time to drop my stuff at gear check and make a restroom stop. Then my sister and I headed to the corrals. I lined up not far behind the 9:10 per mile pacer.
We started on a nice downhill, so that got me off to a good start. I was feeling good and found a comfy pace around 9:00. Not long into the race, I passed the 9:10 pacer and figured I’d see how long I could keep her behind me.
The first 5 miles of the race ticked by fairly quickly and I kept my pace. Miles 6-10 felt like a different story. My pace started to gradually get a little slower. The hills and sun were getting to me a bit. It wasn’t crazy hot, but I’m definitely not used to the warmer temps yet. They had water stops almost every mile and I took water at pretty much every one to either drink or pour on my neck.
As I got to mile 10, I was still a bit sluggish, but felt like I could try to push my pace a bit more. Around mile 11 we entered the UW – Eau Claire campus which is know as the Blugold Mile. You’re welcomed by the pep band and a street lined with cheering students in blue and gold. There was a lot of energy in that mile that I really appreciated and I’m sure the marathoners did as well!
The very end of the race brings you back into Carson Park. You have to go uphill to get there, which sucks at mile 12.75, but the hill actually wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. I crossed the finish line in 2:00:19. Right on my goal of getting as close to 2 hours as I could!
My sister and I celebrated being done with a beer in the beer garden.
We also stopped for cupcakes on our way home. 🙂
It was a good race, but also tough. The conditions weighed on me a bit and I just didn’t feel as good the whole race as I have in other halfs where I’ve raced and pushed my pace.
Now that this half is behind me, I have to figure out what the summer and fall have in store. I haven’t signed up for any other races yet, so I gotta get something on the calendar!