Friday we ran 5 miles along the canal with Crystal's hubby (and my favorite Coastie) Joe.
We had picked up our race packet the night before, so we arrived, parked, and boarded the shuttle to the start. There was a crazy line for the port-a-potties, but we made it to the bag check and the starting line with a few minutes to stretch. We couldn't hear a thing, and all of a sudden there was an air horn and the crowd started to move. We had decided to run our own races, so we lost each other right at the start. The crowd took about two miles to de-clump, three to get into my stride. I decided I was not going to look at my watch other than to check my time at Miles 3, 6, 9 and 12. During my periodic checks I was reassured that my pace was where I needed to be to reach my goal.
I gotta say, the volunteers did a great job! There was plenty of water at all of the water stops and the people directing traffic did an amazing job. Thanks to all the wonderful people who make events like these go smoothly! So anyway, back to the race. The course was described as very hilly and it did not disappoint! None of them were bad, its just that there were so many of them! There were few spectators along the course, but there was a bunch of little kids (I assume associated with The Boys & Girls Club) along side the road cheering and clapping, and it gave me such a tremendous boost. So thank you to them!
At Mile 12 I looked at my watch and discovered I had nearly 20 minutes to make it to the finish line and still reach my sub-2 goal. What a feeling of relief and elation! I crossed the line with an official time of 1:49:08. I placed 13th of 77 in my division (F 30-39) and had an average pace of 8:20/M. This race has given me a new 2014 Goal: sub-1:45 Half Marathon!
Remember how I said I lost Crystal at the start? I had no idea if she was half a mile ahead of me or on my heels. When I crossed the line I turned around and there she was!!! She said she wasn't sure she had seen me until the final stretch, but dang it! We could have been running together the whole time!
We celebrated our victory with some yummy food and beer.......
....and later ice cream on the beach!