I will say that I certainly did not train as hard for this half as I did for my first half last fall. In fact, the longest run I did was 16.8km, and it was slow with many stops. I also knew going into this that it was a summer race, and therefore wouldn't be ideal weather, and that I likely wouldn't PR, but I hoped maybe I could hit 2:00 for the finish. I had NO idea how tough it would end up being!!
I got up at 5:20am and was out the door at 6:10ish to catch the streetcar to the start of the race. It started over on the boardwalk in the beaches, which was a good 40 minutes by transit. It was already pretty warm at 7:00am when I got there so I knew I was in for a tough run. At 7:30 we were off! I quickly saw the 2:00 pacer pull ahead and knew I would never catch him. I decided just to stay in front of the 2:05 pacer, but it was hard. The sun was beating down on me and it was heating up fast (I think it was 22 degrees plus 80% humidity so closer to 30! And that was at the start of the race!).
Around 10km I think the 2:05 pacer paced me and I didn't have the strength to catch back up. If only I had just started with a slower pace I could have had the energy to go a bit faster! Also, I started to get a horrible headache, a questionable tummy, and was completely repulsed by my Gatorade. I recognized that I was starting to get dehydrated and I started stopping at the aid stations for actual water and forced down an energy gel for the salt- it all seemed to work for me because after another 5K I started to feel normal again- still tired...but not sick at least!
Thankfully it also became overcast and breezy after km 10, which was soooo nice!
Around km 17 (?) the 2:10 pacer passed me and I was furious! I have run a 1:55 and a 2:00 half before dammit!! I didn't want to finish slower than 2:10!! I had a surge of power and felt like Aragorn in Return of the King at this moment. I was like "A DAY MAY COME WHERE THE 2:10 PACER PASSES ME, BUT IT IS NOT THIS DAY!"
And off I went, like a beautiful gazelle, flying with grace and beauty.
Just kidding. I looked like this:
Anyway, I DID pull ahead and finished strong in 2:09:23! Far away from my personal best, but still the best run I think I could have pulled off on that particular day!! I met up with the RunTOBeer crew for a bit, but declined my beer as my stomach was still a little iffy. Plus it was like 9:30am. They actually all went off for a RunTOBeer run, but I went home for a nap!!
All in all, it was still a good race. I found it well organized and a lot of fun. Though I think there is something seriously wrong with my definition of fun. :). I think next I want to try racing a 5K, because I actually haven't run one before and I want to see if I can go sub 25 minutes! But I think I will take a break from actual races until the heat is gone!!