I was all smiles at the finish line today.
I blew away any sort of goal I had claimed before starting the race and crossed the finish line with a new personal record of 1:52:51!!
That is a full 6 minutes faster then my previous PR and 14 minutes faster then my first half marathon a year ago. Woo hoo!!!
Everything about this race was absolutely perfect. From the weather to the course I would not change a single thing.
My race day began this morning with the beep beep of my alarm clock at 4:00 am! I pounced out of bed and immediately pieced together a pre-race breakfast of pumpkin scone, barney butter, and a pear.
We had a 20 minute drive to the start line in Cocoa. Kelly and I immediately found the porta potties and took care of business.
Kelly and I had a great support system to see us off and wait for us at the finish line. My Dad, Anthony and Derek all were up at 4:00am as well and stuck around for the near 2 hours waiting for us to finish. They all rock,
It was freezing this morning! I had layered up before leaving the house, but knew I would warm up during the race. Right before Kelly and I loaded our corral I shedded the excess layers.
At 6:00am the race officials did a 3-2-1 Blast Off and we were off!
Kelly and I started the race together. We found a comfortable pace behind the 3:50 marathon pace group and hung around them as long as we could. Eventually they pulled ahead, but we held strong at an 8:30 pace.
I had secretly planned on trying to run an 8:30 pace for the entire half, but you just never know how your body is going to feel and what speed it will want to run until the morning of the race. After the first 2 miles of holding that pace I knew my body could do this, I knew my body could hold this pace, and I knew I was going to kick this race’s ass!
I lost Kelly at the second water stop. She had urged me to go on ahead and as I pulled ahead I tried not to look back. The whole time I could sense her behind me and I knew she was kicking some booty as well.
I started to heat up around mile 5 and ditched my gloves with one of the volunteers at an intersection. The sun had finally rose and the views of the water were breath taking. The whole course was along the Indian River and at either point along the way you had the water on one side and gorgeous million dollar houses on the other.
Just before mile 6.5 I hit the turn around point and began my way back to where I started. I found Kelly in the crowd heading the other direction and gave her a high five. We both gave our own words of encouragement and continued on the race.
Running the opposite direction, I was able to people watch. I love watching other runners run. Everyone is out there for their own personal reasons and I always wonder what they are. Why did this person select this particular race? Are they running for charity? Are the running to lose weight? Are they running to set a PR? I want to know everyone’s stories.
Mile 9 was mainly uphill. I hit a bit of a wall and took 2 Clif Shot Blocks to try to counteract it.
The battery to my ipod died at mile 11. A few obscenities may have escaped my mouth at this point.
Once the ipod was gone I pretty much wanted the race to be over. I picked up the speed a little bit to make that happen and before I knew it I was turning corner after corner and finding my way to the finish line.
The end to this half marathon is a little annoying as you make 5 turns before finally seeing the finish line, but how they have everyone run under a covered pathway to the finish was pretty cool.
Official finish time 1:52:51 Avg Pace 8:37
I crossed the finish line, grabbed a water, and turned around to watch Kelly cross the finish line.
This was Kelly first official half marathon and she finish in an AMAZING time of 1:54:25!!!
Instead of providing mylar blankets at the finish line they handed out beach towels. I snuggled up in mine.
They were serving a full breakfast for all finishers, but the line was way to long. I settled on the much shorter line for orange slices and rolls.
When we made it home I had a yogurt, apple, and granola bar that I found in my parent’s pantry.
It was a great race day! I would not have changed a thing. In fact crossing the finish line today has me ever more pumped for my full marathon in January. Bring it on!!