I successfully finished my fourth half marathon last Sunday – the Salt Creek Half Marathon. It’s now Thursday and I’ve been back at the gym for two days now, so I guess I’m fully recovered. Today was my first day running, though, and I only ran two miles. Two is a lot less than 13.1…
I ran this half marathon without any supporters, as my husband had school at the same time as I had my race. It kind of takes some of the pressure off, though, when no one is there to watch you. I woke up early, forced myself to eat a banana and a few shot blocks on the way to the race, and then quietly stretched at Salt Creek Park in the drizzle while waiting for the race to begin. That’s when David Bro, a reporter for the Orange County Register, took this picture of me (it’s the only picture that I have from the race):
(You can read David’s full article about the race here.)
The race was hillier than I thought it would be. Actually, I hadn’t thought too much about the course ahead of time – I don’t really like to know the course too well before a race. Anyways, most of the course was rolling hills as it followed the Salt Creek Regional Corridor Trail. I knew that the course was two out-and-back loops, which I wasn’t looking forward to, but it didn’t turn out to be too bad passing the same scenery four times in a row (really!). For the first half the of race, I stayed on pace with a 9 minute/mile. By the second half, though, I was slowing down…there were definitely some 10 and 11 minute/miles, especially when the miles contained some of the longer or steeper hills. My goal time for every half marathon that I run is 1:59:59 (all I want is a 1 in front of my race time!). If I’d kept up my pace in the second half of the race, I could have made this time, but I didn’t:-( I still finished in 2:06.43, which is my second best half marathon finish time. I know that I can run a sub-2 hour race, but dangit, I need to find a flatter course!
I was curious to know how my time for this race compared to my half marathon split when I ran my first and only full marathon. I looked up my splits from that race in 2007 and discovered that I crossed the halfway point in my full marathon at 2:04.30. And I still ran another 13.1 miles after that! Obviously, I was in much better shape back when I was 26 and I was better prepared for longer distances.
This was the first half marathon that I’d run in the past two years. I don’t have any plans for any other halfs this year, but I’m already thinking about running the San Luis Obispo Half Marathon or the Wine Country Half Marathon next Spring.