One Hour. 58 Minutes! Sub 2 hours! When Court told me her goal was to run a sub 2 hour half marathon I didn’t think I would be able to have the same goal. After my injury in the Spring my distance running took a hit. In fact, most of my running took a hit. My training slipped. Miles became slower. Walks more frequent. So when we showed up to the start line in the wake of the early morning twilight, I wasn’t very optimistic.
The night before I told Stew my goal was to beat my previous 2:15 “moving time” on the same course; with a 2:19 total race time. I felt this would be more achievable and a better comparison to my improvement to the sport over a two-year span.
Be arrived at the start line, asking ourselves if we should have brought lights….
The gun fired and we were off, a slow start as we weaved our way through the maze of people to the open road. Halfway through the first mile I looked down at my Garmin, 8:30 pace? Could this be real? Leg check? Yup, still there. IT bands? Not complaining yet. Ankle? Why are you hurting???
I feel like my entire left side of my body was taped up with KT tape. IT band, knee, hamstring, and groin. I was being held together with tape, literally. And here I am at .5 miles into my race and my RIGHT ankle is complaining? Oh dear, I’m falling apart.
We continued weaving our way to find the 2:00 pacer. 2:30, check. 2:25, see ya, 2:20, hi! We quickly made our way to the 2:00 group. Courtney kept going, our pace was holding 8:30. Goodbye 2:00 group we are moving here.
Oak Glenn is a flowy road following a little creek through some beautiful Morgan Hill backcountry (well, sort of backcountry). The elevation is pretty steady with slight rollers. On a bike, it’s a fast section. Running allows you to actually appreciate the houses and rolling hills.
Stop sign. Okay. It’s time to climb. Just a ways up Llagas before turning around, gotta love how race directors find ways to make courses. But hey! It works. Back to the stop sign, turn, now it’s time to burn.
The road is off camber, it is steep in running terms, and it seems to go forever. Here I the ankle really started to talk. 8 miles in, it’s all downhill from here. Can’t stop, must keep going. It’s basically all down hill from here…..
Now the ankle was yelling. Legs were cramped up. I got to the bottom of Willow, grabbed a quick drink from the aid station and begun to do the math.
3 miles left to go. Currently an hour 30 minutes into the race. That means I could slow down to a pace of 10-minute miles and still finish at two hours. Does that mean the goal that I figured was unreachable this year with these silly injuries would actually be achievable? No way!
Head down. Suffer face.
With 1.3 miles left to go I passed our house. There was Stew cheering me on. The 2-hour pacer had just passed me. He figured I was close behind the mark but knew it was okay because that wasn’t my goal. NOPE. I told him I was on track to break two hours. How do marathoners do it! I ran as fast as my poor legs could move down the final mile. Yes, luckily down. I’ve done this section too many times to count. I knew every step I needed to take. If only the connection between brain and legs would work. It was lagging a bit.
1:58. I did it. We did it. 4th place in my age group.
….side note, some how I’m always 4th haha