Breaking the 1:40 in the Half Marathon

Well, it’s crazy but I just ran another PR race. 2014 is gonna be hard to top!

I had signed up for the Santa Cruz Half Marathon a long time ago, wanting to make up for not running it last year. I have run this race twice before, it was my first half marathon, and it a course I really like – along West Cliff where I typically do my tempo runs and mile repeats and then out to the Wilder Bluffs, which is just a stunning view. Seeing all the runners along the bluffs in one the best sights in Santa Cruz (clearly a runner’s bias!). Anyway, there was a little part of me that thought maybe I can PR at this course. That part of me got louder after the Lucky Run where I didn’t officially PR but would have if not for a bathroom break. However, I also knew that I was aiming for a PR at the 5k and would be running Ragnar the week before this race, so a half PR was a little unrealistic.

Start line

Start line

After the Carlsbad 5000 and Ragnar, my legs did feel tired and stiff. This was worsened by an 8 hour drive home the day after Ragnar. I did some 800s on the track on Monday and was pretty happy with them and thought “well maybe, if my legs feel fresh, I’ll try for that PR.” But I also knew my new buddy & co-TSFM ambassador and Ragnar teammate Erin was serving as the 1:45 pacer so I could just run with her and have some fun. All week I was unsure, my legs never felt completely rested but I didn’t feel destroyed either. I literally waffled back and forth on my race plans until the second the gun went off (and maybe for a few more miles).

1:45 pacer extraordinaire, Erin!

1:45 pacer extraordinaire, Erin!

Sunday morning I jogged down to the start line with Hillary (she wasn’t racing but wanted to come down with me before she headed out for her run). We stopped by the Santa Cruz Endurance/Santa Cruz Running Company tent at the finish line and said hello to our teammates, most of whom were running the 10k with the exception of Julie (who I somehow missed seeing all day) and Selena who was also running the half (and had a massive PR!). Selena had a 1:46 PR before so I had suggested that she run with Erin to get a 1:45. She was a little unsure due to some shin splints and lack of loads of speed training. But when we lined up, she was right next to me and Erin. At this point, I figured I would start out with the 1:45ers and pick it up if I felt good.

Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 12.06.47 PM

Gun goes off, and there I go – ahead of the 1:45ers (and for about a mile ahead of the 1:40 pace group). After a little hiccup, I switched my watch’s screen from the mile/pace to the clock screen (and until the last mile I never checked my splits/pace). I kept the 1:40 group within sight and tried to just stay comfortable. I didn’t want to go all crazy just to run out of steam in the first miles. Selena shocked me by showing up right next to me! She ran with me for a couple miles, on pace to destroy her previous best half! Around mile 3.5 or 4, I saw Hillary on her run, cheered her on (yes I realize she was just running and I was the one racing). Then it was time to head into the bike path leading to Wilder. (Miles 1-4: 7:44, 7:40, 7:37, 7:48)

I run the bike path a decent amount and knew it was a little rolly with a good downhill toward the end (just about at the 5 mile marker). I came down the hill to see friends Rebecca and Jenn doing their course support/volunteer thing. I hadn’t really told a lot of people I was running the race so they were surprised to see me. They cheered for me and I turned into Wilder Ranch where I saw Fleet Feet Racing teammates Lisa and Nancy. Loved all the support! Then it was into the bluffs where I saw Shoshanah and grabbed a quick sip of water. The bluffs are flat trails, not technical but not super speedy either. I chatted with some other runners, kept it nice and easy. The 1:40 group was about a minute ahead of me. We came out of the bluffs and started to make our way back toward the Boardwalk. (Miles 5-8: 7:39, 7:46, 7:36, 7:32)

Always a tough finish with the last few steps on the sand.

Always a tough finish with the last few steps on the sand.

