Sunday, October 30, 2011

Soaring Wings Half Marathon Recap

I ran my number 4 half marathon ever this Saturday in Conway, Arkansas. This one has a special place in my heart because I ran it last year and it was my first ever half marathon. I knew about the hills. Since my training has been less than stellar, and I took a 2-week taper due to stomach virus and what-nots, I didn't know what to expect out of this half marathon, except to have fun and to beat my last year's time, and there's a remote wish of PRing. :)

Friday afternoon after work, I just dumped my running gear into my bag and headed out to collect my running packet. I hate to do it in the morning because I don't want to stress about it the night before. Turns out, I packed everything except my running bra and wearing my "lucky necklace." So, after collecting my race packet and checking into the hotel, I went in search of a sports bra. I found it in Target. Champion makes decent quality stuff so I bought a sports bra there. Dinner was blah. I just did the drive-thru at Burger King. I was craving for a good hamburger and I always get the Whopper Jr. But somehow, I got some mushroom swiss crap. Not too impressed. Should have stucked with Whopper Jr. I spent the night drinking lots of water and also tossing and turning in bed. Pre-race jitters? Probably.

Saturday morning, I went to the breakfast area and toasted 2 slices of toast and made me some PBJ sandwiches. I had a glass of OJ and did some photo taking in my room before I drove to the race venue. It was a chilly morning and thank god there was an enclosed sheltered area where I sought refuge from the cold. I didn't want to wear my Nike half-zip that I packed because I knew I would be burning up at Mile 3.

The race started a few minutes late, which wasn't a big deal. I love waiting out in the corrals because it is just a wonderful feeling to be out on a cold morning with hundreds of like-minded folks. We are here to run. We are here to run for a good cause. It was going to be a pretty day for racing!

I stuck myself at the back of the 2:30:00 pace group. I wanted to take it slow at the beginning so I don't run out of gas too soon. After tagging behind them for a while, I took off and ran. I was going to run by feel this time. I was going to stop if I need to. If I feel like running fast, I will. That was my revised race strategy at Mile 0.25.

I did put up a really good first half of the race. So far during my long run trainings, I have been doing at least 11:30ish to almost 12:00+ pace. But I felt good today. I just hustled and went on. See this Asian man on the right? I have him marked in my mind. This was before Mile 2. He just came from behind and ran in front of me. I tagged behind him for a while and followed his pace, which was rather comfortable. And then, when I thought I rested enough, I just passed him. We would be doing this throughout the race.  
Here are my splits.
Mile 1: 11:04:38

Mile 2: 10:39:24
Mile 3: 10:38:16
Mile 4: 11:25:79
Mile 5: 10:39:25
Mile 6: 11:28:11

I reached the half way mark in 1:08:36, which was kinda fast. I was thrilled. I was just going to keep it up.
Then we have more hills. I forgot about those dang hills! Mile 8, Mile 10, and toward the end. One after another. Thank goodness for a water station with music blasting and pink balloons and lots of cheers. Thank goodness for the gummy bear station too. I race without chewing gum and all I wanted during the race was to chew on something. I was literally chewing on the side of my mouth to distract myself, so the gummy bears were god-sent!
Mile 7: 11:38:94

Mile 8: 11:45:13
Mile 9: 11:22:79
Mile 10: 11:52:39
Mile 11: 11:37:90

Here, the 2:30:00 pace group sneaked up behind me and took off! Uh-OH!!! I am not about to let the pace group outrun me this time. So I fought and ran and got ahead and remained ahead. I told the pacer when I caught up with him, "I told myself that I need to catch you."
Mile 12: 11:19:89 
Mile 13: 10:59:85
Remaining: 9:57

Yeah. So I was really hauling a$$ toward the end. I felt tired, but I felt good. The Garmin said I ran 13:22 miles and it took me 2:28:46. 
Chip Time: 2:28:36  (PR!!! by 2 seconds. RnR New Orleans was 2:28:38).

Overall: 1040/1526 
Age Division: 102/135 

I walked away happy. Yeah, I could have ran a little faster, walked a little faster at Mile 8 and 10. But at the finish line, there weren't much left in my tank. I felt like I did well, given the circumstances. I parked myself next to the water station and drank as much as I could possibly drink, grabbed a slice of pizza, and a banana which was WAY too green, and left.
Oh by the way, I came in before that Asian man that I was tagging along.

 In the comfort of my vehicle, I took a picture of myself with the finisher's medal.
My face was crusted with salt.

Then I drove to Little Rock to my favorite Vietnamese restaurant for some pho!
I don't know why, but I always crave for something soupy and noodles after a long run.
And this girl loves her pho!!!

That's all folks.
#4 is done.
That makes 3 half marathons completed for 2011 (so far).


  1. Congrats! And a PR is a PR in my book--even a few seconds is an achievement!

  2. Great job! Congrats on your PR!!

  3. Congrats, Christina! Nice PR!! You and your medal look good.

    Wow, guess who else ran a 2:28 half this weekend? We really do need to race together one of these days!

  4. Great job! I'm so excited for you because I know you weren't feeling well leading up to the race. You went out and did your best and had a PR to boot. Can't beat that. :)

  5. WOW, you did amazing and finished with a PR!!! Wooo hoooo!! I knew it, I had a good feeling about you and this race :)

    Btw, I hope the weather gods will be nice to me and Little Rock :)

  6. Woo hoo. Sounds like you had fun. Congrats!!!

  7. Congrats! Nice hot pink shirt you are wearing too!

  8. GREAT!! another PR CONGRATS!!

  9. Great job! I came in at 2:47 and was happy with that!

  10. Fabulous!! I am so happy that this weekend we were not running twins. Congratulations on your new PR!! Sounds like you really went full steam into this and dominated the race. Good job!!

  11. Way to go girl! Congratulations on a new PR!

  12. Congratulations on the PR! Your post race meal looks yummy :-) And what's up with the so far at the you have another half on tap this year?


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