My A goal was to come in under 2:20, my B goal was to come in under 2:25. My secret impossible goal was to come in under 2:15. If you're not familiar with the course it is very hilly at a particular point. I've driven the route and I knew this. I figured if I could manage the Minnewaska half, this would be okay too. Mile 8 is where I was undone. 175 feet of climbing with no reprieves. It's a smaller race so by this point I was largely on my own. I wanted to HUG the people halfway up that had some fun signs, and were cheering because I was dying.
My splits to that point had been in the 10s - miles 1 and 2 were in at 9s (I went out too fast...when will I learn?) and mile 8 is a 12:18mm. It was downhill, both literally and figuratively from there. There was a bit more climbing and a lot of self doubt. I got into my own head and could not get out. I was getting more and more discouraged the more I looked at my watch.
|1||9:54 /mi||9:55 /mi||-5 ft|
|2||10:22 /mi||9:57 /mi||50 ft|
|3||11:12 /mi||10:33 /mi||47 ft|
|4||10:37 /mi||10:44 /mi||-25 ft|
|5||10:34 /mi||10:47 /mi||-44 ft|
|6||10:55 /mi||10:58 /mi||-11 ft|
|7||10:46 /mi||10:44 /mi||-2 ft|
|8||12:18 /mi||10:35 /mi||175 ft|
|9||10:57 /mi||10:53 /mi||-21 ft|
|10||11:18 /mi||11:15 /mi||-28 ft|
|11||10:56 /mi||11:45 /mi||-111 ft|
|12||11:29 /mi||11:26 /mi||-4 ft|
|13||11:35 /mi||11:37 /mi||-12 ft|
|0.2||11:39 /mi||11:40 /mi||-2 ft|
As I hit mile 13, I heard the footfalls of someone behind me. I hadn't seen anyone for quite some time and had no idea anyone was behind me. It was a man, who I recognized from the start because he didn't "look" like a runner. He looked like a weight lifter. He said he'd been trying to catch me for two miles. I was annoyed that he had.
He wanted to chat. I was NOT in a chatting place. I managed to squeak some words out but overall kept quiet. Then we hit the track. It was about a 50m stretch to the finish. He picked up the pace and was going to leave me comfortably behind. I decided that no, no he was not. And I gave it everything I had. Some of it I did not even know I had. The announcer noticed and started talking about my effort to close the distance - which alerted my target. He saw me, and kicked a little harder. He managed to cross the finish line just before me. His time was 2:25:46 and mine was 2:25:47. My Garmin had me in at 2:23:45, but my official time was the 2:25.
My two best guys were at the finish waiting for me. That instantly made me happy. I was happy that I had pushed hard at the end. I was disappointed I hadn't pushed harder miles 8-13. I had done some negative splitting on my training runs, but these hills just did me in. Overall, I am very proud of myself. I ran all winter, I followed a training plan, and I did improve my half time by quite a bit from Providence. Overall, a win I say!