A very important number in my life right now. It signifies not only a running time, but my best running time for a half marathon up to date! 13.1 miles in 1:47:05 (actually, the course was 13.19). The excitement of completing the Ogden Half in 13 minutes less than last year was amazing.
The first 5 Miles
The course is all downhill for the first 10 miles then it flattens out for the last 3. In a sense, it is a very hard course, if you fly too fast down those hills, the next day your quads will scream in pain and you will be unable to move for the next week.
Sam stayed by me for the first three miles, seeing him just a few steps ahead, gave me the courage to keep a nice 8:30 pace for the first 3 miles. I knew that if I was next to him that I was running a bit faster than in my training sessions, getting me closer to my goal.
Many runners dropped between the 1st and 2nd mile due to a little uphill section. Sam went to the far left side and climbed the hill with ease by going by the shoulder. I followed suit and climbed behind him. Nice, easy, short steps up the hill. I train on gradual hills all the time so my legs knew exactly what to do and having Sam in front of me to pace me helped greatly. The hill was conquered and I knew that the next 7 miles would be easy, downhill section.
After mile 3, I told Sam to go, not to wait for me, I was holding him back so he sprinted ahead and I kept running at the pace that he had already set for me. As I passed mile 4, I saw my spinning instructor (this was his first half ever) and I waved hello and told him he was doing a great job. I kept running and looking for Sam, seeing him gave me each time and extra boost of energy. I saw him, he was waiting by the toilets and I smiled, I thought to myself that this would be a great time to be ahead of him for just a little bit. It didn't take him long and he caught up to me. He smiled and told me I was doing a great job and I told him to keep going.
As I hit mile 5, I looked down at my G and it told me 40 minutes had passed. I was elated. I was running at an 8 minute pace. I was extremely happy.
The next 5 miles really flew by...or I flew down the hills. I took a couple of sips of water from the aid stations (nasty water, from now on, I'll bring my own). I had trained to go 8 miles without any water or nutrition aid so didn't need much until mile 9. At mile 9, about 48 minutes into the run, I took a GU and another sip of water to help the GU go down.
Although, I went into the event hoping for a time of 1:45, I knew that it would have been a complete and absolute miracle if I could complete it in that time. I knew that if I wanted to hit 1:45 that I need to have the first 10 miles done in 1:10-1:15 and that would leave me with 30-35 minutes or so for the last 3 miles.
I crossed the 10 mile marker and my G was telling me it was 1:20...my head fell and I realized that my goal of 1:45 was not going to happen this time around. I could sprint to the end but my best time for a 5K was 24 minutes last year and that was with fresh legs, I knew that my legs didn't have it in them to sprint 3.1 miles. After mile 10 when I realized that I wasn't going to make my "desired" time, I wanted to stop and just give up, but then a voice told me..1:46, or 1:47, or even 1:48 was still a personal record, to not give up, keep running...failure is already behind, just keep running.
The last 3.1 miles
When you hear that the last 3 miles are usually the hardest in a half marathon, they are telling the truth. It is at this point that you have do dig in and find the determination to keep going. At mile 11, I hit a wall, my right leg was tired and it hit me hard as we were climbing a small hill in the golf course area. My right quad screamed in pain and I wanted nothing else than to stop. As the pain increased, I increased my speed, I didn't want to succumb to the pain, although it hurt, I took small, fast steps up the little hill. As the pain dulled, I visualized the finish line. I pictured Sam waiting for me at the end. I looked down at my G and realized that I could come in very close to 1:47 and I dug in deeper for extra energy.
I passed the last aid station around mile 12 and as they offered drinks and smiles, I looked at the faces of the volunteers and I smiled back. I didn't take a drink, instead, I started to run a little faster. As I came out of the golf course/trail area, the end was in sight. If I looked hard enough, I could see the FINISH banner up a head. I could see the spectators lined up ahead, cheering their loved ones. As I ran, I waved at a few children who kept clapping and saying "you are doing great" or "you are almost to the finish line". As I reached the 1/2 Left marker, I looked around me and saw a couple of guys running next to me, they looked at me and we smiled, knowing that the end was so near. I sprinted to the end. I knew that I could sustain a 7 minute pace for at least 1/2 a mile so I sprinted, leaving the two runner guys behind, they must have thought me crazy. Swinging my arms towards my hips, my index and thumb almost touching my chin and then my hip, I concentrated only on the finish line. .1 mile Left marker reached and I was just a few steps away, I elongated my stride, I could hear my heart pumping in my head, and I could feel my stomach muscles tighten as I gave it the last effort I had in me. I crossed the FINISH mark and my Garmin recorded 1:47:08. I had arrived. I had made it in 1:47. Then, I saw him. Sam was there smiling at me, hugging me, congratulating me and telling me how great I had done. The Chubbette in me had finished 13 minutes faster than the previous year!!!
Actual chip time: 1:47:05
Age Division Place: 32...32 out 240 women in my age group...not too shabby.
Sam did fabulous. He didn't train as much...he went out and ran about 3 times, maybe 4 and despite that he still finished in 1:43:48!!! Great job my love!!!