Yesterday Dave and I ran the Mt. Carmel Fitness Challenge 1/2 Marathon. We each had our own goals for this race. For me, I wanted to be able to run a 1:45 or better but be comfortable and not push the pace. Dave wanted to run a sub-2:00 race as he had yet to clear that hurdle. The race was in residential Reynoldsburg starting at the high school and winding around and around and around a neighborhood (seriously) and finally came back to the school via a bike path.
I started out pretty conservatively just under a 9:00 pace. It is so tough mentally to watch people run past you, but in every race I run I remind myself that I will see those people again. And I did. With each mile I picked up speed and began to pick people off. For several miles in the middle I had my eyes on a girl in front of me thinking she was probably in my age group. I caught her around mile 8 and ran with her until mile 10. She was really trying to break me and vice versa. At one point I didn't know if I could keep up and I asked her what age group she was in. Of course, she was wearing her headset and couldn't hear me. People! Take off your headsets! Finally at mile 10 I pulled ahead of her and I started to feel really great. I tailed about 3 guys for the next mile and a half until I pulled in front of them. At mile 11 on the bike path there was a curve and I was able to look back and see that the girl was still there. I turned on the jets and pushed as hard as I could until the finish. I ran a 1:43:17, which is my third fastest 1/2 marathon time. I finished 7th female overall and 2nd in my age group. The girl behind me was actually in the next age group up and she thanked me afterwards for pushing her. The girl who finished one ahead of me in my age group was in my eyesight and was only 30 seconds ahead.
Here's the best part. Dave's PR for the 1/2 marathon was 2:02 and change. He's been training really well for the Columbus marathon and he has his sights set on running a 4:00 marathon. And we totally think it's possible. He's been running with us every week and has been following his plan to a T. His goal for this 1/2 marathon was to run a sub-2:00 so he had some realization about running a 4:00 marathon. After I had finished my race, I stuck around and was talking to a friend. I thought I would have time to run back to the car and grab my camera before Dave finished. But out of nowhere Dave appeared way earlier than I expected him. He ran a 1:52:30; 10 minutes better than his previous PR. I've asked him to update his blog with it. Please send him a congratulations. He deserves it!