finish time: 1:56:04 (a 10 minute and 44 second PR!!!)
race: total fitness connection run for children minimarathon
location: bowling green, kentucky
swag: cotton t-shirt, goodie bag and medal
weather: 35*/windy/overcast
gear: adidas adios boost, injinji socks, lululemon pace pusher crops, lululemon swiftly racerback, lululemon swiftly short sleeve tee, arm warmers, adidas visor, lululemon run with me fleece gloves, c9 ear warmer, jaybird bluebuds, nathan quickshot
nutrition: cut out fiber gradually the week of the race and added in coconut water on thursday and friday. olive garden spaghetti with meat sauce and breadsticks for dinner. 2 imodium 2.5 hours before the start, a bagel thin with peanut butter and coffee 1.5 hours before the start, and another imodium with some gulps of water with caffeinated nuun 30 minutes prior to start. Had a salted caramel gu and s!cap at mile 4, 8 and 10 and drank water in my handheld and from the water stops.
recap: what a race! although it was windy and had some rolling hills, I honestly couldn’t ask for a better experience! I am sure that is the PR speaking, but truly it was a great race, and I hope to complete it over and over again 🙂

the plan was to average an 8:55 pace, and i programmed my watch to start at a 9:10 pace and drop 3-5 seconds every mile to end up with the last 1.1 miles ~8:30 pace.

miles 1-3 (9:09, 9:07, 9:00)
the field was very small for the half marathon, so we found ourselves near the front of pack. it was great because we didn’t have to expend a bunch of energy bobbing and weaving, we were pretty much instantly in a good position to cruise. i looked down and we were running at a 7:30 pace! it is amazing what adrenaline will do for you. we reigned it in and evened out quickly. i had on a jacket at the start since it was pretty chilly, but we saw kristen around the 1st mile marker and i threw it over to her. miles 1 and 2 flew by, and as we headed in to the 3rd mile we turned and ticked off that mile right one pace.

miles 4-6 (9:01, 8:58, 8:52)
i took my first gu in mile 4 along with an s!cap. mile 5 included a little bit of elevation, and we made our next turn on to the road that would lead us to the turnaround point. seeing all of super-fast runners on their way back was a big boost—but i tried not to use too much of my energy cheering, because i have paid for that in past races! we hit the turnaround at 6.6 and were immediately facing the wind.

miles 7-10 (8:46, 8:52, 8:48, 8:57)
not sure where the speedy mile 7 came from—maybe we were just super excited to be on the way back to the finish line! the wind was getting pretty abusive, and i think as i took my second gu in mile 8 i asked jenny if we were going to be in to the wind the entire way back, which she confirmed would be the case. i started focusing on targets that we could pass. by mile 10 my attitude really started to suck. we had been on the long stretch of road since mile 8 and didn’t have another turn until mile 11. i was getting tired, my music was skipping, and i almost quit pushing myself.

miles 11-13.1 (8:50, 8:36, 8:20, 7:08-.10)
finally at mile 11 we turned on to the main road and i knew i needed to pick up the pace if i wanted to meet my goal and leave it all on the course. i turned up my music and started pumping my arms. miles 12 and 13 seemed to tick off easily, and although the race is cruel and throws a hill in at the end i had a little bit of the finishing kick and crossed the finish line in 1:56:04! i was so elated!

i learned a lot during this race. i learned to trust my training and that i do well with progression runs and negative splitting. i also finally figured out a fueling strategy that kept me out of the bathrooms and full of energy! i realized that it is possible to come back from a bad mile–i struggled in miles 8-10 mentally, but i sucked it up and moved on to the next mile and finished with my strongest miles at the end. i also learned that i probably should have done a little more hill work. i would really like to get two hill workouts in a month when i train for the next race. i know they help with strength and form without being as stressful on the joints as intervals.

overall it was an awesome hometown race, and i cannot wait to run the tfc run for children next year!

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