Set a goal for under 2:15. It was my first long race in a while so expections were tempered by past but more recent 2:30plus halfs which included alot of walking.
My training base was good with about 83 miles in Oct and as it turned out 95 in Nov.
Went with Mike and Judi (and Massey) to the event. Up at 6am and at their house at 6:30. Race time was 8. Fortunately I didn't forget a thing. Chip build into number was nice. One less thing to remember.
Pre race stuff all went as planned. I left Mike and Judi with the speedier of the species up nearer the start line and move back in the pens to the chunkier section.
Anthem sung, starting shot heard and we are off. Didn't pay much attention to my time to start with but had set in my mind the thought of running three 30 minute runs with a walking break in the middle. I had trained roughly this way with circles around the UNF trails separated by water breaks. I knew I had three 30's in me and figured I could limp home at the end and finish around 2:15. Plan set.
First 30 was no problem. In fact I was a bit too fast and finished 3 miles in under 27 mins. Worried I might bonk with the temp in the low to mid 60s , I focused on slowing down and running an even 3 miles in 30 over the next 30 mins. After my walk I reached the 6 mile mark at under 57 mins. Better but alittle fast considering a recover walk was in the middle of that set. Realized my nipples were getting their period and carried my shirt the rest of the way. Note to self: alway wear an old shirt. Mike has said before but I just don't listen.
Next thirty mins went as planned. Lost myself in following cute bunnies and let mile 9 slide by at 1:27. I was surprised I was still holding up.
From there on it was put your head down and grind it out. I focused on run LIGHT and run EASY. Just like in Born to Run. Those four miles average a 10 min pace, but that is not how I got there. I tried to use the tank up in miles 10-12 and must have ran much faster because the last mile was a slow grind with two or three walks near the end as I mismeasured the finish distance. This race ends with a left then a right then a left then a right etc.... You couldn't see the end so you couldn't measure your effort very well.
I was happy I used the tank up though. Better than the alterantive. I pulled through the finish at 2:07 and felt great. Good buddy Mike was right there slapping me on my back and handing me my medal. What an inspiration. I walk away very happy with beating my goal of 2:15.
Got a little disoriented and somehow convince Mike and Judi I was fine and that I wanted food and would met them at the car. What are they thinking? You just can't listen to me at the finish line. It is like pillow talk. You will say anything. Started walking and head cleared. Then decided the car was the place to be. I found it quite directly but all the while felt lost getting there. I laid down on the cool sidewalk near car and look up at a lone elm tree I was now under. It was silowetted by the blue cloudless Thanksgiving day sky and quite peaceful. What I was listening to I can't remember I stared up for what seemed like forever and watched contently as the morning dew that was blown off the tree leaves fell great distances and hit the ground all around.
It was a moment of peace that you just can't quite decribe but you know it only as you feel it. Made for a great day.
Thanks to all those who help make it happen. Mike, Judi, Chris and even Massey. All part of the team that helped get me there.