This morning I ran my fastest half marathon at the Tiburon Half! I finished in 2:10:33 which is a 9:58 pace. For a long time, before I started training for CIM, running a half in under a 10-minute mile was my goal. I thought I hit it during the San Francisco Half Marathon several years ago (and did according to my Nike+ app!) but the official results had me at over the 10-minute mark. So I'm really happy with this time and let me tell you why...
I woke up at 5am after getting an amazing night of sleep thanks to my husband who did kid duty last night. I had already laid out my clothes the night before so it didn't take me long to get ready. My favorite thing to do every morning is make my coffee and read my favorite running blogs. They motivate me to get out and log some miles. Today, I added my new favorite motivational video to the mix so it would get me pumped up for the race!
I knew they would have Clif bloks at the stations but I wasn't sure which ones and I'm pretty used to fueling every 4 miles so I packed my own. I tried the salted watermelon flavor which was pretty good! For some reason it was really hard to get breakfast down which is common for race morning, but today I truly had to force the bites in my mouth.
I found a parking spot right near the finish line which made me really happy. Then I had a moment of panic because I thought I'd left my running belt at home, but then I saw it hiding on the floor. Another racer parked in front of me and we helped each other find the starting line. He was from Sacramento and works for Whole Foods, which was sponsoring the race. I'm assuming he was a faster runner than me because his car was already gone by the time I got to mine!
They had all kinds of snacks and drinks at the start, and I will say I think this was a very well run race. The volunteers were friendly and there were plenty of fuel stations and cute signage that played on it being sponsored by Whole Foods. "You can't tuna round now!" "This is just a wok in the park!" Corny as they were, they made me smile at every mile marker.
We all lined up in this alley to wait for the start. The sun was just coming up as the star spangled banner played and it made me a little weepy. It gets me every time. I saw the 2:10 pacer just ahead of me and thought if I can keep him in my sight the whole time, then maybe I'll have a chance at achieving this old goal floating around in my head.
I felt really strong out of the gate and the whole first three miles were pretty flat so I had a nice even pace and didn't feel like I was overexerting or wasting energy. Miles 3-6 had short, spiky hills which I was able to run, but then we got to Strawberry Hill which was quite the slope. The woman running next to me caught my eye after we both saw the hill and we sort of laughed over the absurdity of it. I did stop to walk for maybe 15 seconds to catch my breath and get my mind back in the right place.
I tried to make up speed on the downhills but some were so steep it was hard to do anything but jog. At mile eight, we hit another really big one. There was a pleasant seeming sign that read, "Welcome to China Hill" and I smiled at the friendly greeting up against a very UNfriendly looking hill!
It's funny that I felt so great the whole run everywhere except my stomach. I knew I should have eaten more breakfast but my tummy was really giving me trouble, and I had to pee really bad but I knew if I stopped that I'd never make my goal. At mile 10, all I wanted to do was get to the finish line to use the bathroom so that was my motivation :) I saw the pacer move ahead of me and I didn't think I could catch up but at least I had him in my sight! I wanted to take photos because the scenery was really pretty against the water, but I was afraid if I fumbled with my phone that I'd miss the time goal!
I finally saw the finish line up ahead, in the heart of downtown Tiburon, and saw 2:10 something on the clock and knew I had hit or was really close to my goal! I saw the pacer who I was following and thanked him for keeping me motivated :)
There were lots of booths giving out freebies but I was ready to head home and shower so I skipped it. I'd told the boys not to come for this race since it's supposed to be a training run but I had to capture a selfie with my shit eating grin at the finish line. It was a good day!
When I came home I pretty much rested or napped the rest of the day away. Jon took the boys to the park where they met up with some friends.
Then I laid down with Croc to get him to nap, something that all of a sudden is hard to do unless he's at school! I love to watch him sleep. Such a beautiful face. Man he is CONKED OUT here!
And I'll leave you with this quote that I can totally relate to right now...