Unless you are Bill Murray, you probably haven’t had the chance for a tried-and-true redo. Me either. But I got about as close as possible with this past weekend’s March Madness Half Marathon (unfortunately renamed March O’Madness by the Hillstriders Running Club in recognition of St. Patrick’s Day and accompanied by an obnoxiously green hoodie, which I will wear with pride). I had the opportunity to do what I had hoped to do in last year’s event, in which I completely bonked. Instead, I felt great! I held back throughout the first half so that I wouldn’t go out too fast. I had side aches occasionally to keep me in check. By mile 8, I was ready to start racing. I probably could have picked it up more but those hills started hitting and I wanted to be sure to have some left. And I did almost twist my ankle on that jump when my friend Brandi took the picture. That was a close one, I was so thankful I hadn’t.
By mile 11, I shouted to my friend on the sideline, “Check out all the people in front of my that I am going to pass soon!” (Unfortunately, she heard that I had to go to the bathroom–also not entirely untrue.) But I did start picking off runners in front of me and finished strong, my last mile at 7:51, despite the hills.
Throughout the race, I probably could have gone a little faster. But I did what I needed to do to have a better feel for what I could do and feel strong all the way to the finish, tackling each hill and finishing the second half faster than the first.
The weather also couldn’t have been more different from last year. It was perfectly cool at 28 degrees, in contrast to last year’s 60s, with hardly any wind. Even though my face was frozen and numb, the rest of my body felt great.
In the end, my goal was 1:50 (well, as close to that as I could, I knew an actual 1:50 was pushing my limits :) and I finished 1:52:36 so I was happy with that. It was a good day.
I finished 29th (of 80) in my age group, 152 of the women and 521 overall.
Splits: 8:44, 8:35, 8:30, 8:50, 8:49, 8:54, 8:54, 8:35, 8:16, 8:40, 8:33, 8:19, 7:51, :56