So the time had finally come. I hadn't ran a road race since my first actual race 4 years ago (a 10k before I caught the marathon/ultra bug) and this was going to be it. Now anyone that knows me knows that I absolutely hate running paved roads. Heck, even running on paved greenways sucks in my view, although it is substantially better than the roads. One disadvantage of not running a road race though is that you really do not have a clue how well you can sustain a constant solid pace over many miles. Running trails requires varying your pace to the technicality and vertical of the trail and trails can fluctuate many times over the length of the run. So this was going to be a true test of how good a runner I actually am. I felt confident enough to believe I could go sub-1:40, but my goal was to run sub 1:35.
Race morning was a cool 38 degrees and I was finally feeling ready after feeling a bit nauseous a bit early. The cannon fired and I took off (after walking about 30 seconds to get to the start line). The plan was to try and run the first half at an average pace of about 7:20/mile and the last half in about 7 min/mile pace especially trying to push the last 3 miles into the sub 7 range. Needless to say the plan went off perfectly. I had conserved enough energy through the first half to run the second half quicker. My last mile was the quickest of the day, a 6:50. My legs were feeling the pain though and I was extremely relieved once I finally sprinted over the finish line. I ran the last .1 mile in 38 seconds, crossing the finish line in 1:34:21 and setting a new half-marathon PR! Actually this is really my first official half-marathon as the other previous one was about a mile too long. I feel very satisfied with this run even though I think I can run faster if I would be able to train properly and not be hampered by injury, which luckily did not bother me too much during this race. Maybe next year I'll return and try to set a new PR at this distance, sub 1:30 would be nice!