Back to the bike path and more cheers from Jenn, I started up the one real hill in the course. It’s not long but it’s steep. Lucky me, the hill work paid off and I was able to pass several runners here. I saw the UCSC cross country runners doing their thing followed by my running coach (I hadn’t told him I was racing either, “Hey Aaron! Decided to race today!”). It was back to West Cliff where I took good advantage of running smart tangents. While I felt I lost some steam here, I also knew I would PR, I assumed somewhere around 1:40:30. And then I saw Jose, who I have run with in other races. I caught up to him with 2 miles left, said hi (and thanks for giving me a reason to pick it up a bit) and kept going. (Miles 9-12: 7:54 (hello hill!), 7:30, 7:29, 7:38)

Last mile. I wanted to hold back until I had about .75 of a mile left and then push as hard as I could. I knew it would hurt but I also knew that it would be about 7 minutes long and then I would be done. Unfortunately, there were a lot of 10k walkers at this point and even though they closed the road (yippee! not just the path!) it was hard to navigate that last mile. I came running down the final hill yelling “ON YOUR LEFT!” (Bob is my witness, I screamed at people.) When I turned the corner I was shocked to see the clock said 1:39:XX. I booked it and ended up with an official time of 1:39:38 (my watch had a few extra seconds..I probably stopped it a tad late). I felt like I was pretty steady with my pace, maybe a slight negative split. But hey, I had a half marathon PR on 5 weeks of 5k training! (Final mile: 7:21, last 10th 5:24 pace)

Coming in with 1:39 on the clock!

Coming in with 1:39 on the clock!

Official results

Official results

happy post PR Meg

happy post PR Meg

I headed over to the SCE tent, told everyone my good news and then Laura practically tackled me – knowing I had broken 1:40 and that it had been my goal since last year! It was AWESOME! I saw Erin again and heard she did a great job pacing her group (yay Erin!!). I found out my team members rocked their races too: Selena PRed with a 1:41, Julie beat me by a few minutes, Leslie & Sam took top women’s overall spots in the 10k, and the guys pretty much all took either an overall or age group spot in the 10k. Strong work SCE!!

PR buddies - congrats Selena!!

PR buddies – congrats Selena!!

Can I get your autograph Erin?

Can I get your autograph Erin?

Stellar SCE runners with their prizes

Stellar SCE runners with their prizes

SCE held a post party at member Josh’s house. We had delicious treats and mimosas, complete with massages from our new sponsor Santa Cruz Core. And I got a new Santa Cruz beach towel as a celebration of my PR. What a great team to do that! Thanks all! It was so much fun to see our team running together and then celebrating together. And now, I get a training break before its time to start up again for the SF Marathon!

Post race party

Post race party

Did you race this weekend? How did it go?

 

 

That One Time Where I Accidentally & Unofficially PRed at the Lucky Run

On Friday evening, Ashley, Leslie, and I headed out for a girls weekend in Davis (my schedule prevented an earlier departure time).  We stopped halfway in Walnut Creek to get some good carbs at a delicious little Italian restaurant (the gnocchi was so good!). Then back out on the road. It wasn’t a very exciting evening as we promptly fell asleep once we got to the hotel.

1661631_772129019466735_469137662_n

The original plan for the day was that we would all run the half marathon. However, as the saying goes the best laid plans… Leslie ended up having a 22 mile run scheduled for her Boston Marathon training and Ashley opted for a shorter distance (choosing the 7 mile run). Leslie’s plan originally called for her to run her 13.1 miles at a 7:15 pace, but with a cold coming on she decided to run only 5 miles at this pace. This allowed Leslie and I to run most of the half together. After she ran a couple miles, we met back up and decided that maybe an 8 minute pace would be good. The decision went something like this: L – “what pace you thinking?” M – “I don’t know.” L – “8 minute pace?” M – “Sure,” Serious planning there.

We were disappointed that there were only 4 port-a-potties at the start and agreed we would have to stop at the first one we saw. While it was a bummer that they did not have more at the start, they seemed to have a good amount on the course. We used the first one, at the 4 mile mark.

We never ran an 8 minute pace. The first 4 miles were just a race to the bathroom (7:31, 7:42, 7:40, 7:23). The next 5ish miles were out and back along the freeway. This was my least favorite part of the course. It was visually boring, had no shade, and the exhaust from the cars bugged me. We both wanted to out of that section (7:37, 7:33, 7:30, 7:40, 7:37). At one point, Leslie noted we were running a 7:30 pace and might want to slow down. I agreed, I had no intention of running that pace for the half but clearly we did not slow down much.

Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 3.27.27 PM

The rest of the race was through parks and bike paths. It was never too busy, except a few times when the half marathoners overlapped with the 7 miler and 7k runners. It was nice and shady in these sections, much better than the freeway miles. There were a lot of turns in the course, but nothing too terrible. The only problem was the race coincided with Little League opening day so when we got back near the start, there was a lot of people walking on the race course. Due to this some people missed turns in the race, including Leslie, and ran some extra mileage. Hopefully in the future they don’t make this scheduling mistake. For a good portion of the race, we were entertained by a guy running ahead of us who high-fived many of the spectators and volunteers, as well as each mile marker. I hadn’t seen that tradition before in a race. Around mile 9 or 10, Leslie picked up her pace to get in her 7:15 miles and I kept around the same pace I had been running. I was pretty consistent with my pace overall (7:39, 7:33, 7:33, 7:28).

