This weekend, I managed two amazing running milestones: I ran my first out-of-town half marathon and I ran my personal best half marathon.
|This is probably my favorite race medal.|
I bundled up for the ride to Annapolis…we left at 5:30 a.m. to get there in plenty of time (yes, we! Shane decided to tag along which was such a sweet thing). Surprisingly, there wasn’t a line of traffic when we arrived. Shane dropped me off near the stadium and left to run a few errands. I was so glad he had a game plan for being in the area; I couldn’t imagine him waiting more than 2 hours for me to finish.
|Silly, yes. But necessary for a good race in my opinion.|
|The only downfall to this part of the course is the sweet smell of breakfast cooking at the restaurants. Torture for runners.|
Not only was this my personal best half marathon time, it was also my foggiest race. The views from the Severn River bridge are normally spectacular when you can see them. The fog was so thick that I couldn’t see more than a few hundred yards ahead of me until close to the end of the race.
|On a similar note, all of these runners have nice strides! ha.|
I’ve now raced in the extreme snow and ice, in hail and lightning, on the hottest day of the year, and now in thick fog. Where’s the medal for that?
Speaking of medals, I think I have my new favorite. I love the detail of downtown Annapolis in this race medal.
|Props to Shane for this photo.|
Now, for a race confession. This was my personal best time (2:04:33 is the exact), but my splits were all over the place. For the Chestertown Half in September, I ran almost every mile at an even 10:00 pace, finishing in 2:09. Here are my splits for the Annapolis Half, rounding up:
Mile 1: 8:00
Mile 2: 9:00
Mile 3: 12:00
Mile 4: 10:00
Mile 5: 10:00
Mile 6: 9:00
Mile 7: 9:30
Mile 8: 8:00
Mile 9: 6:30
Mile 10: 8:30
Mile 11: 12:00
Mile 12: 10:00
Mile 13: 10:00
Mile 13.1: 1:30
My fastest mile can be attributed to a couple of great downhill charges, and my slowest miles were charging up hills. The Annapolis course has a few mean hills, but nothing too unmanageable. The course blends city running with scenic water running, and contains just the right amount of challenging hills or turns.
My least favorite part? I trained to run this race with a friend who ended up sidelined with an injury after running a training run and then participating in a 5k on the same day. I would’ve loved running with her for this race. We’re already looking for a good spring half to run together, once she’s back on her running feet!
One silly favorite part of this race? The spectators. There were some great friends, locals, and volunteers who cheered us on at every major turn. My absolute favorite were the four volunteers at the top of the Severn river bridge who held these signs “Worst Parade Ever”; “Your training for this race lasted longer than Kim Kardashian’s marriage”; “You’re only 1/2 crazy”; “Staying up all night to make this sign was hard, too.” Thanks for being the entertainment of a tough hill climb!
|The finish line.|
|I look forward to the next race. Now that I’ve made it so close to a 2:00 half, my next goal is a sub–2:00 half. So, there‘s at least one half marathon in my near future. After that…who knows?|