Today I was scheduled for a 15-mile long run, but my running coach agreed that it would be a good idea to incorporate it into a local half-marathon. I think the first time I ran this race was in 1995. I still have the sweatshirt. Back then, the race was held in late October. I have fond memories of my mom coming to visit while I ran this race, on her birthday. At some point, they switched it from October to February. I can't find my old running logs, but I think this is my 5th time running this race. Last year I ran the 10K. My mom died 10 years ago; each time I run this race I think of her. Fond memories.
They close down the Ronald Reagan Parkway for this race. At 11:30 a.m. I did a warm-up mile along the route. The road was clear, but snow lined the median and ditches. It was gorgeous! During the half-mile out, I ran against a strong wind; when I turned around, it felt like the temperature had risen 20 degrees.
The race started at noon for those running the half-marathon and 10K. It was about 30 degrees and windy. I felt really good about this run/race. I only walked for a few seconds at 4 hydration stations, and a few seconds under 4 bridges where the road was icy/slippery. I felt better about this half-marathon than other ones that I've done in the past two years. I tried to follow my coach's pacing plan and came close. The first 3 miles were mostly downhill, so as hard as I tried, I couldn't get down to 12 minutes/mile that my coach had prescribed, but it was definitely an easy pace. And since this was an out-and-back, the last 3 miles were mostly uphill, so they were slower than rest. My mile splits (and coach's goal) were: first 3 miles (goal 12 minutes/mile) 11:04, 11:30, 11:45. Middle 7 miles (goal 11:30-11:40 minutes/mile): 11:26, 11:32, 11:37, 11:19, 11:27, 11:33, 11:27. Last 3 miles (goal solid comfortable): 11:28, 12:05, 11:25.
official results, which listed 2:29:58.) After receiving my medal, I did a 1-mile cool down jog/walk/jog to get my total of 15 miles in for the day. It wasn't a PR, but a PR wasn't my goal for today, anyway. However, I did run it more than 16 minutes faster than I did two years ago, and it definitely felt easier than it did two years ago, also. Progress!