|1134 elevation loss, and 1134 elevation gain|
I ran the Holiday Half Marathon last week. I had a really fun time and I got my tail kicked by the hilly course. I ended up being the overall women's winner (it was a small race).
The course was along the river mountain trail loop. It's a pretty scenic course that is closed to traffic. There was a regular half marathon and there was also a relay option for runners not wanting to race the half.
I was feeling a little nervous the morning of the race. For my breakfast I had scrambled eggs, a banana, and a slice of buttered toast. On my way to the race site I ate a caffeinated orange Gu. I got to the race site 15 minutes before the gun time. I had just enough time for a short warm up jog and quick trip to the bathrooms.
When I signed up for this race I figured that I would be able to run a sub 1:40. I was actually kind of cocky about it. I told several people that I would run this time or faster. I like telling people my race goals before hand. I do this for accountability. When I run a race, I try to give it my all. I don't want to fake the funk and pretend that I just run races for fun.
|Right before the start|
The gun went off and I felt good. I knew that to run a sub 1:40 half marathon I would need to average 7:38 per mile. I figured that with the climbs and the descents my pace would be all over the place. I did some rough estimates and I wanted to aim for 8:10 miles for the uphills and 7:10 miles for the downhill stretches. I figured I would be able to adjust my pace if I needed to.
|My original estimates were way off.|
Mile 1- 7:52
The course started on an uphill grade. I may have gone out a little too fast. The relay runners and half marathoners all started at the same time, and I have a habit of going out with the crowd.
Mile 2- 7:44
I felt like I was pushing the pace going up this uphill stretch. My stomach was a little crampy because of the caffeinated Gu. I just tried to focus on my breathing and I told myself to relax and wait for the downhill
Mile 3- 7:05
Oh glorious sweet downhill running. I looked down at my Garmin and I saw 6:50 pace. It was a steep downhill and I slowed it down
|I don't take pictures while I race, these photos are courtesy |
of the Las Vegas Track Club
More wonderful downhill running. The view of the Las Vegas Valley was gorgeous.
The downhill stretch came to an end and we were treated to a series of rolling downhill climbs. It was kind of scary. I couldn't really go any faster without risking a face plant into the asphalt. After the three climbs the course went rocketing back down.
I knew the turn around point was coming pretty soon since we were heading down to the bottom of the trail head. When I reached the turn around point I knew for sure that I was the lead female. I had probably a 400 meter lead on the 2nd place female. I started to get a little weak in the knees emotionally. I was getting scared of the ride back to the start line. I was also worried about being picked off by the 2nd place female. I told the negative voice in my head to STFU and to just keep running. "Don't think about, it just run". I started to climb back up the trail head.
Mile 7- 7:31
I went through the same three hilly climbs but, in reverse. The climbs were much steeper going in the other direction. I was also playing hop scotch with a couple of male runners. The climbs were brutal.
A fellow runner who had out kicked me a few weeks ago during the turkey trot 5k went cruising by me. He started out slower and smarter than I did. I pulled out another Gu to eat. It was a lemon lime Gu without caffeine. I nursed it over the next couple of miles. I didn't want to eat the whole thing and have my stomach cramp up again.
The rolling hills were done and now it is just a straight uphill climb for the next three miles. I did something that I never do during a race. I looked over my shoulder to see who was behind me. The reason I never do this, is because it lets the runners behind you know that you are afraid and that you are falling apart. I kept expecting the 2nd place runner to blow right by me.
I told myself to just survive and get through the next two miles. Focus on the runners in front of you.
Once the downhill began I was aware that we only had about two miles left to the finish. I decided to just run as hard as I could without blowing up.
Mile 13 7:19
I'm starting to close in on the guy that passed me a few minutes ago, but I'm running out of real estate. During the home stretch in my head I am chanting, "everything, everything, everything...."
Mile 13.1-:054- 7:05 pace
Finish Time 1:44:17
|I look like a dork with my arms outstretched over my head.|
I was really excited to win that day.
This race was a lot of fun. I'm a little disappointed with how I ran. I should have taken the first two miles easier. I also shouldn't have underestimated how hard this half marathon would be. I'm not running high enough mileage to be able to just crank out a sub 140 half marathon on a whim.
I don't plan on racing another half marathon until the spring time. I hope that I can increase my mileage base before I attempt to race another half.
***Thank you LVTC for hosting a really kick ass half marathon, and thank you for the photos!!***