I crossed the finish line with a time of 1:41:55. That is only about 30 seconds slower than my PR and included the bathroom break. (I paused my watch for the break and had a finishing time of 1:40:12 an unofficial PR!). It would have been really cool for it to have been an official PR but I’m still really stoked about my finishing time as I never felt that I was running too hard and was able to keep a conversation with Leslie for a good portion of the run.

Race medals are getting a little out of control these days.

Race medals are getting a little out of control these days.

We met up with Ashley at the finish, Leslie handed me her (giant) medal and headed out to finish off her long run. After she returned we enjoyed a well deserved beer. Before leaving Davis, we enjoyed a good brunch at de Vere’s Irish Pub. Overall, this was a great little getaway. It just was too short!

13.1, 7, and 22 miles = well deserved beer

13.1, 7, and 22 miles = well deserved beer

A Half Marathon with Just a Little Pixie Dust

This past weekend, I joined fellow SFM ambassador Paulette for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon and had an amazing time! (Scroll down a little ways for the actual race recap.)

tbm301838LARGE

We drove down Friday evening. Paulette is a great road trip buddy – she was happy to stop to eat (not eat on the go) and chatted with me the whole way down. We got to Anaheim around midnight, checked into the hotel, and promptly went to sleep. Saturday morning I got up and headed out for a little 3 mile shakeout run. We had a busy day ahead of us, so I wanted to get it done early. It was a boring run (just out and back down Harbor Blvd.) but served its purpose. Then Paulette and I headed to the expo. I was really impressed by it: good organization and not too crowded. We picked up our bibs, team bibs & sashes, slightly-discounted Disneyland ticket, and shirts quickly and then did a little “window” shopping. I had forgotten a headband, so I picked a cute Minnie-inspired one from Sweaty Bands and Paulette got some new compression socks. I also picked up a little Vinylmation Mickey runner (the hubs and I always pick up these little figures when we go to the Park, so I had to get one this weekend too.

photo 2

swag

Outside the expo (photo credit to Paulette)

Outside the expo (photo credit to Paulette)

Racing Mickey

Racing Mickey

After dropping our stuff off at the hotel, we headed over to Disneyland. The park was busy (nice weather, 3-day weekend, race weekend – no surprise) but still a good day.  We didn’t run a ton of rides but got to see a lot of the park and look at the shops. I love Disneyland and it was fun, but I admit I missed having the hubs with me. We’ll need to make a trip happen soon!

After the park, we met up with  my parents for dinner at Red Robin (yum!). I worried that it would be a long wait, but it wasn’t bad at all (and my dad scored a good table in the bar anyway). It was really nice to get to see them on such a quick weekend in SoCal but it would have been nicer to spend a little more time with them. However, we had an early wake up the next day so an early-ish dinner was about all we could do. (Thanks Mom & Dad for coming up to Anaheim to see me!)

Carb loading at Red Robin

Carb loading at Red Robin

3:40am came too early but it was time to wake up, eat a little breakfast, and head over to the 5am start for the race. Paulette and I were both in wave A so we navigated our way up to the front. After we got in the wave, we hung out a little bit before I moved a little closer to the start line. Before we started, they had some characters up on the stage (Minnie and Daisy in their workout gear) and sang the national anthem (complete with fireworks – so cool!).

Photo Credit RunDisney FB page

Photo Credit RunDisney FB page

I went into this race without any real expectations. I hadn’t been training but had solid mileage and a few speed workouts. I just wanted to run a strong race where I felt good. I started out conservatively, my first mile in the high 7 minute range. Then we entered the parks and I really enjoyed seeing all the lights and attractions. I hadn’t been to California Adventure in ages, so it was fun to see the redesigns, Cars Land, and the World of Color lights and water show. In fact, I might have gotten a little too excited as my pace jumped to 8:30-ish – whoops! We got to see some backstage portions of both parks and some of the best parts of both. I even saw a Mary Poppins float backstage at Disneyland (I love Mary Poppins)! As much as I loved running in the parks, I was happy to get out into Anaheim where there was more wide streets and less tight turns. By this point we were coming up to mile 6 (I had missed the 5 mile marker somehow) and I was feeling pretty good. My iPod also randomly turned off at some point during this section of the race but I didn’t need it anyway, so back to racing without it. (Miles 1-5: 7:43, 8:27, 7:52, 8:12, 8:02)

