A few months ago a new race popped up in my feed. And this race was not only a half marathon, my personal favorite, but local! Like, 10 minutes away local.
I had already registered for the Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon and this was only 4 weeks after. Perfect. Already trained, super close to home – how could I say no?
Well, I suppose if I weren’t crazy I could say no to two half marathons in 4 weeks, but since I am, I couldn’t.
Right before my injury last year I ran a 1:51 (and some change) half. After recovering well from my 1:55 (and some change) run in Myrtle, I added some speed work into my workouts and set my goal at 1:50. I wasn’t sure how possible cutting 5 minutes off in a month would be, but hey it was worth a shot.
Inagaural races can be hit or miss. The course was posted long before the race but I actually prefer to be unfamiliar with the course so I never have the opportunity to dread what might be coming next. There were a few comments and complaints there being quite a few turns. The race started in downtown Summerville (did I mention a mere 10 minutes away?), rolled through a couple neighborhoods and on part of a local running/biking trail.
I meant to get some pictures at the start, but the forecast for the day was cold. Not 7 feet of snow Buffalo cold, but close enough to freezing to warrant being called cold.
My super nice neighbor let me ride along and her super nice husband literally dropped us off at the start and we literally sat in the car until about 5 minutes before the race started.
There was no “go!”, or if there was, I missed it, so I basically just noticed that everyone around me was moving forward so I did the same. The first mile was through downtown Summerville and then fed into the run/bike trail. I got a little overexcited (or maybe I was just freezing) that first mile and ran a 7:57. Oops. So much for starting out slowly.
As it turned out, I DID start a bit too quickly but not as quickly as I feared. From the path we ran into a couple neighborhoods, back onto the path, into another neighborhood and then ran a few streets near downtown before heading back to the start/finish. I made myself walk through each water stop. Maybe it was a good day, maybe it was the cold, maybe both, but with the exception of between miles 9-10 I felt pretty great the whole race. After averaging an 8:25 min/mile or so for the first half I stopped looking at my watch, decided to quit watching my time and ran the 2nd half by feel.
The course wasn’t particularly exciting, but even when I run in races with nice scenery I’m usually concentrating too much to pay attention anyway. There WERE quite a few turns, and a few had some dips in the path that could have caused a twisted ankle had you not been paying attention, and there was that tiny hill the last tenth. Other than that, though, it was a smooth, well manned, well spectated and fun race.
As an added bonus, I crossed the finish line in 1:48:37, beating my last race by over 6 minutes.
Best of all, even with all the long runs lately I’ve had very little complaints from my hip, which means I’m hoping to get away with full marathon #3 sooner rather than later.