Last fall, right after finishing up the Des Moines Half Marathon (my all-time half PR), I signed up for my annual first half marathon of the year because it was half price for a day. This race is usually COLD and RAINY and is always hilly! But because of the price, I figured why not – because I could always switch to the 10K if the weather was terrible (like always).
This spring has not been kind in the way of weather. I have run outside only 3-4 times in the last 6 weeks, trying to get ready for this half marathon. It just wasn’t happening, and running long runs on the treadmill is a special type of torture. So, the furthest I ran at one time in the last 6 weeks was 8.25 miles. Every other training run was on-par and ahead of last year’s training paces, but those long runs just weren’t getting done.
I really wanted to switch to the 10K, but… the weather was looking to be great. So, given I have another half in 2 weeks, I stuck it out and didn’t switch (those who know me well knew the entire time that I wouldn’t make the switch because I’m just not capable of giving in).
I went into this half knowing that I would not beat last year’s time (my PR for this particular half marathon) and would likely not beat my 2016 time, and I did not care. I was viewing it as a training run and that was all.
I’ve never gone to a half marathon so calm in my life!!! I was so relaxed and, truly, so unprepared that my husband had to remind me to take my race bib. I got to the start line without even having my music ready to go, which is just not normal for me. I crossed the start and just locked in at a 9:17 pace and ran.
About 2 miles in, my random running playlist played, “The Gambler,” by Kenny Rogers. It spoke to me, especially this part:
Every gambler knows
That the secret to survivin’
Is knowin’ what to throw away
And knowin’ what to keep
‘Cause every hand’s a winner
And every hand’s a loser
And the best that you can hope for is to die
in your sleep
You’ve got to know what to throw away, and what to keep. I went into this one knowing that it was a throw-away – it wasn’t going to be a PR for this course and I did not care. Because of that, the race became a winner!
I’m pretty happy! To start the year faster than 2016, even with all of the failed training long runs (4 of them!), is pretty encouraging. My percentages are pretty close to last year’s, and way better than in 2016, so I’m encouraged and looking forward to the rest of the season!
This year’s race stats are (2018):
- 589/1,113 Overall (52.92%)
- 186/492 Women (37.8%)
- 27/76 Division (35.53%)
- Finish Time 2:02:47 = 9:23 Avg Pace
Last year’s race stats are (2017):
- 429/857 Overall (50.06%)
- 128/381 Women (33.6%)
- 18/46 Division (39.13%)
- Finish Time 1:59:09 = 9:05 Avg Pace
2016’s race stats are (2016):
- 489/864 Overall (56.6%)
- 186/422 Women (44%)
- 30/59 Division (50.8%)
- Finish Time 2:04:18 = 9:30 Avg Pace