I love running Publix Half Marathon in Atlanta. Every year, I feel better about running on this (hilly) city that I learned to love and call it home. The race is well organized and I get to see lots of familiar faces and lots of familiar places. It is my playground. But even though, I have run this race multiple times, I was never able to meet my sub 2.
I have been chasing this sub 2 for the past 3 years. Last year, I was 3 minutes and 51 seconds late. I gave it all and was still short. I signed up last year for the 2015 edition and I promised to myself that it would be a sub 2. Not only that I worked my butt this past year. I hate intervals but they are the answer to get faster, so Wednesday intervals kicked my butt. All for this race today.
EXPO. They changed location this year, it was located at Americas Mart. I decided to grab my race packet Saturday early so I could beat downtown traffic. It had tons of merchandise and tons of previous years gear at a huge discount. Nope, I did not get anything. Just a quick pink and orange visor that says: GIRLS RUN ATLANTA. ha! Yeah, I had to get it. Publix also had some nutritional things going on, recipes and chefs. It was nice but I need to rest my legs. So I came back home for a nap after lunch. No. I had no problem sleeping later on.
THE DAY. Woke up and went straight to the bathroom. YES! I am hydrated, I yell. The day will be good, I think. I had everything ready, even my iPod list, so I eat breakfast, got ready and then check facebook updates and see lots of whining about the weather. I look outside, it is pouring rain outside and I immediately think: “Man, this is gonna be bad and ugly.”
My friend texts me: “on my way”. Well, I guess I am running on this weather. There is no turning back. I get into his car and we both looked like we did not want to do that. But we were up. Off to Marta. We make just on time for the 6:02am ride. We talk a bit and we get over the fact that it will be a wet race. We get there, we have an umbrella and we are at the same starting coral. (I have a gel). National Anthem, one of my favorite things before the race start. I love how Americans are proud. I really do. It is inspiring.
Then, the race starts. Then I decided to do all out in the first 3 miles (they are downhill) and have some extra seconds for those last 3 miles. My coach say a great half is run evenly, I don’t think I can ran 9 min on those hills. So I am going by the feeling.
I wrote down on my right arm where I should be at every mile. I feel good, the 1:50 pace passes me at mile 3 and I am trying to keep up but then, my shoe (ARGH!!!) untied so I have to stop to tie it. Maybe it is for the best. I keep up a good pace for the first 6 miles. In fact, I dare to say if it was not a PR, it was pretty damn close. I was feeling great. I thought about being too fast, but I was running 13 races this morning. Yes, 1 mile races. I had to break down not to feel overwhelmed. I can do this I thought on mile 6. Just run another mile at this pace to see how you feel, I thought.
My next 3 miles felt great and then, I decided to look at my watch and I thought: “This is doable.” But those last 3 miles are uphill, so I kept my emotions to myself and focused on moving as fast as I could. When I hit the mile marker 12, I knew I was going to make it and I yelled: “I am doing this” and got some cheers from runners and spectators. This last mile was very painful, a big blister was really getting to me. The thrills of running in the rain. Don’t you love it? Well, I sucked it up and I finally made it a sub 2. Chip time said 1:58:13.
I feel accomplished. Pumped. Next year, I am going for a lil bit faster. I don’t think I am ready to retire this race, just yet. I feel it brings the best out of me. Thanks to my friends, coach, family and boyfriend that believed in me before I could. SUB-2 b!@#%$!