Thursday, December 18, 2014

Mistletoe 2014 Edition + 2014 Running Summary

I ran the Mistletoe Half Marathon Saturday a week ago. It was my last race of the year.

I ran it last year as a pacer and was invited to do it again so I gladly accepted. I also ran it in 2012 and this is becoming one of my favorite races since I consider it my "home course." I love that this race is in it's 31st year and that it is still improving. This was only the second time they have offered pace groups.

I was a pacer for the 2:30 goal time and my dad was signed up to run with me. Since he's still having a bit of pain he decided to run the first half with me and then meet my sister to switch off and finish the second half. The groups running with pacers were much larger this year than last which made it more fun. At the start I had probably 20 people ask me for the split times that we were aiming for. We had at least a half dozen people say they were going to try to stay with us. One of them was a former student of mine and her mother was along for the fun with her.

We started out faster than I would have liked for the first mile but I have a habit of that. Our average pace per mile was supposed to be right at 11:26 and we were at 11:09 for the first mile so we slowed it down and tried to stay right on track.

It was great weather. We were worried because it was supposed to rain the majority of the day but it was in the mid 40s and only drizzled a few times.

We did really well for the first 6 miles. We were averaging around an 11:20 pace and we were satisfied with that. There were about 4 or five girls staying with us and they were all comfortable and we were all pleased with only being 5 or 6 seconds fast. One man was doing run/walk intervals and he was staying with us to this point.

My dad broke off after Reynolda Village and we saw my sister ahead. She ran with me through Wake Forest University, back through Reynolda Village and Graylyn and then I started tanking around mile 10 in Buena Vista. This is a repeat from last year.

I walked about ten steps, saw a dear friend cheering, and kept on trucking. My sister was only about 50 yards ahead of me for the entire rest of the way. My pace group "passengers" stayed pretty much in between my sister and I for the last couple of miles and then started walking a bit for the last mile or mile and a half.

My sister probably finished 30 seconds ahead of me. My official finish time was 2:28:38 which is a new PR by about a minute for me. The best part is knowing that if I can do that time at Mistletoe, I know that I can do much better on a flat course.

I didn't think anything could top 2014, but I think 2015's going to be a good running year!

I'm on schedule to break 1200 miles for the year (which is 100 mile/month average) and I don't think I'll ever see that number again so I am completely proud of it.  I ran 6 official races this year: one 5k, one half marathon, one 25k, one 30k, two full marathons. I went through 4 pairs of shoes (even though my current pair has at least another hundred miles to go in them) and we won't talk about how much money I spent on running because I don't even know that number.

If you had asked me when I was 25 if I ever thought I'd run a marathon it would have been a quick, easy answer. If you'd told me when I was 18 that I'd run a marathon I would have looked at you like you were crazy. Now, I can't imagine life without running. It's my coping mechanism, my therapy and it makes me a better person in general.

If you don't run, I totally get that.  If you think you could never run, I'd still encourage you to give it a try. You may find that you were wrong. I know that I was.

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