Thursday, December 19, 2013

mistletoe 2013 edition

Here's my Mistletoe recap from 2012.

On December 7th I ran the 30th Annual Mistletoe Half Marathon. I was nervous that I had committed to be the 2:30 pacer and then slacked on my training the few weeks before the race.

It went really well.  Jonathan ran as well and my dad ran too.  It was dad's first half marathon. We all set a new PR.

The weather was perfect. It was in the low 50s. I actually overdressed because it was forecast to be in the upper 40s that morning and then the temperature was supposed to drop all day long.  The 50s were nice though. It looked like rain the whole time but it had actually stopped an hour before the race and the clouds helped a lot.

My friend Michelle and I had a plan to take the first couple of miles pretty slowly and then pick it up from there. Our average pace was supposed to be around 11:26 for our pace group and neither of us had had a successful long run in between the City of Oaks half and the day of Mistletoe.

We started out really well, I think. Every runner knows that this is the key factor that will make or break you on race day. We ran the first three miles around 11:20 pace and that certainly wasn't perfect but we've been known to go out too fast so I was OK with that.  We passed the 2:20 pace group with a bunch of our friends in it and early on I could see that both Dad and Jonathan were pulling ahead of them.

After about the first 4 or 5 miles Michelle's foot started hurting. She's been having trouble with her heel and she made the executive decision to pause for a bit at Reynolda Village and get some help from the aid station. I was feeling really good at this point and our average pace at this point was around 11:14 so I was fine with going on through Reynolda and Wake Forest.

Another thing I felt really good about doing at this race was hydrating and eating chews early on even though I didn't feel like I wanted them. I definitely think that helped me get through Wake Forest. On the back side of Wake Forest though, I started getting really tired. Several of the people running with our pace group started to either drop back or pull forward and I was virtually running the race alone at this point. I passed Jonathan and Dad again and that boosted my moral a bit. I also started seeing friends from my other Fleet Feet training programs that were struggling. Ironically, cheering them on and encouraging them helped me power through.

I caught back up with Michelle after Wake Forest and she rand a few miles with me then.  I did walk about ten or fifteen steps up the hill in Reynolda Village and had my slowest mile of the whole race, 11:43 at mile 10.  With only a 5k to go, I was tired but well ahead of the 2:30 goal and knowing I would finish so I took it east for a couple of miles which was probably a mistake. Michelle was hurting again and stopped to walk just a bit.

The last couple of miles are downhill and coming down Runnymeade was a glorious point in last year's race for me. I remembered clearly taking a picture of the mile 12 sign.  This year I tried to do it again and the lady standing there with her dogs had to have thought I was losing my mind, but no matter. Despite the downhill I just could not bring myself to pick up my speed much. I ran mile 12 at 11:23 and I ran mile 13 at 10:51 which was much slower than I had anticipated.


Maybe if I stop taking pictures during races I can save myself a few seconds?

I hadn't started my clock right as I crossed the starting line so I really wasn't 100% certain of my time but when I got within sight of the clock I could see it was approaching and changing over past 2:30. I gave it my best shot that last tenth of a mile and crossed the line at 2:31 something but I knew my chip time would be different. Final time was 2:29:49 which was 11 seconds faster than goal time.

I felt like puking at the end, probably because of that last sprint.  I caught up with my dad and Jonathan and discovered that they both did great. Jonathan improved his time from last year by almost 7 minutes and I improved my time from last year by about 7 minutes. My dad busted out a 2:13 for his first half and we all met our goals.

It was extremely rewarding to be a pacer. It was nice to have that extra spark of motivation and while it didn't help me keep up my training as I should have between the Raleigh race and this one, it definitely helped me get through the tough miles knowing that people were counting on me. It was especially nice to read the comment on Facebook the next day that "the 2:30 pace girls helped me PR!"

Yay for successful races! Next year I would like to train better for this one. It's one of my favorite races because it's local, it's not expensive, it's on roads I know, and it supports the fight against childhood obesity. If you're local you should consider running it next year as well.

1 comment:

Whitney said...

I am so proud of all 3 of you! You were all amazing. You inspire me to get back into running!

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