Iron Girl half is my 5th half marathon. I normally eat toast and PB before a race which is the only time I ever eat PB. However, for Cherry Blossom 10M, I drank a protein shake instead because I ran out of bread and had a really good run. I did it again 2 weeks ago before Clyde’s 10K and had another good run. So I thought why break a new tradition. My Cherry Blossom 10M was a 13.2 min mile pace. I wanted to be close BUT I knew this course would be really hilly for me. I started at a 13.2 pace and knew the hills will eventually slow my pace but I really wanted to be less than a 14 min pace which would be hard on the hills. Then there came the b@#** of a hill at Harriet Tubman. Someone had a sign there that said “make this hill your b@#**”. One of my STARS running group friends decided to make this her hill repeat day since she wasn't in the race. She ran everyone in our group doing the race up that hill (she did it 7 times!). I started walking it but she got me and made me run up the hill all the way to the top. Thank goodness! It still hurt. I wouldn’t have run up that bloody hill without her. I ran, paced behind faster runners, walked out my painful side stitches that kept coming back, and then ran again.
My personal goal was best case 2:55 (13.2 min/mile) and worse case scenario 3:15 (14:53 min/mile). I finished in 3:01:36 at a 13:52 pace! This is my second fastest half marathon (my fastest was 2:49 in Baltimore). I know that’s really slow but as a back of the pack runner, I feel very proud of myself especially on such a hilly course.
Thanks to all the MMTC members giving support on the course. I know I don’t know many of you by name but it was great to see friendly faces.