My first training season did not go well. My father got ill about one month into it and I spent most of that summer back & forth to Rochester to care for him. It was tough and I can remember being worried when I had to miss an 11 mile workout. I can't remember if I made it to the 12 miler but either way, I made it to the Columbus Half and finished side by side with some pretty awesome ladies. I wrote about it in my about me section so read more here if you are interested. That first race was a 15:03 per mile finish and I was THRILLED! The bug had bitten me and I began planning for the next season of MIT.
My goal, because I have a competitive little brain, was to get faster & better at this. Still dealing with some issues with my father & his death that spring, I just stuck to the MIT schedule completing the Cleveland Half Marathon that spring which was about 3 or so weeks after he passed away. I improved - a 14:34/mile finish but I had missed some training. After that race, I focused that summer training with a few other walkers for the VA Beach Half Marathon over Labor Day weekend. My goal for that race was to finish under 3 hours and I did it - 2 hours 59 for a 14:34/mile pace. Still hooked, I did the Columbus Half 6 weeks or so later and PR'd again - finishing in 2:54 which was a 13:27/mile.
But, I was unhappy. Yes, I was getting faster but I wasn't losing weight. Around December of that year, I bought a Groupon to PAI Yoga & Fitness and it changed my life. I added in strength training (like TRX), spinning and yoga to round out my walking and it showed. The weight started to come off too! My next race was the Cap City Half Marathon last year and I was asked to pace it 3 days before it. I was thrilled that someone thought I was fit enough to pace it and we brought people in at around 3:30 which was a 16:02/mile pace. I felt good that I could pace that pace without thinking twice. Two weeks later and I was off to Cleveland for my 2nd half marathon there finishing in 2:46:38 for a 12:42/mile. I finished 17th of 269 female walkers and was on cloud nine. I really thought it couldn't get better than that.
I spent the entire summer working hard with cross training, losing weight and hitting PRs in various 4 milers, 5ks, etc. and winning some walker category awards. It was a great summer & I was getting faster and faster. I had high hopes going into my next race, the New Albany Walking Classic Half - basically just wanted to be faster than Cleveland. It was a hot day, a boring course but I did it! I PR'd again - finishing in 2:41 for a 12:18/mile. I came in 2nd in my age group & actually got an award!!! I was so excited that I've already signed up for the 2012 race so I can break my record & come in first in my age category. See, I am totally competitive.
|The wind blew just right!|
I started out training this season knowing I'd be doing 2 spring halves. It is always hard for them to find someone to pace the highest pace at Cap City so I promised I'd do it right away. This year, I decided that my goal race would be the Earth Day Half Marathon in Gambier, OH. It was quite a challenging course and I was so afraid I wouldn't PR when I got there but I wasn't disappointed. I finished in just over 2:30 for an 11:30/mile.
And my 10th Half Marathon? The Cap City Half and you can read about the recap here.
Its time I do a full and I've already signed up for the Columbus full in October. Scared as heck but I'll be ready! I have Relay Around Columbus & 2 halves on my schedule before then and I am sure I will help with the Emerald City pacing too. I have found my passion and I can't wait to see where this journey takes me. MIT's slogan is "Change your life one mile at a time." Couldn't be more true for me.
How many half marathons or marathons have you done?
Any half marathons you'd recommend?