I woke up Saturday morning feeling alright but not great. I decided I’d at least start the race and if I didn’t feel like I could finish it was OK.
The only failure is not starting.
The Jail Break Half Marathon started at 7:30 am at the Baytown Police Station, almost an hour away. I had to be there early to pick up my packet so I was up at 5 am and in my car by 5:30. At 6:15 I exited the freeway at Main St., following my directions, then drove, and drove, and drove looking for the police station. It was only supposed to be about 5 minutes off of the freeway and I knew I couldn’t have missed a parking lot full of cop cars and eager runners.
I decided to stop at a gas station to ask for directions.
Warning: You will get VERY weird, scary looks from a gas station employee when you ask where the police station is at 6:30 in the morning!
The gas station employee was no help. He said he wasn’t from the area and had no idea where the police station was; I think he was just scared about why I was asking. I decided to just plug the address into the GPS – duh! The GPS told me to get back on the freeway and go up a couple of exits to the N. Main exit; I was at the W. Main exit.
Why are there two main streets within a few exits of each other in Baytown?
After finally parking a few blocks away and reaching packet pickup I meet up with my friend at 6:45. I tell her about getting lost and how I am happy I still have some time before the race starts to get ready and relax a bit – or so I thought. She nicely informs me that the race starts at 7 am and has now idea why I thought it started at 7:30 – I don’t know why I thought that either.
All smiles before the race
The Jail Break Half Marathon course was an out and back loop including running to the top of the Fred Hartman Bridge (remember this from the
La Porte Half Marathon).
When the race started I was still stuffy and a little cold but I figured I had made it to the start and the weather was nice (starting in the 40′s and only heating up to the 50′s) so I might as well run. I started out a little fast running with my friend but quickly slowed down reminding myself that I had to run “my race” and not overdo it in the beginning (something I used to be VERY guilty of).
When I run I don’t look at my pace, the mileage, or my time. I have my watch set up to beep at me for a 5 minute run interval followed by a 1 minute walk interval. I keep the display on my heart rate. I run as hard or easy as I feel like while keeping an eye on my heart rate to see how hard I am pushing myself. In my last two half marathons I have finished within one minute of my PR and within seconds between the both race times. I never looked at my pace/time/mileage on either of those races.
At the second mile my friend left me for a bathroom break (which I didn’t have to visit thanks to Imodium). By the time I got to the bridge at mile 5 I was feeling great and decided to be daring and run up it- my glutes are killing me now! I saw my friend running up as I was running down and I thought I must be running really slow if she has almost caught up to me, but I kept going. After the bridge the race went thought the Baytown park, which was the only scenic part of the run, and then back on the streets for the last 4 miles.
The last 3 miles too FOREVER; I really felt like the mileage markers were off. My watch was beeping at me for the intervals and I lost count of how many run/walks it was taking me to go from one mile marker to another (it usually took two). Finally, I looked at my watch after the 12 mile marker to see how many intervals I had completed throughout the race – 22. I did the math and realized that was only 126 minutes, 2 hours and 6 minutes. I was convinced my watch was wrong. The miles were dragging on and I knew I was running slow throughout the race. I thought the watch must have miscalculated somehow but it’s ok because I would get my real time when I finish the race.
I was ESTATIC to see the finish line. I enjoyed the race but was ready for it to be over. I sprinted the last 0.1 mile and happily stopped my watch without paying attention to the time (I had set it back to watching my heart rate). I walked around the finish line to cheer my friend in and then I saw it. The finish line clock read 2:16! I knew that clock had to be right and that meant that I had finished the race in under 2:16! I had killed my previous half marathon PR of 2:24:24. Two minutes later my friend crossed the finish line; she also destroyed her previous PR by almost 20 minutes.
My official chip time was 2:14:14. I still don’t know how I ran an average of 10:14 minutes/mile. I am not sure if I will ever be able to beat this new PR but I have two half marathons left this season (March 16th and April 7th) to try!