For those of you non-racers it is just a fancy way of saying I finally beat my best time. When I ran my first half-marathon at Disney, I was so happy to squeak by in under 3 hours at 2:58. Since then, I have been able to get my times down so that now I run most races at around 2:20-2:25. Last February, I was able to do Surf City in my best time at 2:19:36. I have been trying to best that time for more than a year now. Granted, I have been doing more difficult races lately--Temecula, Sedona, Tough Mudder. Still, my goal is to eventually run a 2 hour half-marathon, so I need to shave some minutes off if I ever want to reach that goal.
In the last two months, I have taken off 5 more pounds, I have been putting in my miles, and I have been going to Crossfit and building up my muscle strength. I felt very ready for this half at Petco Park in San Diego, and I was sure I would finally get another Personal Record (PR). Unfortunately, for the last two weeks I have been laid low with some kind of plague that kept me from training as much as I would have liked. In fact, until last night, I wasn't even 100% sure I would be running at all. But the weather was perfect, the course amazing, and I just decided I would go for it.
Luckily, I also had my friend Kay who is a dynamo when it comes to running. She has this amazingly steady pace, so I told her I was just going to run behind her unless my body told me I needed to slow down. We ran together for more than half of the race when we somehow lost track of each other at a water stop. I knew she was probably in front of me, so I just kept running hoping to finally catch up to her before the finish line (which I never did).
I must say, considering how yucky I have felt for the last 14 days, I really had one of my best races overall. I ran almost the entire race, with a little walking at this ridiculous hill around mile 9 (almost felt like I was back in hilly Sedona). And the icing on the cake was running in at 2:17:10. I finally beat my best time by more than 2 minutes! I only wonder what I could have done if I had been feeling a little better. Maybe that 2 hour half-marathon is not that far out of my reach.
So I will continue to run with my friends who push my limits--you know who you are. I will get stronger through my Crossit workouts, and I will work on getting my body down to a weight where running that 2 hour race will not be as much of a challenge. Thanks to all my friends who continually keep me motivated to go bigger and better, and most especially to my husband who makes it possible for me to have the time away from the kids to make my dreams come true on the race course.