Initially when I won the entry, I told a friend I would pace her to her goal of 1:45. No way could I race the thing 6 days after my season goal marathon.
My season goal marathon came and went, and that's a whole other story. I'm not normally an emotional person, but geez I was a bit of a wreck for a few days after Dallas. I was mentioned on our local news and in the paper, and everywhere people knew about my finish. But every time someone congratulated me on my 2nd overall female finish, I almost burst into tears, because I didn't get my sub-3:00. Then I would feel even worse for being greedy and not being happy about the place and PR. I know I was in shape to be way under 3:00, but it just wasn't my day. I've come to terms with it and am planning my next try, but this is a story for a different post anyway.
Back to Run for the Ranch Half yesterday. My friend going for the 1:45 got injured, so I switched to running it at base pace (7:15-7:30), especially since I had a bit of a sore throat/cold. Driving to the event, I thought, "Well, I'll just run it at marathon pace (6:50) so I can still be under 1:30." That thought lasted about a half mile into the race, when I saw a woman who I knew of just a little ahead of me. I decided I would just run 6:40 pace with her for awhile (I did and chatted with her for a few miles). 6:40 turned to 6:30 as I pulled ahead of her, and to 6:20 as I pursued the one woman who had beat me at this race last year.
This race course is horrible for a good time, because it's 4 loops of the same course with a million turns on each lap. It's run in conjunction with a full marathon, a relay, and a 6-hour run, so even on the second lap at the my pace I started lapping people, and by the 4th lap the course was super congested.
I kept waiting for the wheels to come off (I couldn't have been fully recovered - it had been less than a week!), but I strangely enough felt super good and strong. Once I passed mile 10 I knew I could maintain 6:20-6:30 pace for the final 3, and would finish in what would be my second fastest half marathon ever. Kind of ironic that I chased a high-1:25/low-1:26 all spring and couldn't hit it, but in this race with zero expectations, 6 days off of a marathon, with a cold, and plumped up from a handful of sugar-binge days since said marathon, I hit 1:26:15 on a course I would never tell anyone to run fast on, with some left in the tank. Irony at it's finest.
Although not the smartest move, my confidence sure needed this race! Dallas just wasn't my day, but being able to run a 1:26 half just 6 days after showed me that I am fit, and that I definitely have that sub-3:00 in me. Ironically, I had kind of hoped that after I ran my first half in Dallas in 1:29 (which I did), that I would finish off with a 1:26-1:27 second half. I'm usually a really good negative split marathoner, but it wasn't my day to do it. Run for the Ranch was a nice way to finish off a year that was really good for me. Here's to 2016 being even better!
|Official time: 1:26:15|