Today was the Mercedes Marathon/Half Marathon in Birmingham. I signed up a little over 3 weeks ago on a whim since my knee has been feeling alot better lately. The Mercedes race was my 2nd Half Marathon and my absolute favorite race last year. This year it makes my 4th Half!
I won’t go in to details but I have had a very bad week for several reasons. It definitely seemed like the stars have not been aligned in my favor lately. I’ve been afraid that the stress in my life lately would negatively affect my race. I almost decided not even to bother doing the race. Honestly, the only reason I went through with it was because of the money I had spent on the race and the hotel room.
This morning I had a little pep talk with myself. I told myself that I would do the best I could do right now, even if I know I’ve done better before. I knew that I had several extenuating circumstances to consider. I wanted this race to be a relaxing and fun activity instead of an additional stress factor. I told myself that I would not be embarrassed or ashamed if I didn’t do as well as I have in the past.
The race started at 7:03 this morning with more than 7000 participants!
The pace I had set in my mind to maintain was 8:20. With that pace I would beat atleast my worst Half time of 1:53.
At the first mile my pace was 7:48. That gave me some wiggle room for later in the race.
Tim and I made a plan this morning that he would meet me at mile 3, mile 7 and the finish line. I was focused on getting to mile 3 so I could see him. My 3rd mile was super fast and I was still feeling strong.
After mile 3 I focused my energy on making it to mile 7. I was still feeling pretty decent at that point too.
Miles 7 – 9 were the hardest miles of the race. My feet started to hurt and I was mentally starting to wear down. I took my time and stopped at each of the water stations to make sure to hydrate myself. I have been dealing with unusual mouth dryness lately. Some friends suggested I try chewing gum during the race. It helped alot!
Before I knew it I was at mile 10, 11, 12. They were flying by!
At mile 12 I realized I was on target for a REALLY decent finishing time and that I was going to beat my previous time on this course from last year (1:45:32). The last mile absolutely zoomed by and I was having a blast!
Then it was over.
The official results haven’t been posted yet, but I think this picture pretty much sums it up.
After I checked my Garmin history I discovered that this technically is a PR for me. My time at the Montgomery Half Marathon was 1:42 but the course was only 12.91 miles long. My average pace for this race was actually 1 second faster than my time for the Montgomery race. Whoohoo!
It feels great to have a 4th Half Marathon under my belt! Number 5 will be only a little over a month away on March 26th. Maybe I’ll bite the bullet and go for a full before long.