Photo Credit RunDisney FB page

Photo Credit RunDisney FB page

World of Color (photo credit instagram user @tix2gr)

World of Color (photo credit instagram user @tix2gr)

Miles 6-10 I just kept on trucking. I decided to focus on a negative split and try to bring down my mile times. I’m happy to report that I did. I took some Sports Beans at mile 8 (didn’t want to crash like I did at the Big Sur half last November). Around mile 9, I decided I would just try to pass as many women as I could and not be passed by any women. (Men had started the race beginning in wave 3, so around mile 4-ish men starting passing. They got a little to crazy about passing all the ladies, but the guys I saw later on the course were really great – cheering on the ladies.) I like to think I had my friend Jenn telling me that I could pick off the women running in front of me and I did. This felt great and helped me keep pushing my miles right along. I was feeling pretty good but definitely ready to finish the last 3.1 miles. (Miles 6-10: 7:51, 8:03, 7:43, 7:56, 7:49)

Screen Shot 2014-01-20 at 6.19.37 PM

Miles 11-13.1 I kept up the same plan. I had to use the bathroom but kept deciding to wait until the finish. I  regretted this for about 2 minutes after I passed each port-a-potty. But I was having fun passing runners and didn’t want to lose that momentum. I just kept pushing harder to get to the finish faster. I passed one runner just as we started to head back to the parks and she caught me in the tunnel (backstage perk) before we came into the resort again. Just as she pulled up next to me, we gave each other some encouragement (nice work, type of thing) and then I pulled ahead again. I passed another runner and then two more just before the finish. I was definitely pushing at this point but felt that it was a strong finish. (Miles 11-13.1: 7:46, 7:20, 7:05, 59 seconds for last .16)

Minnie & Daisy at the finish :)

Minnie & Daisy at the finish :)

Sweet negative splits

Obligatory medal photo

Obligatory medal photo

This was just the race I needed to run! I felt strong and was happy with my finishing time (1:43:05 – 15th in my age group and 65th woman out of 11,000+ runners). It was the fastest half I’ve run since my PR in 2012. It reminded that I could run a strong race and got me excited for racing half marathons again. I was also really happy that I had solid negative splits.

I have to say, I was really impressed by runDisney. I didn’t really know what to expect. I had read plenty of race recaps from Disney events that were very positive but had largely focused on seeing characters or swag. While this is great, it doesn’t necessarily make or break a race for me. But runDisney did a great job. Even through the waves were huge (for example, wave A included all sub-2 hour women runners), I never felt crowded on the course. In fact, at times I didn’t even feel like I was part of a big race seeing just a few runners ahead of me. This was great! I had been worried about being stuck in a pack and this didn’t happen at all. Additionally, there were plenty of aid stations that seemed well stocked and one with Clif Shots. I really liked the course, even outside of the parks. I thought the Anaheim route was good with some nice long stretches. They had some entertainment (sometimes we were in neighborhoods and the race tried to be really considerate of the inhabitants – they had signs “shhh… the neighbors are sleeping”) and I liked the downtown portion. There were some little hills (I would have liked a bit more) so it wasn’t as pancake flat as I feared. The finish area was great. After getting your medal and water, they had food (already boxed and easy to grab), tons of port-a-potties, and other amenities. I didn’t use it but the gear check looked well-organized too.

Photo credit RunDisney FaceBook page

Photo credit RunDisney FB page

After the race, Paulette and I headed back north pretty quickly. The drive was really nice (just a little traffic north of LA due to an accident), we took the 101 so it was a pretty one. We were happy listening to the first hour of the 49ers game in the final portion of our drive (but of course, for Niners fans, that game ended sadly). And we were back in Nor Cal before we knew it.

I am so happy that I decided to run this race. The race itself was pretty perfect and the weekend was a lot of fun. Thanks Paulette for a great time! (PS Paulette has her recap up too, check it out HERE.)

