I haven’t been doing these recaps since I started back to school. That has been enough writing! But, Tracy asked so here you go… ☺
As many of you know, I decided this year that I would make a challenge for myself to do 6 half marathons in 6 different states in 6 months. (The first 3 were in Louisiana, Georgia, and Alabama). Palmetto Half Marathon is #4 – of course, here in South Carolina. In the first two, I ran 2:45 and some seconds. In the 3rd, it’s hard to say because the course was short. The “official” time was 2:35 but adding in an average of the rest of the distance, I am saying 2:38. But, I don’t count it to be an official time.
The Palmetto Half Marathon has been going on for several years now and has really good numbers and strong competition. There are a 5K and a Half marathon. I usually run the 5K, in fact, it’s my 5K PR! Last year was the first time I did the half marathon. It was slow but it got done.
This year, a new race popped up at the same time and it split the field. In one case, I noticed a husband went to one race and the wife to the other. It even split families!
I was feeling really good going into this one and made a big goal of a half marathon PR. That would have been 2:29. I did this race last year with a time of 2:54 so I knew I could at least beat that one. My second goal was 2:39.
I got there an hour early as usual and it was cold! The sun hadn’t come out yet either so I knew that would help once it started getting light. I did some light stretching and caught up with some of my RWB team and other friends. This race has a good turnout so I know there were people there I just never saw. I found that out based on Facebook posts after the race!
Ok, on to the race. I planned to do this as a run/walk with a 2-minute run and 30-second walk. The first mile of the race is completely flat so I had to be really careful to not go out too fast. Right around mile 1, you have to run over an overpass. It’s a rough one but I just kept thinking about being able to run back down it – but – I definitely didn’t want to think about the fact that I was going to have to go back up that monster again to finish the race. More on that later.
I needed an 11:27 pace to make my big goal and as of mile 2, I was still on it. (first 2 miles – 11:36 & 11:14) After coming down the off-ramp, there is a section that goes down Two Notch road and has some slight inclines and declines before the hillfest begins. After turning left on Valhalla, the hills start. I kept going using my plan. As of mile 4, I wasn’t far off my big goal (next 2 miles – 11:31 & 11:44) but the mental breakdown started. I just couldn’t get focused, or possibly, need to get unfocused.
I kept it going doing the planned run/walk even though my mind was wanting me to walk more. I wasn’t going to give in. There were several around me doing the run/walk and we were going back and forth with each other. I think we were keeping each other going.
The hills don’t stop once they start, I finally got my mind going along with me and then my hip tries to give out, I almost fell but caught myself. I moved to the middle of the road hoping the more level ground would help, and it did, for a while.
Mile 8 was rough. I was close to a 14-minute mile. I haven’t done a mile that slow in a long time. My hip tried to give out again. Not sure what was going on, I’ve never had that happen. My guess is that I didn’t stretch good enough. Well, too late for that right now!
I picked myself back up for miles 9 and 10 getting back into the 12-minute pace but then around mile 11, my body was done. Of course, I made it keep going. Stopping was not an option. Here, my pace did go over 14… 14:05 to be exact. Wow. The volunteers were encouraging us on and I hope they know how much they helped! Thank you, volunteers!
The course is mostly an out and back with a run around a block around the middle of the race. As we turn back onto Two Notch road, the end is in sight. OK, well, not really in sight.
And here comes that overpass again. At this point, my run/walk ratio had gone out the window. I was walking the uphills as was almost everyone else around me. No one around me even attempted to run back up the overpass!
At this point, I knew I wasn’t even going to make my 2nd goal of 2:39 but I knew I definitely was within getting a course PR. I managed to get back into the 13s to finish the race off in a time of 2:45:11. Yeah, another 2:45 finish. That’s 3 out of the 4 races; I got within the same minute. That’s consistency. Very different courses too. Georgia and Alabama were hilly but Louisiana only had an overpass that had to be run over twice. Besides that, it was flat.
I’m ready for a flat race! Supposedly my next half in Tennessee is mostly flat but I’m skeptical! I think Myrtle Beach Mini marathon may be added to my schedule…
Here is a link to the results: