|Race #19 bling minus the shirt|
|Stephanie squared after my PR of 1:58|
This past weekend I ran my 19th and 20th half marathons. YES! Back to back races....#19 on Saturday and #20 on Sunday. I am not one to miss a race, especially so close to home, so when I found 2 races on the same weekend I thought "Why not?!" I talked ( it wasn't hard) my friend Stephanie into running them with me. So became the weekend of "Stephanie squared, half marathon squared".
The Alton Half Marathon Saturday was about 30 minutes away in Alton, Il. I had run this one before. It wasn't a favorite, but it was small, close, flat and cheap. Packet pickup was that morning. We were able to get our packets and go sit back in the car until the race started. It was so cold and windy.
The race started right on time and we were off crossing the bridge over the Mississippi River. Once we crossed the bridge it was a very boring rural course. I ended up counting roadkill to keep my mind busy and off of cursing the damn wind. It was an out and back course so when we turned around the head winds were brutal!
I was on pace to PR and run a sub 2 ( My PR was sitting right at 2:00). I was averaging a 8:05 pace the first half.....then we turned into the wind....I slowed down considerably fighting that wind that was pushing me and that PR back. I was kissing it goodbye and honestly I was OK with it. I just wanted to be done.
Stephanie had been running slightly ahead of me the whole time (This girl is SUPER fast). About mile 12 she slowed down and told me if I booked it I could still do it. I thought she was lying to get me to speed up so she could go home and warm up.:) i had stopped looking at my watch miles ago because it was just depressing me.
We turned the corner at mile 13 and could see the finish line. I had .1 miles to go. I caught sight of the finish line clock. Surely my wind blown and frozen eyeballs were playing tricks on me...that clock DID NOT say 1:57( and seconds) did it??? OMG! I was going to break through the 2 hour mark! I was going to PR! I was going to cry...but my tear ducts were frozen! I could walk from here and still get that sub 2. I didn't do that though. I sprinted strong to that finish line 1:58. I did it! It only took 19 tries, but i finally got that sub 2 time!
For not being my favorite course to run, it is now my most memorable! I am so thankful I ran it with Stephanie, who pushed me when I needed to be pushed and celebrated my victory over the wind and cold with me!
We had such a great time we figured we would do it again the next day...tomorrow I will recap the Run for 21 half marathon.