I haven't run a half marathon race since August 2012. (1:40:18)
In November I ran my best half during the first half of a full marathon (1:39ish)
Last weekend I had a long run with 14 miles at goal Marathon Pace (Colfax Marathon-Denver is in 4 weeks) and the 13.1 within was 1:38.
6 days later (TODAY) was Albuquerque Half Marathon.....
I am finishing many 60+ mile weeks in a row and have never felt so good. Taper starts in one more week and I am SO excited.
The race was great in so many ways.
I live 180 miles from Albuquerque but have spent quite a bit of time in this city.
On the way to the race, there were hot air balloons flying...if you don't know about Albuquerque's HUGE Balloon Fiesta....it's amazing (in October every year). But even on non-balloon fiesta weekends, the balloons fly. Basically there are balloons flying on calm mornings all year around. I loved seeing them as we arrived at the race site.
After being part of one of the STUPIDEST race starts ever (I won't go into the details of the ridiculous set-up), I kept looking at my watch thinking that I should be more tired, or breathing harder, or slowing down. Kept holding in the 7:15 range without having to strain myself. And let me just say that when I started running only 3 years ago, I NEVER thought I'd be holding under 8s for more than a mile, or two. The last couple marathons have been JUST barely under (7:59 or 7:58 averages). I kept remembering the post about running in a tutu from Lady Capulet...how running relaxed and having fun is key and to "let it go". I didn't have a tutu but I wore my cutest Athleta running skirt that has pleats in the back with a little ruffle (so kind of like a "tech" tutu). I kept smiling and reminding myself that this is what I train for and that the race shouldn't be about pressure, it should be about doing my best today...whatever that is in the middle of all this training. I had high expectations from the training runs I have been throwing down because Mr. Pfitzinger Advanced Marathon Training is AMAZING SPECTACULAR HARD-CORE THRILLING and FABULOUS. It has me in the best shape ever and my endurance is more than I ever thought possible. I finally "felt" like I'd had a 60 mile week when I got to mile 11, which was a 7:13 split so must have been mental. I followed that up with another 7:13.
Finish time: 1:35:30. So so so happy. I had told my dad that I was going to be VERY happy to break 1:37 but that I'd be happy just breaking 1:38 since I just ran the 1:38 only 6 days ago....so I was SUPER thrilled to break 1:36.
Managed 1st place in my age group (35-39) and something like the 8th woman overall. (The results were hard to see). AND I negative split. So happy!
Who needs taper to PR? Not me; thanks to Mr. Pfitzinger.
Although, I gotta say, I am ready for taper mentally. And I'm sure my legs will enjoy it also. One more week and then it begins.
I love the medal from today: