On June 8, I ran further than I ever had before in the Rocky Mountain Half Marathon! I had been training for this race all spring with FastForward Sports in Boulder and was ready for my training (see previous post) to be over, especially after running the Bolder Boulder in a personal best time of 53 minutes. Although Richele and Arrin Katz both ran the race, we each ran at our own pace, so I had to figure things out on my own. My only goal was to finish the race and run further than I ever had previously. I expected to walk through the water stations, but the night before the race I had a dream that I ran the whole thing without stopping! Normally, when I have dreams before something that I’m nervous about, it’s about showing up late or some other negative, albeit untrue premonition. I was pleased to wake up with this positive thought in my subconscience, but I didn’t expect any miracles either. The race started out with cool, light rain for the first several miles despite the forecast of 80 deg and sunny and I began running at a much swifter pace than my anticipated 12 minutes per mile that I had been training at on long runs. I stopped for a quick bathroom break after the first 5 miles, but otherwise continued on at a surprisingly fast 10 minute per mile pace. And when I came to the steep hill near Invesco Field, I felt all my training pay off as I maintained my tight running form up the hill at the same pace while those around me slowed to a walk. I finished the hill short of breath but invigorated and began to initially think that my dream may have been more of a premonition than wishful thinking.
Once I was half way around Sloan’s Lake, I decided that premonition or not, my dream was at least going to be a self-fulfilling prophesy, so I buckled down and decided that I wouldn’t make any stops for the remainder of the race. And shortly after that decision, I realized that I had been running slightly faster than a 10 minute per mile pace for over 8 miles, so I might as well try to finish with that pace! The remainder of the race was challenging, but I just focused on my running form and my 2 new goals. I boogied down the hill at Invesco Field and a mile and half later, I finished running my first half marathon in 2 hours and 9 minutes at an average pace of 9 minutes and 46 seconds per mile! (My official time was 2:12, but I don’t think it’s fair to count a bathroom break as part of my race time!) The full race record according to my Forerunner 305 is available on my Motionbased site.