Well friends, I ran my first half marathon on Sunday. I spent the night in Rhode Island with five of my running buddies and met a few others along the way. We picked up our race packets the night before and dined on fabulous fare. We called it a night early on, knowing we would have to be up by 5:30 for an early morning start.
I have been training for the past few months with several strong ladies. But one of them has been constant. From the beginning, Chrissy and I just clicked as running partners. We hold a solid pace together & we push each other to the limit. That might be a rare find. A while back we decided that we would run a half marathon together.
Typically we run a 9:30 minute mile on our short runs, our best being 9:15. During our long runs, we take our time. Our weekly training runs include plenty of hills, but we knew the Surftown Half Marathon (in Westerly, RI ) would be relatively flat. If there ever was a chance to push our time, this would be it. We decided that we were going to keep our sights on the 2-hour pacer (pacers are runners holding up flags with predicted end times, so you can predict what your race results will be).
We started out at a brisk clip, running 4 minutes & walking 1 (check out Jeff Galloway’s page for our training schedule). For a little while we were ahead of the pacer. Then she caught up with us. We were staying pretty constant for a few miles. We’d be ahead as we ran and fell behind as we walked. But after a while, we fell back. At times, we could catch a glimpse of the pacer but there was no catching up. We decided we were running at a strong pace and we were doing our best. And we would be happy with that. We finished in 2:05:26 at a pace of 9:35. That’s pretty good for a long run. I’ll take it!
To be honest, our entire group finished strong. I’m so proud of our Mansfield running community. When I look back at the fabulous group of ladies I ran with that day, I know that during the past year we have all faced obstacles, as big or as small as they may be. But this day in Rhode Island, we all checked another goal off the list.
The other night Chrissy emailed me, wondering if I was up for our usual Tuesday morning run. We have the Hartford Half coming up and she’s ready to go! I politely declined, pleading for a few more days off. Little does she know I had been walking like an old lady for two days. On many occasions I considered that a stair lift might be a wise investment. You know, for my running hobby and my recovery, of course.
Wednesday was the first day I could get out of bed without assistance (okay, I’m exaggerating, but I did need a good dose of Ibuprofen to start the day). Yesterday, I was back at it. Another three miles run and done. Tomorrow we’re shooting for six. Perhaps at a more comfortable pace, unless Chrissy feels like racing this “old lady.”