Pacing a Friend to a PR

Way back in June when I ran the SFM half, I decided to sign up for the Berkeley Half Marathon (put on by the same awesome folks from SFM!!). I knew that I wouldn’t be racing it since I would have just raced Big Sur the previous weekend (and well now we know that didn’t go so great), but I still thought it would be really fun to be a part of the first ever Berkeley Half. I thought it would be great if I could find someone looking to PR in the high 1:40s or 1:50s range since I knew that would an easy pace for me to keep. Well, a few months back I convinced my new running pal, Ashley, that she needed to get rid of her old half PR (about 2:00) and that I would help her do that at this race. And then this past week, I also convinced Hillary to join us in the fun.

Saturday afternoon I drove up to Berkeley to pick up the race packets for Hillary and I (Ashley opted to have her mailed to her house) and spend the rest of the day with friends who live in the city. (Ok, so I also totally signed up for this race knowing that I could get to hang out with them too!) We had a great time eating food, drinking wine, and shopping (Wendy came with me to get some new lights for the new house). They are great hosts and I’m excited to have them come visit this weekend!

Pre race

Pre race

Luckily, my friends live just about a mile and a half from the finish so I decided to drive to the finish to meet Ashley and Hillary (who drove up from Santa Cruz that morning). We left my car at the finish and then headed to the start. I love point-to-point courses but it does make it a little difficult to figure out parking/driving (they did have a shuttle to alleviate this problem). After parking fairly close to the start and visiting our friend Port-a-potty, we headed over to the corrals. We were in the 2nd wave and it was PACKED! We couldn’t see the entry gate for the waves and ended up hopping the fence as the race started. So exciting to see such a big turn out for inaugural event! The first 3-4 miles wind through the city portion of Berkeley – I love running the streets much more than driving them! Then we headed out to a run/bike path that parallels the bay and the I-80. Our plan was to keep Ashley at an 8:45 pace for the first 5 miles and then evaluate from there. Like all runners, Ashely felt great in those first few miles (not to mention it was mostly downhill), so we had some speedier paces.

Mile 1 – 8:42
Mile 2 – 8:39
Mile 3 – 7:58 (whoops! bad pacer!)
Mile 4 – 8:12
Mile 5 – 8:39

The stretch between miles 5 and 8 are pretty nice. While the course is next to the freeway, there is a great view of the bay and SF. Thankfully the fog was clearing and we could even see the Golden Gate Bridge. Around this time I also saw some of my favorite running friends/fellow SFM ambassadors: Chris, Alisyn, and Paulette! Then we entered Cesar Chavez park. At times we were on some gravel and dirt trails, but the race did tell runners to expect this. We also took our fuel at this point (unlike when I skipped that part at Big Sur). It was pretty but the course was pretty flat at this point, so there was some leg fatigue. Ashley was feeling good at the pace we had kept in the first 5 miles, so we tried to keep around that same pace for these five as well.

Mile 6 – 8:37
Mile 7 – 8:40
Mile 8 – 8:47
Mile 9 – 8:52
Mile 10 – 8:58

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 10.29.54 AM      Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 10.28.03 AM

(I had WAY too  much fun cheering for Ashley as we ran!)

As we ran out of the park we did a couple of U-turns and hairpin turns. I think Ashley just wanted to be headed toward the finish, but hey we had to get in all 3 miles. Unfortunately, we also saw that a man had collapsed and was being given CPR (I looked it up Sunday night and it said his condition was improving in the hospital). Hillary and I encouraged Ashley not to look his way and to keep her focus on her race. At this point she was definitely tired, she had been rocking a great pace and was in the last 5k (the hardest part). I tried to keep her spirits up and even welcomed her to pull my hair if that would help – she did not take me up on the offer. I knew that at this point she would PR no matter what, but both Hillary and I wanted her to finish strong too. Right before the 13 mile marker, the course climbs up a hill. Not exactly what you want to see as you are nearing the finish. But Ashley rocked it and was able to sprint down the hill to the finish chute. She finished with a brand new PR of 1:53:42!!!

Mile 11 – 8:55
Mile 12 – 8:55
Mile 13 – 9:01
.10 – :44

Hillary was so excited she couldn't keep her eyes open ;)

Hillary was so excited she couldn’t keep her eyes open ;)

I am so glad I got to be a part of Ashley’s awesome race! I would recommend pacing a runner at some point – to see them accomplish their goal is an amazing feeling. It reminded me of all the great parts of racing (something I definitely needed after last week). We celebrated with brunch and mimosas. The Berkeley Half was also a great race. The course is pretty flat overall and has nice views. There are a decent amount of turns and turn-arounds but my guess is that will get worked out as the race grows. The shirts were really nice (sorry no photo – I immediately wore mine and now it’s in the laundry) and of course they had great bling – I had two medals one for the race and one for finish the SF/Berkeley Challenge.

