Weston Run for Tomorrow Half Marathon RR
Sigh, I thought I was done racing this year, but then a cold front happened!
My next race is the Disney Marathon in January, 2018, but I have been eyeing some short races to see where my speed is at (basically to see if the 10K was a fluke or not). I registered for the Ft. Lauderdale Jingle Bell Jog 5K next weekend (which now I will probably skip), but I said I wasn't running the Weston Run for Tomorrow Half Marathon unless it was 40F in South Florida. Which in December is basically impossible. We hit 90F heat index Thursday and 85F on Friday, which is sort of our new normal all year long. Damn climate change... 😡
But a cold front was coming. I saw the weekend would have a low of 45F on Sunday and then realized the race was on Sunday!💡 I quickly asked my coach if OK to run it (I had a 10 mile LR but we had talked about the race a bit in prior weeks) and got the OK to register and boom, both me and my husband were in!
I have run this race before, the first and second or third years of the race. It is a small race, all for charity, put out by the Rotary Club of Weston, FL. It is run in Weston, a city I would love to move into one day, and it's MIAMI flat (it has one little "hill" but nothing else). The first year I ran it was cold, but the rest of the years it has been hot so I never register. But I was looking forward to going back and run it.
We woke up at 5am for a 6:20am start. Weston is 15-20 mins away and I munched on my Krispy Kreme donuts and Mtn Dew on the way. When we got there, a bit later than I wanted to (men!), the main roads were already closed so it took us a long while and a lot of asking for directions from cops, to find the parking lot and the starting line. We parked at 6:16am and when we got off the car they were already singing the Anthem. Oh, well, I have been in potta potties when they sing the Anthem before, so I was actually still on time!
We parked like 50ft from the start (one of the perks of small races) and went straight to the start line. And off we went!
According to the McMillan Calculator, my 10K indicated a 2:05 half marathon and a 4:23 marathon. So, this HM would serve either as confirmation or maybe improvement from that. I still don't think I can run a 4:23 marathon just because I've run fewer miles this years but hitting a 2:05 would confirm I can shoot for a 4:30 or something like that. My PR is 2:04:31 from Disney almost 6 years ago, so I wanted to see if I could run a PR or be as closed to that PR as possible. Oh, to be young once again (and asthma free)!
My plan was to run the first mile easy (I predicted we would get there late and wouldn't be able to warm up - 18 years of marriage makes you know a person really well after all, lol) so I was thinking something around the 10-10:30mm would be good. Which is why I ran Mile 1 at 9:38mm 😂😂😂. Oh, well. The best laid plans and all.
My plan for the first half of the race was NOT to run faster than 9:30 and slower than 9:40mm. Immediately my pace wanted to be in the 9:10s and I forced myself all these miles to slow down. I am glad I did because the second half of the race felt harder and I might have crashed had I not exercised some patience. PS, I have no patience or self control.
9:32 (I can be patient)
9:30 (It's hard to be patient, but still)
9:32 (Being patient sucks, eat a gel and try to chill, Damaris. Hey, why is there a headwind?)
9:39 (Why is my shoe loose and why is this headwind still around?)
After Mile 5, I noticed my shoe was super loose. I had decided to finally try to run sockless so I didn't have the sock issue for this race and that worked great, but the Cliftons getting loose during the race really messed my pace for 1-2 miles. It was like carrying a shoe that wanted to just fly out of your leg while trying to run. So, after much mumbling about not stopping like I do when I have socks on, I stopped to fix it. There, not even a second wasted on it.
9:39 (Headwind, I hate headwinds. Have I told you I hate headwinds?)
Miles 6.50 - Mile 13.1:
The turnaround was around Mile 6.50 or so and I was glad to get out of the headwinds. I decided that the turnaround was the time I would no longer look at slowing down but rather just burst the fastest pace I could do. It got harder as I got closer to the finish, don't get me wrong, and I really thought I was slowing down a lot and was expecting to crash any minute. My brain didn't get that I was running a negative split and that I was bursting the fastest paces of the race. Who knew?
Miles 6.50 to 10.25 are straight towards the sun and I started feeling like it wasn't 47F but rather 1000F, lol. The "hill" at Mile 10 didn't help that feeling.
9:27 (Hello, husband behind me! See? I'm still faster than you! 😂)
9:31 (Last gel)
9:31 (Is that the hill, again? Sheesh. I feels steeper than it did at Mile 3!)
9:35 (I'm crashing. Pretty sure I'm crashing but thankfully, the sun is no longer in front of me and I'm not bursting on fire)
I had no idea I was running the fastest mile of the race at Mile 13. I changed the watch's view to total time and distance (I had before lap pace and distance). So, I'm happy to see I was able to pull that number at the end. I used the Garmin instead of my trusty TomTom because I pulled it out in the dark and I wish I had taken my TomTom, because the optical HR of the Garmin sucks. The HR shows that I wasn't moving at all, just laying on the couch. POS.
I finished and apparently I looked like I was about to pass out or something because the med guy asked me if I was OK. I was, just winded. I just almost PRd right here, give me a minute!
Final official time was 2:05:12, 40 seconds of a very old PR I never thought I could see and, you guessed it, McMillan's prediction (which I have never fulfilled for the HM or the full). The day was perfect, albeit a bit windy. I would like to have these same conditions and this same runner on a marathon. I would be unstoppable if that day ever happens. It never does, but one can dream, ha.
I wrote an email to the timing company because the race screwed up my AG. My age is right on active and all, but since they couldn't find our registration on Friday when hubby went to pick up our packets, they entered it manually and they put me as a 45 year old female. Funny, since the bib says 42 year old female. No biggie, since I appear as 24th on the wrong AG and I would have been 24th on the right AG. But if they can fix it, I would like them to. We'll see.
After getting my medal and a couple of pictures, I went back to the finish to wait for my husband. The man PRd again (he PRd two weeks ago and in June!) with a 2:18:16. Lovely!
Here is us after the finish:
Bet you can't even tell which is the operated knee now, eh??? (It's my left one, FYI). :)