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Half Marathon #12

Sunday, October 02, 2011

The past few weeks have been very tough for me. I know that most of you know I have had a very tough year. Life just gets tough sometimes. Well I have really been struggling even with my running – Since HTC at the end of August – I have been in a bit of depression. It was caused more from my personal issues but I just haven’t felt like running.
The only thing that has helped me has been signing up for some races – I have run 2 - 10k’s and today I ran a half Marathon. My running has always been a great stress reliever for me and it really has helped. I am thankful I had those races to keep me focused on something besides my Personal problems.
I ran the two 10k’s – one at 53 minutes and the other at 52 minutes
Then today I ran a half Marathon – It was my 12th Half Marathon Since April of 2010. I have had quite a journey and I am so thankful for all those people that have encouraged me and been my friends.
In the last 6 months I have been struggling with Spark people – having a hard time keeping up with the teams that have been there for me. I have many friends and I sometimes feel like I have deserted them, but I know that right now that I need to work on me and my personal issues.
I decided to run the North County Wine Half. I know most of my friends are wondering why I would even sign up for a wine half because I don’t drink wine because of religious reasons.
When I first signed up for the run – I looked at the elevation chart and it looked very hilly – in fact there was more up or down then any level miles. That had me a bit concerned but before the race – I decided I would just go out and run and see how it goes. So, I had no expectations –
I had met a few friends at the race and so I was way back in the pack with them – since it was a chip timed race it doesn’t matter where you start. I would say there was about 500 runners.
I told myself I was going to go out slow and since I knew the first mile was uphill – I just did it slow. Mile 1 pace – 9:15
I was feeling really good, I was passing lots of people but I tried to keep holding back! I didn’t want to go out to fast and even though I was trying to take it easy – I looked down at the garmin and my pace was now 8:50 – I was going to fast but now we were headed downhill and I just kept going and was feeling good. Mile 2 Pace – 8:26 The next few miles were either downhill or level – Mile 3 Pace – 8:37 – I was beginning to think I was going to have a great run but I also knew that there were some hills coming up.
The race started at one winery and the second water station was in the 2nd winery. It was kind a cool running through the vineyard and that made the run fun.

I was still running good. Mile 4 Pace 8:29 – I still felt good and was really a bit surprised that I felt so good with all that had gone on in the last month. My running has suffered. Mile 5 Pace 8:37 .
This was such a beautiful run in the countryside – The weather was perfect for running around 55-60 degrees and cloudy and no rain. A perfect fall day to do a run. Christmas tree farms – lots of green – A few pics – I like taking pictures as I run. They came out a little blurry sometimes but I am running a race.

The run now has turned into rolling hills with some up and some down – at this point in the race its more up and its that way until the end of the race.
Mile 6 Pace – 9:43 This went way up because we ran through the vineyard and a water station and more hills – took a picture of the grapes.
Mile 7 Pace 9:58 – More hills but I am still feeling good – I am running right up them with no problems – I seem to be passing the same runners over and over so we start talking to each other. I love doing this talking to the other runners.
Since this is my 12th Half marathon – it seems like some of the HM the miles go by so slowly this one the miles some to go by quickly. I guess its because there are lots of turns and you don’t have those long stretches of road in front of you. I remember one spot where I could see that there was a big hill in front of me down the road a ways and was so happy when just before the hills starts we turn and no hill. I loved that. Mile 8 Pace 8:53
I still am doing well – I am really amazed I feel so good – I did an 11 mile run about 2 weeks ago and it was very hard and I guess that is why I was so concerned for this race. Mile 9 Pace 10:00 More hills
Around this time we head into the second Vineyard and as we get to water station – I get my water and then the head out – We actually get to run through the barn – how cool is that –

I am still feeling strong – Mile 10 pace – 9:18
I continue through – I am really feeling pretty good – I am thankful I prepared this week with a couple 6 mile runs and my nutrition was good this week. I am sure that is making all the difference. The 10k last week I felt terrible during the run. Not today – I took my Hammer gel – one at the beginning of the race and around 7 miles and I know at the end of the race I had a lot left more on that coming up.
Mile 11 Pace – 10:03 mostly up on the hills right now and then the big hill – The steepest hill of the whole run and they put it at 11.50 into the run.

The hill just kept going up and up!
Not really fair but I guess its like life. Not always fair! I tell myself that I am going to run up it – but halfway up and start to walk. Another runner joins me and we walk up together – one of those runners that I have been leap frogging the entire race – come to find out she is having issues with her Allergies and breathing issues. Well we get to the top and more up but I decide I am going to for it. Get too the 12 mile mark. Mile 12 Pace – 10:27 that hill I walked up.
Time for the home stretch – I push – Push some more Mile 13 pace 8:30
I had a lot left in the tank and I finish strong – 1:59:44 was the garmin time – Not sure of the official time – the gun time was 2:00:45 but I started way back so I know I was under 2 hours – at the beginning of the day – I didn’t think it was possible.

It was a great day with Pizza and Wine after – no wine for me, but shared my wine ticket with my friends – on the way home it began to rain and so I think the fall rains are here to stay. I feel good about today and the accomplishment and I ran a very smart race.

Sorry this is so long but it really was a fun day!!!

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