 

The Race I Didn’t Plan For

I know it’s Friday and I’ve been bad about posting my Fit Friday posts, but I wanted to get this recap out instead.

Last Sunday, I ran the Big Sur Half Marathon. This has been one of my favorite half marathon since I first ran in it in 2011. Last year, I also ran my current PR there. So this year, I planned on this being my last real race of 2013 and hoped to finally break 1:40 in the half. For the most part, my training had gone really well and my speed was picking up. A week before the race, I was confident that this would be the perfect setting. But it wasn’t, no PR, not this time.

Unfortunately, timing was not on my side. As I shared in my last post, we just purchased our first home and began our move on the Friday before the race. I knew this was not ideal but it was what it was. I ended up being on my feet packing pretty much every day of the week leading up to the race. I tried to mitigate this by using some Recovery Pump time but I just had too much on my legs. During my Friday run, my right foot also acted up and we had to stop for me to stretch it out. Despite all this, I really thought I could still PR – if only by a few seconds.

Who can complain with this scenery? (Photo by Miriam K.)

Who can complain with this scenery? (Photo by Miriam K.)

Sunday morning I headed down to the race with Leslie (who was pacing me – what a treat!) and Sam (who rocked her race with a new PR and took 1st in her AG). We had a nice little shake out run and while my legs still felt tired, I felt ok and wasn’t too worried. Pretty quickly into the race, I knew it was going to be a hard push to get this PR but I still thought I could do it. Leslie kept me on pace, following my goal to stay within 7:35-7:40 for the first 10k, then the plan was to drop to about 7:30 through mile 10 and then give everything I had in the last 3 miles. Even though I didn’t feel as great as I wanted to, every time Leslie asked how I was going, I said good – if I said it out loud it made it true, right? I hit mile 7.7 at 59:02, right on target.

When we hit mile 9, Leslie knew I was having a rough time. She asked if this was just the pain of the race or if it just wasn’t my day. I had to be honest, there was no way I could keep up my pace for another 4 miles, let alone push faster. So I told her it wasn’t my day. We held a pretty decent pace for the next two miles (7:48, 7:54). But then I just fell apart – running never felt so hard! (Ok, it felt harder at the LA Marathon but whatever.) We hit mile 11 at 1:25:51. I thought maybe if I held back in miles 11 and 12, I could push in the last mile and maybe make up a little time – still not a PR but at least close to my best. Leslie was a great pacer, she reminded me that even on my slow runs I was faster than what I was running in those two miles and I really appreciated that. She encouraged me to try to pass people in that last mile. And I wanted to… but no good. I had to stop (twice!) because my body just wasn’t having it. I have to admit, it was a little awful to fall apart like that with a friend to witness it – but I so appreciated Leslie being there. A big THANK YOU to her for being there and being a great pacer even when I couldn’t make it happen. When we came up to the finish (where Kevin and my dad were spectating – thanks guys!) I gave everything I had to push to the finish, even a little sprint in that last bit before the finish line. My official finish time: 1:44:15 (1:42 ish without my stops).

Leslie taking me into the finish chute (photo by Kevin)

Leslie taking me into the finish chute (photo by Kevin)

After crossing the line, I picked up my food box and ate EVERYTHING. I was starving. I never eat that quickly after a race. But I could not find where I had packed my Sports Beans and had only eaten a banana before the race – not great. I normally don’t need fuel in a half marathon, however, the few times I have forgotten to take it with me have been the times I needed it – of course, right? We had to run some errands after the race for the new house and my legs were so tired that I sat down in the store – yep. And I didn’t run again until today – although lots of time on my feet still with unpacking. Even with those days off, my legs still felt tired and so while I’m bummed that Sunday didn’t go the way I hoped and planned for, I gave all I had in the race. And still, it was my fastest half in a year.

Nice swag

Nice swag

This Sunday I also get to pay it forward and pace a friend to a new PR at the inaugural Berkeley Half Marathon. I’m pretty excited to run with her and still in a good long run. Will I be seeing you at the race? (Look for me, I’ll have on my SFM Ambassador singlet from last year.)