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).


16 comments:

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

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  2. Great job! Congrats on your PR!!

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  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!

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  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. :)

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  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 :)

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

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

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  8. GREAT!! another PR CONGRATS!!

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

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  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!!

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

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

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