I did not believe it would come today. It was 39 degrees when the air horn blew and the winds were fierce out of the north at about 15-20 mph. I was having second thoughts about running the Moe's Better Half today. "Fun" was not an adjective I was going to use today for this race.
I began to reassess my strategy for the race and just try to stay as close to 8 min/mi as possible. All hopes for a PR were nonexistent.
The horn blew and what happened next was not at all what I would have predicted, given the conditions:
mile 1: 7:38 - holy crap it's cold and I'm going way too fast
mile 2: 7:18 - I think my Garmin's broken...my gosh I'm cold
mile 3: 7:28 - surly it's broken because it feels too easy...I should back off
mile 4: 7:36 - wtf?? oh, wait...duh...tailwind...go with it!
mile 5: 7:21 - this was not the plan, but keep it up and bank it for later 'cause we gotta turn around soon...and what's with the hills???
mile 6: 7:24 - I still think maybe the Garmin is off...
mile 7: 7:57 - crosswind, this is more the pace I was expecting
mile 8: 8:08 - oh crap, the wind is RIDICULOUS!! and what's with the HILLS??? I'm off pace...hang on!
mile 9: 8:13 - I've never worked this hard for so little return...keep pushing...oh, the HILLS!!!!
mile 10: 8:13 - I feel like I'm going to be blown over...I can do this...I can hold on...maybe even PR...did I say "PR"???
mile 11: 8:00 - if I just hold this pace, I will PR...the crosswinds...the headwinds...the HILLS...argh!! I can even walk a little and still PR - NO!!!! NO WALKING!!!
mile 12: 8:02 - I am doing this. Winds...Hills...NOT GOING TO STOP ME...KEEP PUSHING...uh oh, girl in front of me...looks to be around my age maybe...WILL CATCH HER
mile 13: 8:25 - uphill into the wind...then turn uphill and crosswinds...dropped the girl I just passed...HANG ON...PR IS IN SIGHT!!
FINISH LINE: 1:42:56 - 2nd place 35-39 - 7th place overall female.
I PR'd my half marathon by 3 minutes and that previous PR was on a perfect day on the 3M course.
What kept me going out there? It was my head. I kept telling myself that this was for a greater goal...this would help me build for Ironman...this would make me stronger for that day when all will be on the line and my mind will want to quit, my body will want to quit...but I'm going to train myself to not give in, to stay with it and keep my mind strong. It wasn't my legs that carried me to the finish...it was my head.