This past Saturday, I ran the Cap City 1/2 Marathon for the third time. Once I got pregnant last year, I knew this would be my first race back and my goal race. I had "run" throughout my pregnancy and then started back up again about 2.5-3 weeks post partum. I quickly gained a lot of my fitness back and was excited to see how well and fast I was running. Since this winter was horrendous and I have to get up even earlier than I used to in order to run before work, I did 99% of my runs on the treadmill but I didn't mind as this was my only true "me" time during the day, even if it happened to be at 4:45 AM. My goal going into the race was to at least break 1:40 but I was also hoping to PR, which would be anything faster than 1:38:34. My PR was actually from my very first half marathon that I ran back in 2006. To say I was overdue for a new PR would be an understatement.
As my luck would have it, my back and right hip/glute started to hurt about a week before the race. It was so bad that I was in the urgent care to get muscle relaxers so I could at least walk. A few days later, I was finally able to start stretching and got up the next few mornings early just to stretch for 45 minutes. I also went to a chiropractor for a massage (from a massage therapist) and an adjustment. I decided to pick up my race packet the day before the race and just see how I felt the next morning. I had planned on running with Tracy since we had similar race goals.
I got up extra early on race morning to stretch and decided I'd start the race and play it by ear. I bought a spibelt at the expo (yeah, I know, you're not supposed to try anything new on race day) because Todd wanted me to have my phone on me in case anything happened. Todd, Lucy, my Dad, and I headed down to the start of the race and I met up with Tracy. I surprisingly wasn't as nervous as I thought I would be because I had no expectations since I wasn't sure how my back would feel. The weather was perfect, although a bit windy, and before I knew it, we were starting the race.
Snuggles from my girl before the race
Tracy & I pre-race
All I can say is that the race went much better than expected! I ended up running a PR by 30 seconds and felt GREAT the entire race. My quads started to feel a little tight around mile 9-10 but nothing that I couldn't push through. My back never once started to hurt and I actually ran faster the second half of the race than the first half. In fact, I was supposed to see Todd, Lucy, and my Dad around mile 8 but they actually missed me because I was running much faster than they thought I would. Luckily, they caught me around mile 11 and again at the end of the race. As you can see from my splits posted below, I really tried to push it the last couple miles. I knew I was going to be close to breaking 1:38 and gave it all I had. I felt like I was sprinting the last 0.1 miles and even though I didn't break 1:38, I was ecstatic to have a new PR considering I couldn't even walk just 5 days earlier.
Of course, looking back, it seems like I could've run 6 seconds faster and I was really frustrated during the race when the quarter marathon runners joined back up with the half marathon runners on the course. The half marathoners were around mile 6.5-7 while the quarter marathoners were only around mile 3.5-4 so the paces of the two races were extremely different. I was running 7:30 pace while the quarter marathoners were running 10:30 pace. For about 3 miles, I was having to dodge the slower runners and felt like I lost some time during that portion. Hopefully something will be done in future races to prevent that.
Mile 1: 7:04
Mile 2: 7:29
Mile 3: 7:32
Mile 4: 7:31
Mile 5: 7:44
Mile 6: 7:38
Mile 7: 7:25
Mile 8: 7:26
Mile 9: 7:26
Mile 10: 7:23
Mile 11: 7:25
Mile 12: 7:11
Mile 13: 7:14
Overall time for 13.1 miles: 1:38:05
Average Pace: 7:28 min/mi
Females 30-34: 13/798
*Garmin read 13.22 mi which is probably accurate considering all the weaving I had to do around the runners especially once the quarter joined back up with the half. I have my Garmin set to auto lap so somewhere in the first few miles, my Garmin was beeping for the mile split before the actual mile marker.
Start of the race
I'm in the white hat and aqua shorts and Tracy is next to me in the pink tank top
Finally saw Todd, my Dad, and Lucy around mile 11
Still feeling great...and I love the random lady in heels trying to cross the street in the middle of the race
This is my "I have no idea how I'm running this fast and feeling this good" look
Pushing up the final hill with about a quarter mile to go
and trying to pick up the pace a little bit more
Crossing the finish line with a new PR
Tracy & I post-race
My favorite cheerleader
Well deserved glass of champagne
Love my family
Overall, it was a great race and a fantastic day despite a lot of soreness the next few days! I'm usually only this sore after running a full marathon and I'm still trying to get my back and right leg tightness back to normal. Looking forward to more hard training this summer and hoping for a few more PRs this year. I never thought I'd actually be faster after having a baby!