This was my 20th half marathon! I cannot believe that I’ve started and finished 20 half marathons! I’m so glad that this one was my local half to celebrate such a great milestone. I wanted to use this race as a training run, but also knew that I had a PR in me. SO I was excited to maybe get both 20 miles in for the day AND a shiny new half marathon PR. Spoiler alert: one of these goals was not achieved. I picked up my bib the night before. This race includes around 200 runners, so it was a small packet pick-up.
I got all of my food ready the night before and set the coffee maker. I decided that I would run 7 miles before the start, change my outfits (and sneakers), eat a PB & J, refuel with some Tailwind and water, and stretch/foam roll before the race start at 9am. It was a late race start and even during my 6am 7 mile run- it was WARM. We were back to summer this weekend and at the race start, it was already 70* out.
My main race goal was to continue to practice my negative splits that I have on previous long runs, but I also just wanted to be smart and knew that the temps could potentially deter my run goals.
The first 6.5 miles, I felt great. I kept my pace about 8 min miles (like my goal), felt like I was holding back, and overall was super confident. Shortly after the halfway mark, things got REAL hard REAL fast. I felt the heat radiating off of me (like I was overheating a bit), I had to pee (too much fluids consumed I believe), and had to slow down to get my heart rate back in check. It was after this that I had to reframe my goals for the day. It was no longer a goal to PR- I just had to be smart if I wanted to finish the race. I continued to fuel, take my salt tabs (one at mile 5 and one at mile 10), and grab water every 2 miles. I had a final surge the last 0.1 miles, but still definitely felt like I had ran 20 miles that day. The race ended up saying I gained 403’ up, which is one of the hillier halfs I’ve ever done!
I ended up snagging 3rd in my age group, but overall felt pretty defeated after this race. I let myself have a small pity-party after the race and then decided that I will just use it as fuel in the fire for my marathon next month! Regardless, I’m pretty happy that I managed to get in my first 20 miler of this training cycle!