Ran the SG Half Marathon today in place of the scheduled 1x15 miles @11 pace workout.
I like to use this first race of the year as a measuring stick for how my winter training is going. Hubby and I drove down yesterday afternoon and got to the expo around 3 and met TJ, Lowell and Carolyn there. I got to pick my own bib so I chose 2862, the first two numbers sound phonetically as "easy fast" in Cantonese and the last two numbers is my age sound phonetically as "lucky easy"! :)
Got up just before 7. Put on the Morgan Valley l/s top, capri that has two deep thigh pockets, Boston black/brown jacket, pink Boston cap and light headband, gloves. Went down to the kitchen where Lowell and TJ were having breakfast. Ate 1/2 bowl of oatmeal, 1/2 yogurt, a small banana, 8 oz. water.
Left Lowell's house (TJ driving) at 8:31 and got to Dixie Center with 14 min to spare. We found our group at the designated meeting sign of the 2:20 pacer. There were about 8 of us, all but me are from Pocatello, nice girls with various running talents. Race started on time at 9:00 and I found myself walking with TJ and Erin slightly behind the 2:20 pace group to the start mat. Off we went among the 693 half marathon participants. Weather this time of year in St. George is very pleasant. Today is perfect with temp at 37F, sunny and very little wind to speak of. The only issue was some icy patches on the north facing parkway between mile 8-10.
My goal is to test my ability to run a 10:45 average pace. This is an honest course with the start and finish in the same location just outside of the Dixie Center, basically a big loop with a huge U shape turn between mile 9 to finish. The gradual climb peaks at mile 6 & 7. This year due to some road and parkway construction, the course got routed with two sharp turns into a neighborhood between mile 3 & 4. The nature of this course's many twists and turns, along busy streets as well as quiet neighborhood, road and narrow pathway makes keeping a steady rhythm challenging!
TJ, Erin and I stayed together for the first 2 miles. Then I let them go on the first uphill to keep my breathing in check. Felt like I finally got into a groove at mile 5. It warmed up quickly so I took off my jacket and wraped around my waist from mile 6 on. I pretty much leap-frogged with the people who were keeping pace with the 2:20 pacer. Some of them were doing the run/walk ratio thing. I decided to only walk on the steepest part of the uphill to catch my breath and at aid stations to drink, ate a Gu around mile 7.5 Was happy to see that my slowest pace on the uphill never dipped below 12 and my "faster" downhill pace was well controlled in the mid 9's. I finally caught sight of TJ who is now walking with Brittani around mile 10.6 and encouraged them to run with me. They caught back up with me around mile11.5 where I started to feel some calf cramps coming on. We ran the last 1.5 mile together to the finish. JoEtte who finished in 1:48 ran back to run 0.5 mile with us. My calf nearly ceased up as I crossed the finish. Hubby, Marcia (TJ's wife), Susie (Lowell's wife) and Carolyn were cheering loudy for us! :)
My official finish time is 2:19:45 (Average pace 10:43); and TJ finished 1 second behind me. We both took 3rd place in our respective AGs. There were 10 old ladies in mine and 5 old men in his and Lowell's AG. Lowell took 2nd with a time of 2:05:32. In my "glory days" racing this Half, no matther how fast or slow I would always place 4th which I considered 1st looser! haha! So not only was I happy to meet my goal of running 10:45 AP but delighted to receive an award that is a very hefty replica of the red rock bluff with the word "Dixie" on the cliff. Most of all I was happy to spend time with some dear dear friends and some new found friends in sunny beautiful St. George.
Splits: 10:17, 10:34, 10:42, 10:32, 10:57, 11:40, 11:14, 10:12, 10:43, 10:33, 10:54, 10:25, 10:38 (last 0.1 was 8:37)
* Last year I ran this race totally not trained. TJ was kind enough to stay with me and we finished in 2:42 with me walking the last two miles. So, I felt like I redeemed myself and "paid" back TJ this year! :) At any rate, we had an enjoyable run both times! :)