Taper time is here, my friends. This Sunday I’ll be running my eighth? ninth? half marathon in New Orleans.
The weather is shaping up to be pretty warm, so I’m trying to keep my expectations in check. My goals are: A. 3:10, B: 3:15, C: have an awesome time. Either time goal would be a PR, but if the crowd is good and I decide I want to stop for all the beer stations, then we’ll do that too!
I had a race pace run scheduled for this past Saturday, and Mark’s long run wasn’t until Sunday, so I decided to make it a little easier on my brain and register for the Gator Chase 5K. I could run a warm up mile to get me to my prescribed mileage, and the race was on the nice, flat Causeway, and I’ve had good luck running out there.
It’s turning warm, but I’m sure I’ll wear this pretty good looking long sleeve T next fall. Plus I got a free Chick Fil A sandwich card!
Even though it was just a 5K 10 minutes from my house, putting together my flat runner was good practice for this weekend.
Mark came to cheer me on even though he wasn’t running, and I was happy for the company. I ran my warm up mile, and noticed it was a teeninsy bit fast, but I felt good. Sort of promptly at 8 ish am, the starting air horn went off.
Now, let me back up a minute. You might remember I said I had a HM race pace workout, and that my A goal for New Orleans is 3:10, which translates into a 14:30 pace. You may also remember if you’ve read my blog for a while, that I have 2 major running goals: 1. Break 3 hours for a half marathon, and 2. Break 40 minutes in a 5K. Moving on.
My warm up mile was in the 13:30 range, so I did my best to slow the heck down a bit. Let’s just say I suck at pacing when left to my own devices. Also, it was starting to warm up, and we had about 100% humidity, up from the lovely 55% two days before. LOVE living on the Gulf Coast! Because I was on my own I tried very hard not to watch the pace on my watch and just run by feel.
The course started at a nature center, ran a half mile down its driveway, and then was an out and back on the Causeway back to the finish. We were on one lane of a very busy road (hello gas fumes) and the turn around point was on top of a bridge (so not quite flat).
From the start I was of course at the back of the pack, but the pack was filled with small children and I just hoped none of them would stop short in front of me. Once I got to the bridge it really started to heat up and I started walking a little extra. It was ok, I didn’t have any real goals other than to push my pace a bit and stay near HM goal pace.
I turned the corner off the road and wound my way back up the drive to the finish line. And saw this:
Not really 2:10, but 2 minutes over my 30 second PR last month. And so close to 40 minutes!
So, OK, it was a *little* bit under HM goal pace. And look at those positive splits! But wow, I surprised myself out there! There may have even been a few tears and a fist pump at the finish line. I’m super excited to be seeing all of these miles that start with 12 and 13 at my shorter races these days. It’s becoming a regular thing and I’m seeing my hard work start to pay off! Seeing progress really helps when I get down on my slow self.
And of course, I didn’t pass up selfie opportunities at the finish.
Finish Time: 40:46 (gun)