This past weekend was one of those jam packed, beautiful weather weekends. Friday evening I mowed the lawn, prepped the driveway and made a Lowe's run for some driveway sealer. Saturday was the cyclocross opener at Nittany and Sunday was the Rock n Roll Philly half marathon and soccer games for the kids. I hate to go and "have fun" while I've got a project like sealing the driveway waiting for me, but at the last minute I decided to do the Nittany Cross. It was close to home and a beautiful day. I hadn't prepped at all, hadn't ridden my cross bike since last year and hadn't trained one bit, but I went over anyway and met up with Johan and Joe. The course was dry and fast, lots of power which is my kryptonite. I had snuck out for a 5 mile run before the race, but I don't think that was to blame for dead legs. We headed out to preride the course, I felt good in the turns, that was about it, but I was still smiling.
It was good to see the cross crew again and to engage in small talk with J-Pow! We lined up and I somehow managed to get in on the 2nd row right in the center next to Johan. Normally this is a good place to be, I knew it was bad for me on this day because it would get my HR up pretty quickly and I didn't want to burn myself out too bad so I still had something left for the 1/3 marathon the next day. Light turned green and I got snapped in right away and a great start, right around 10th or so. I hung around up there for the first two laps but I knew I was pushing too hard to be saving anything for the next day. I pulled up and rode two more laps just spinning the legs and watching the field come though. I pulled out near the pit with 1 1/2 to go and headed back to the car.
So, I rushed home and my neighbor was awesome enough to help me get the driveway all done in a few hours, good for another 5 years or so! Then it was time to pack up and head to my mom's. She was gracious enough to let us sleep over and watch the kids while we raced Rock n Roll Philly. I was excited to be going together with Lauren, like old times, headed to the races together. It was a gorgeous AM, temps in the mid 50's, as we headed down to meet my brother in Philly. We were all at different spots with our "goals". My brother was hoping to PR, Lauren hoping to establish a baseline and I had no idea where I was! After a pretty bad 1:25 half a few weeks back, I would be happy to break 1:20. This is my FAVORITE race, a great course with GREAT competition which always draws the best out of me. We all warmed up together and headed to our corrals up front.
It's fun to be up front in a big race like this, see all the opening ceremonies, watch the elites warm up, etc. Before we knew it the gun was off. I wanted to run right around 6 min miles and hit the first few at 5:52 or so. It was a little warm, bright sun and low 60's, but not too bad. We hit mile 4 and I was in a bad patch already? "Alright, get out of the city and regroup" I thought. And it worked. We clicked past mile 6 and I started clicking off high 5:40's and slowly passing the zealous runners who had passed me earlier.
|Big crowd behind me at 5 miles or so.|
|The last two miles I dug deep.|
The half marathon is my favorite distance. I love pushing myself to see what I can do. I knew I was going to go sub 1:20, but how fast?
We passed mile 12 and I did some math, sub 1:17 was possible. Put my head down and focused on finding the mile 13 marker. And. It. Finally. Came.
Thank you for September!