I punctuated the first phase of my marathon training on Sunday with a half marathon in Tyler. I have been looking forward to this race for two reasons. First, I welcomed the October temperatures. Over the spring and summer I discovered long runs in heat and humidity make me nauseous toward the end. I expected the cooler temperatures along with higher mileage training could lead me to a PR. Second, it would be the race where I would complete the Four Seasons Challenge I started in January. By completing a specific half marathon in winter, spring, summer, and fall, I would receive an additional medal and technical shirt.
The weather was perfect running weather for me. It was chilly at the start, but after about two miles, I felt great. My goal was to run another sub 2:00 half. I’ve done it once before – in January – with 1:59:58. I considered running with the 2:00 pace group, but they took off too fast for me for the first mile. I stuck to my pacing plan of running the first seven miles near a steady 9:10 pace, then I kicked it up a bit.
The course was hilly, but I tackled the hills with pride. The first phase of my marathon training has had me trucking up and down hills for 6-8 miles each week. I know some people find it difficult to run hills, and try to avoid hilly courses. But the training made a distinct difference in my race. I was able to complete the course without any walking, and I knocked 31 seconds off my time.
I then claimed my Four Seasons medal to add to the collection.