My 3rd Spokane 1/2 Marathon and 10th 1/2 Marathon is in the record books. I had a GREAT day. I still get excited just thinking about it. I was a little apprehensive how Sunday would pan out when I had a not so great tempo run on Friday. I was feeling pretty defeated and a little depressed. I took it easy on Saturday and hung out with my girls and hubby. We went to the Oktoberfest fundraiser at EWU Saturday night and I relaxed with some vino and good friends. I never drink the night before a race, but I figured I could use the wine, LOL. Trust me, this won't be a reccurance, but I felt I needed it to relieve my built up frustration and stress. I stayed up a bit later than normal (11 pm), but I also didn't have to get up super early. Downtown Spokane is less than 3 miles from my house and is about a 5 minute drive. I got up around 8 am on Sunday and had my bowl of oatmeal w/almond milk. I got dressed, grabbed my bag and headed out the door. I was feeling pretty good and as I was driving downtown. I had some time to reflect over the last 10 months and what I have been able to accomplish. I wanted to have a good solid training run, but really didn't care about my time. The Spokane 1/2 is one of those courses that you can feel like you really accomplished something when you finish because the course is no walk in the park.
It was super chilly outside and I totally spaced bringing throw away mittens. I keep on forgetting that what summer we had, has gone into hibernation. I parked at the Spokane Club so that I could put my bag and car keys in my locker. I did some light stretching and finished getting ready in the locker room. At about 8:30 I headed outside to do a light warm up (1.27 miles) and finish stretching. It was cold and I really wished that I had my mittens! Luckily I had my Boston arm sleeves so I wasn't a total popsicle. After warming up I headed into Riverpark Square so that I could stretch inside and stay warm. At 8:55 I headed back outside to the starting line. I wasn't paying attention to anybody around me- I was in a total zone. Once the race was underway I kept a close glance at the pace on my garmin so that I didn't go out too fast. I knew from previous experiences the course is not flat and it is not fast. The last 4 miles are the worst. I was in a pretty comfy pace, but had a lot of people passing me. I am getting better at not letting this bother me so I just kept truckin' on. I got to the first hill (mile 3) and slowed down a tad, but still held a decent pace. On the downhill a guy passed me and asked me which came first- the pink skirt or the pink socks? I told him the socks came first and made a mental note that I would not let him beat me after that smirky comment. The course then has a slight gradual uphill leading into the Centennial Trail. At this point I was about 68th OA going into mile 5. I had a few more men pass me on the trail pushing me back to around 70th OA. I knew that the highest OA I had ever placed was 74th so I knew that I had some serious work to do the last half of the race if I wanted to better that. At the pace I was going, I figured that wouldn't be a problem because I felt good and was running smart. Between miles 6-7 you are off the Centennial Trail and back out on the highway. This part of the course has a gradual uphill, but nothing serious. I started to pick up my pace at this point and pass several groups of people INCLUDING the guy with the smirky comment. I also must mention that a couple of the men made the comment as they were getting CHICKED that they didn't like getting beat by a girl- especially a girl in a pink sparkle skirt. JERKS!!!!!! Miles 7-8.5 are back on the Centennial Trail with a nice shaded downhill section. I was passing more men at this point, but trying to keep myself in check because I knew that the worst part of this course was yet to come- Doomsday Hill, plus the last 4 miles. I got off the trail and up on the TJ Meenach bridge and had 2 of the men that I had just passed, pass me again. Darn it!!!!! I hit the bottom of Doomsday and slowed dramatically. I remember glancing at my watch and seeing that my pace was 9:05/mile. YIKES! The group that was behind me slowed down more than me so now there was more distance between us. I was gaining again on the 2 men that had just passed me on the bridge. I knew that I am pretty good with hills and that my over turn at the top would probably be stronger than theirs. By mile 10 I had passed the 2 men and another group that also included 1 female. I kept on passing more men and another female going into mile 11. I knew that I was almost done and just needed to stay at the pace I was at and I would finish strong. I passed 2 more men going into mile 12.5 and figured that I would at least be in the top 50. I cruised into the finish line with an official race time of 1:35:28. My Garmin said I ran 13.13 miles in 1:35:25 (7:16/mile). I was elated with my time, even more so when I learned that I was 49th OA.
I am looking forward to Girlfriend's this weekend, but I realize that it isn't part of the "BIG" picture, but just a little blip on the radar. Originally, Girlfriend's was my main goal, but as I kept on progressing I realized that I didn't want to settle for just a good half marathon time. My main goal is to run at CIM in December and get a BQ. It is what I have been working towards since January. Of course I would love to get another PR on Sunday, but if I don't it won't be the end of the world for me. I have 20 miles to run on Sunday and a majority of that it will take place before the race even starts. This is all about what I want in the future, not what I want in the present.