|You got this!|
I plotted out a route that I expected to be right at 13.1 and decided that if I were hurting at any point after ten that I would walk. I got to the gates leading out to one of the islands on our trail, which I expected to be at 5 miles, and it was dead on 5 miles. This is what running all over all summer will do- it will build a perfect map of your frequent mileage in your head.
After hitting the island my pace slowed down a good bit. I realize around mile 7 that I was not going to be well fueled and I let myself take a couple of walk breaks. I could not have asked for better running weather, and it was beautiful out in the woods alone. There were very few other runners and only a handful of dog walkers. I hit the gates to leave the island at 8.2, and knowing I had 5 miles to go made me happy. Such good math!
I struggled a bit until around 9.5 where I ate my second and last Gu, and then perked up at about mile ten. Ten miles down, only a 5K to go! At mile 12 our theme song come on, and I stopped to take this picture of me in "Beast Mode" (wow, this is incredibly cheesy to tell non-runners!) and then kept on running. My last three miles were nearly as fast as my first three miles, and this made me really happy.
I learned that running your own private half marathon is really hard. There's no one around to cheer you on, and the miles feel fairly endless. I thought it would kill me to have this internal map of just how far I had to go, since I was running in familiar trails, but in the end it was nice to be able to not wonder at all. I bought myself a new running watch this week, and it's fairly big compared to my old one. I thought it might be hard to learn to use it, but turns out it was excellent, and I LOVE being about to change music tracks from my watch and review texts I don't need to reply to immediately.
My time ended up being slower than Crazy Horse (2:36) but faster than the River Rat Half in April (2:52). I suspect that if I'd done Crazy Horse that the crowded energy would have brought me a nice PR, but not nearly as well as Jennifer, who ran an amazing 2:17!!
NEXT YEAR IT'S ON, CRAZY HORSE.