It happened this weekend. I’ve always wanted to do it but wasn’t quite sure how to do it. The thought of doing it with so many people around scared me a little but I threw caution to the wind Sunday and I did IT. I not only did it, I LIKED It. No better yet…I LOVED IT!
What did I do? Well it’s not what you think (or maybe it is). Get your minds out of the gutters. I’m talking about
I felt like Little Red Riding Hood. I tried the first group…to fast. I tried another group…too slow. Then I met Him and it was just right. It took me three miles to find the pace group and then stick to it. The race route was new this year for the first time maybe since it began. I wasn’t going to run it but when Chipotle asked me (Read) and I saw the route I had to. It’s not very often you get to race in two states in one race not to mention doing it crossing some historic bridges and seeing parts of the country you wouldn’t go to otherwise (like East St. Louis).
The first three miles, as you can see, I was going too fast trying to keep up with the 9:30 pace group. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to keep it for 13.1. So I started slowing down. I dropped the pace group and let a couple more go by. I found the 10:05/mile group and that felt too slow.
Mile three took us onto the MLK Bridge. We ran into some rain and I ran into Andy. Andy led the 9:55 group and I found my groove with him (and the other runners). I felt like it was a little slow but I was happy to have some running buddies. Andy was an excellent pacer. He talked almost the entire time, kept us entertained and laughing.
The course took us through Laclede’s Landing which was great except for the “charming” cobblestone brick roads. It made us step light footed for a little while. We came back into downtown through some of the more industrial part of town. I loved seeing that neighborhood. It’s one I don’t venture into and I definitely felt like a tourist again.
Mile 8 through 12 went into Soulard where the old course started us. After a quick jaunt past the brewery and the awesome Soulard Neighbor’s Association, we were heading in for the home stretch. I was keeping up with the pace group easily and even debating breaking away for the final couple miles.
What I wasn’t prepared for and I should’ve been was Market Street. It was the final big stretch to the finish and it was all up hill. My legs just didn’t have any more in them. Up till race time, the busy weekend was showing itself in my running. I was happy, uncomfortable but frustrated that I couldn’t get up and go.
I finished the race in 2:10:24 which is exactly on target with what I wanted. It’s seven minutes faster than January and 4ish minutes faster than October. The more time I can keep chipping away at towards a 2:05 will make me a happy camper. In the meantime, I’m just going to be proud of finishing my second 2015 half, placing in the 5K and my kids racing. It really was just an amazing weekend.
My running heart is happy. I’m taking a couple days off then getting right back into it. The OC Half is right around the corner and I’m hoping to take a little more time off my finishing time.
So there it is, my St. Louis half recap. Overall, a great race and one that I will continue to support. It’s local and filled with so many of my favorite friends.