I ran the Women's Running Magazine Women's Half Marathon Saturday in Nashville. The race started at 7am Saturday morning. I signed up to be in corral #3, with an estimated finish time of 2:10 (my best half marathon time before this race was 2:12, so it was definitely doable).
Wore my new Nike skapri (a running skirt with capri's underneath) and my Moving Comfort Fiona sports bra. So comfy.
Well, first of all, the Women's Half is MUCH hillier than the Country Music Half that I did last year, also in Nashville. Seriously. By mile .25, we were literally climbing Church St. and throughout the whole race, I kept telling myself, "Eventually we have to go downhill, right?" Wrong.
I should have played around with my new Garmin a bit more before the race because being the technologically-challenged person I am, I couldn't get it working right until mile 2. And right about that time a woman next to me told her friend that they ran the first two miles each in 8:50. Wait. Hold up. 8:50!? No wonder my shins were hurting at that point. Not only was it hilly, but I was FLYING. I barely run 9:50's. Much less 8:50's.
Once my watch was working, I slowed down a bit and let my shins recover from the brutal start. Aside from the first two miles, here are my other splits:
Mile 2-3: 10:17
Mile 3-4: 10:11
Mile 4-5: 10:00
Mile 5-6: 9:40
Mile 6-7: 9:34
Mile 7-8: 9:27
Mile 8-9: 9:09
Mile 9-10: 9:03
Mile 10-11: 8:59
Mile 11-12: 9:25
Mile 12-13: 9:05
Do you see how many 9's are in there and even an 8:59!? I NEVER run that fast! Ever. Period. I couldn't believe it.
I was struggling a bit climbing the bridge at mile 12 to get back over the river (Nashville girls, how ridiculous is that bridge!? And to have it at the end of the race!? It's just cruel.) Near the top of the bridge an awesome lady came by (wearing the same shoes as me...it was fate.) and said, "Come on," so we ran the last .7 miles together. She was amazing and gave me that last push I needed. Then when we got to 12.9, she said, "Run faster." So we flew to the finish line. I don't think I've ever run so fast in my life, and of course I let her finish one second before me.
When I crossed the finish line the clock said 2:10, but I knew since I was in the third corral I did better than 2:10. I soon found out I finished in 2:06:51! I couldn't believe it. I ran an average pace of 9:41/mile, which is wicked fast for me, especially for a half marathon and on a seriously hilly course. I later found out I was 104 out of 423 for my age group and 607 out of 3,060 overall. For a girl who started running less than two years ago, I will certainly take it and be proud of myself.