This past weekend I ran Race for a Soldier - a half marathon (2 mile and kids' options too) out in Gig Harbor to raise money for soldiers with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Such a fun fun race (and hard!) and such a great cause. So neat to see military personnel running in full gear and so neat to see the work that goes into supporting soldiers with this debilitating condition.
This race is kinda special for me. Last year it was my second half marathon, and since I ran it the week after my first half marathon (after having Levi - I did 3 before I got pregnant with him and then didn't run because he was going to fall out.....) this was the race where I qualified to be a Half Fanatic. (And 8 marathons, 2 50K's, and a 50 miler later we all know where that took me.) I was asked to be a 2 hour pacer this year. Which means I had to run the course in exactly 2 hours. My PR was about 10 minutes under this so I thought no prob. What I failed to remember is that my body likes running looong and slooow. Not short and fast. And, mercy, the hills!!!!
|Heather paced 1:40. And came in at 1:38. That's a 7:37 min/mile. Crap|
With a print out on our pacing stick (the exact time we had to hit each mile), my Garmin wrapped around my wrist, and awesome pacing partners (who kicked my boo-tay into gear those first few miles) it ended up being super duper fun to pace. You get to help people reach a time goal and encourage them and have run and not worry about racing. I loved it!
The first 7 miles were relentless hills. I'm used to running my first half of races slower then picking up the speed for the last half but we had to haul it it bank up time. Our avergae pace was supposed to be 9:09 but we were pulling 8:30's up hills and 7-8min miles down. But since the last six miles were also hilly we wanted to have a cushion of time for people in case the hills got to them (us) and slowed us down. It took me until about mile 8 to stop feeling like I was running on a hamster wheel and then I took double my usual shot blocks and I kicked into gear. I was feeling great and we brought our group in just under 2 hours at 1:58:56. Not too shabby.
And these girlfriends. I'm blessed by my running friends - their hearts are like gold and they've become a family to me. We share life and stories and trials and when you have miles and miles to share with someone you get to become pretty close. And, yes, we like to think we started FOMO, thank you. Fear of Missing Out. Which we all suffer from pretty bad.........XOXO
Can't wait to do this one again. And actually can't wait to find a half marathon to race again. I haven't raced since last year and I'd love to see what I could do. Or not. I'm still pretty sore! And you know what's worse that a sore groin muscle? An ice burn on a sore groin muscle. Yup. I heart running.