Woohoo---I can officially say that I've ran in a half-marathon race. :) But I'll totally say that it's much much easier to just go the distance on the days that my body is already feeling it! :)
This picture is of Pioneer Square in the heart of downtown before sunrise this morning:
Since I rode the MAX from Beaverton to the Adidas HQ where the half was held, I had plenty of time to admire the view while waiting for the Yellow Line to arrive. So many of the surrounding trees were full of big crows caa-ing at the arriving morning. Taking pictures, chatting with a few other race-goers, and listening to the birds somewhat distracted from the 37 degree morning :)
I ran this race with an acquaintance from high school, who had just run the Portland marathon in October. We had one training run together two weekends ago that went well and then we individually did long runs last weekend. Ironically we both showed up to the race right as it was starting so we actually crossed the start line about four minutes after 8am. And let me tell you, Amy was the one who kept our pace going. In our training run, we'd done well together but at the race today I could tell she definitely had gotten used to longer runs. While we were about evenly paced, she has a much better race mentality than I do. :) Without her being there I probably would have walked a bit in mile 11 or 12. I did great until about mile 9 although I was ready for the turn around at any point near mile 7. Miles 10.5-12 were definitely the most struggle though. I told Amy she could go on ahead and while she did jump out in front a bit, she never totally took off which made her the perfect pacer for the last several miles as I continued to want to keep her in my sights. So, so glad she agreed to run this race with me! My adjusted time was 2 hrs 8 mins 14 sec or averaging 9:47 minute miles. Not bad in my mind. Ironically I think most the pack today averaged in the 9 minute mile so it was kind of neat to always have lots of people jogging together throughout the race. I definitely was also thankful for the various water stations today!
Honestly I don't know that I'll do another official half-marathon race. There's talk of the Shamrock 15k in March which I enjoyed doing last year, so I'll probably sign up for that again though. Anything under 10 seems like it's fun more than anything else. Plus I'd much rather make long distances with hiking or just on the days when my body decides that it's good to go for it, rather than continue to do a lot of half-marathon races. It was a great experience though and I'm really glad that I went ahead and finished the year off with it!
Once I made it back home post-race, it felt amazing to get in the shower and warm up again. The rest of the afternoon was pretty incredible also: fajitas (one of my favs!) followed up with a couple of hours in my favorite soaking pool with a hard cider, great conversation, and a handsome friend. Wrapped up the rest of my homework for this term this evening and now curled up in bed surrounded by the dogs and about to pull up an old movie. Pretty awesome day all around, even if I've only been running on about 4 hours of actual sleep :)
17 more miles to go this month to make 900 total on the year, but today's half pretty much finished off the rest of my 2014 physical activity goals! And after the health issues in April, I'm pretty stoked to have made those 900 miles AND came back to end the year with the half!