I set myself another personal record! I couldn't believe it myself even! I beat my time at Sauvie Island by 2 minutes and 28 seconds. On such a hilly course (my elevation gain/loss was 600 something feet) vs Sauvie Island (known for being flat at 48 feet) I am feeling really proud of myself.
There was a little set back when I got there though. Deb wasn't pacing the 2 hour and 15 minute group, she was pacing 2 hours and 30 minutes. So I was feeling pretty bummed out but Jason and Joelle are both very nice and I'm at least familiar with Jason. They started out way too fast though and even finished 2 minutes faster at the end, so after about 2 1/2 miles I trailed back a bit at a pace my body could handle and kept them in sight.
The event isn't a really big event and that's probably one of the reasons why I like it. I think there are a little under 600 people who ran the half marathon. The booths aren't that exciting to visit after the race and when you're sweaty, trying to stretch on the ground in the middle of the track means you're getting fake turf stuck to your legs. Gross. (I opted for my foam roller at home)
Here's a picture of the general area after the race and a picture of the arch/finish. Fit Right is the local running store that is the main partner with the training group I am in.
I had someone take a before and after shot of me but I have to admit that I look pretty much exactly the same. The only way you'd be able to tell that I was finished was because I had a medal. Today I chose my lucky purple shirt and running skirt that has purple flowers on the side. Color coordination is very important while running!
Miles 2-4 were really tough for me. Besides us starting out too fast, at about mile 3 there are two hills that really get your calves burning. They aren't very steep but they're enough to wind someone. I kept my pace steady and made sure to breathe. I used the downhills to recover and mile 5 is a sweet, sweet mile because it is pretty much all downhill. It was during mile 5 that I told my brain to quit the negative self-talk and I started thinking positive. I knew I could do this and I knew I was trained.
At the end of the race there is a huge 150 foot climb over the course of about 1/2 a mile. It's really tough and I power walked. Of course my coach Jeremy, was there cheering me on. He said, "you got this, Brie! You've trained for this. Trust your gut!" It made me feel good, but it didn't make me run. I knew that once I hit the top of that hill I was going to book it and my last 1/4 of a mile ended up being a 7:45/min mile pace. I ran hard and I finished strong. Once I looked at my watch and saw that I did so well I just couldn't stop talking about it.
Jeremy came back to the track and celebrated with myself and Shannon, another girl who is my training group. I hadn't really met her until today and I think she runs in the faster pace groups, but I ran with her from mile 6 1/2 to the end. She was right in front of me on the trails and pushed a little harder on the hill, and came in with a time of a few seconds shy of 2:16. It was her first half so I think we were both feeling pretty awesome.
I asked Jeremy if he would take a picture with me so you can sort of meet the man behind all the training I'm doing! I talk about him a lot and while I'm doing the workout's, he's just awesome. My coach is a tri-athlete.
So there you have it! I ran a hard race and I ran it strong! My time was over 33 minutes faster than it was last year on the same course. I would call that pretty darn impressive. I had such a wonderful day! I would love to have taken pictures of the course because it is beautiful. The best part was that the weather was 60 degrees and cloudy. Humidity was 80% but it didn't matter because of the temperature.
Oh! And this year they gave out finisher medals for the first time! I snapped a quick up close shot to try and show it off!
Everything about this morning was perfect. I had some hard mental barriers to get through out there but I got past them. My calves were burning after the first few hills but they loosened up. I celebrated with people that are important to me and it was such an uplifting experience. And best of all, I totally conquered that course today with a fire inside that wouldn't let up.