Sunday, September 13, 2009
Parks Half Marathon Report
I set out this morning to run the Parks Half Marathon from Rockville to Bethesda, MD. I had 2 goals: break 1:50 (which I felt pretty confident about), and even faster, break 1:45 (a bit ambitious).
We lucked out with beautiful race weather: 60, sunny, and a gentle breeze. The gun went off at 7, so just after sunrise. I went out at a pretty fast pace; my first mile was about 7:35. While it felt fast, I knew I just needed to keep pushing and running sub 8 miles. Lots of small hills throughout the race, which I think I handled well. We spent a lot of time running through the woods on a path, which brought me back to my cross country days. My big plan was to speed up during the last 5k, which I did, and was able to pass a lot of people. During the last mile, we ran through this tunnel, and at that point, it was no mercy. I was really pushing, and when I came out of the tunnel, there was the crowd, and man, were they pumped. At that point, I was passing a bunch of people, and the crowd was pretty awesome, yelling "Come on!" and really psyched me up. Also, during the last 100M, the announcer yelled "And here comes Vanessa Taylor from DC," which was very cool to hear as I was finishing.
I finished in 1:43:29 (7:54 per mile), and came in 9/71 women ages 18-24, and 340/2061 overall. I beat both of my goal times, and had a lot of fun in the process. Definitely a good race, and I think I'll try to do it again next year. The picture I've included is of me, Brian, and Eileen, who are running the Marine Corps Marathon next month as well. We've been writing online in the Marine Corps Forum on Runner's World, so it nice to actually meet!
Today was a 20 miler day, so I ran the other 7 miles this evening after a meal and nap. I really felt sore after the 1/2, and even after putting my feet up all afternoon felt it during the 7 miler. However, I managed to push through it. Plus, it's good to learn how to run on tired legs.
So, 20 miles in all today - 13.1 fast, 7 not so fast. Off to put my feet up again and rest!