March 9, 2014

Throwing Caution To The Wind (Beaumont Half Marathon Race Summary)

Saturday was RACE DAY!!

From the moment I started packing my case on Friday I was a big bundle of nervous energy! I didn't know if I was excited, afraid, nervous or just plain scared of getting injured again (my last venture into a half marathon race ended up in serious injury and a lot of hopping). I also had no idea what time I was going to aim for and was feeling a bit lost. Even though I didn't want to put time pressure on myself I still thought I should have a rough idea of pace as a target.

I LOVE the marathon/half marathon in Beaumont, TX. It's small enough so that it's not a crowded race and they don't have to start you in corals but it's exceptionally well organised with an abundance of water stations along the way. I set off tucked in behind the 2 hour pacer as I knew that was a pace I'm usually comfortable with - not too fast, not too slow. Conditions were good (except for the mean head wind in the second half!) so I figured I could run with them for a while and see how I felt and could always drop back if I didn't feel good.

As it happened the pace felt great. However the group fell slightly off pace a few miles in and about the same time that they picked up the pace to catch up, I had to stop due to pain in the knee that I have IT band problems with. Luckily just adjusting my knee brace and doing a few stretches was enough to make me feel like I could carry on without discomfort. From that point on I mostly ran alone with a couple of stops to stretch out my knee when it started to ache. I had no idea how I was doing other than that I could see the 2 hour group not too far in the distance and wasn't caught up by the 2.10 group.
Somehow I still had a sprint in me at the end and my final Garmin time was 2 hours and 3 minutes. I'm really happy with how the race went. I'm a bit like the tin man today (left knee pain and right hip pain are not a good combination!) but I'm feeling pretty proud of myself! I raised over $2000 for MND/ALS charities, got over my fear of half marathon related injury and proved to myself that I've bounced back after the illness and operations I had at the end of 2013.

If anything it's got me thinking... if I can do a 2.03 untrained.... what time can I get if I can keep healthy for a full training plan??!! Watch this space: I have a feeling I'm going to feel the need to find out!

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