Last Saturday I finally ran my first race of the year — the Hippie Chic half marathon. It was an all women’s race in Hillsboro, OR. (OK, maybe Ragnar FL Keys was my first race….but this was my first solo race!)
The morning of the race I was feeling like had totally forgotten all my pre-race rituals….when was I supposed to arrive? When should I eat? How long should I warm up? I was nervous! But very excited! The atmosphere race morning is something I always love.
Since moving to Oregon I’ve been chasing a lot of speedy runners on the track and on the trails, but I haven’t been following a specific training plan. I have also been incorporating a lot of biking and swimming in preparation for my June triathlon. Because of that I was curious about what I might be able to do, but was uncertain. I decided I would try to aim for close to my PR, but wasn’t really sure what side of it I’d end up on.
At the start line there were a few pace groups, and one was actually 8:18 pace…exactly my PR. Perfect! I decided I would stick close to them for a little while, then speed up if there was more in the tank around the halfway point.
The beginning of any race is so important not to start to fast. Not to burn out early. But here my first mile beeped on my Garmin at 8:03! Oops, a little quick. Next mile though…same thing. 8:03. At that point I decided I was feeling really good, and the weather was perfect for a strong race. I decided I was just going to go for it and see how long I could hold on. My new goal was to hold an 8-8:05 through 10 miles and push for whatever was left in the tank. Around mile 6, I started running a few miles sub 8. I was nervous that this bit of speeding up was coming too early, but it just kind of naturally happened. I kept trying to just stay steady.
I ended up running a really great race!! Steady and strong the whole way. A good negative split — starting out just above 8, then slowly dropping it down below 8. The last couple miles were a little tough trying to navigate around walkers from the quarter marathon, but I dropped my pace even more to a 7:45. By then I knew I was going to PR, but the question was by how much. I just kept thinking I was going to be so close to 1:45!
I crossed the finish line at 1:44:51. A 4-minute PR! I was SO excited!!
After the race, I was able to meet up with Hyla from Wasn’t Just the Wine Talking for a few minutes. It’s so fun to meet other bloggers at a race!
Hyla and me rockin’ our Nuun Energy hats post race!
When I got home, I found out I was actually 3rd place in my age group! Definitely didn’t think that would happen for me in a half marathon.
Thanks so much to the Better Series and Nuun Hydration for the opportunity to run in this race. It was a great course through flat country roads, is a really great supportive environment for women of all ages and paces, and definitely one I’d look into again in the future. Plus, how can you say no to full bars of chocolate post race?!