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Race Recap: Sugar & Spice Half Marathon 2014

by Christa on February 17, 2014

in Race Recaps

Let me just say I LOVE THIS RACE. I did it last year and everything was great except the course running way long (13.9 miles). They fixed that this year, so it was wonderful.

Rach slept 9pm-5am, beautiful. I woke up at 5, fed her, and dashed out the door at 5:30 after throwing my race gear on. The race started in Clear Lake (~30min away) at 6:30 and I still had to get my packet. YEAH for morning packet pickup!

Got my packet and swag bag. Dude, check out all the swag. Tech shirt, beanie, scarf, and stemless wine glass!! Let me also point out that early registration for this race is only $60! That’s really cheap for a half marathon. And the course is super duper flat, perfect time of year. It’s all women and has a long time limit (4.5 hours). Just a wonderful race.

swag

So anyway, I got in the crowd behind the start line about 3 minutes before the gun, hurriedly detangled my ipod buds (tangle free my ass), and then was off.

My A goal for this race was 2:10 but I was thinking that 2:15 (B goal) would be more realistic. My first mile was in 9:18. Too fast, I knew. I was thinking I would be lucky to barely go under 10:00/mile average. I had only been training with 9:1 running/walking max, so I wondered how long I would be able to run without a break. Second mile was 9:35. Ok, time to find a slower pace. I fell in behind two girls who were keeping a steady 9:45 pace. Around mile 4, one of them glanced back. I said, “Sorry, I hope I’m not bothering you!” She assured me that I wasn’t, but a woman a few paces behind me said, “Oh, I thought you three were together!” Nope, they just had a steady pace that I liked.

Screen Shot 2014-02-17 at 7.31.45 AM

So I ran with my new buddies (the woman behind me joined us) for awhile but knew I would have a hard time holding this pace til the end. I told myself if I could just make it to the turnaround (out and back race, love it), I could rest if I needed to. We made it to the turnaround and sure enough, the two in front started to pull away a little. At this point I had eaten some Shot Blocks and was feeling a little more energetic – so I kept running at my pace. Around mile 8 I knew I had built in enough padding to go under 2:10 (since I had been running 9:45 and 2:10 is 9:54 pace) barring any disasters. The only thing that really sucked was that my arms are fatter than I’m used to and were starting to chafe thanks to rubbing against my singlet – yuck!!  The sun came out and it got a little warm, too.

Screen Shot 2014-02-17 at 7.32.09 AM

I was holding onto the pace and only walking water stops!! At mile 10 I turned up the heat a little – and at mile 11 I realized if I really wanted to speed up, I could go under 2:05! I passed my new friends and started booking it toward the finish…just 2 miles to go! I didn’t want to pay too much though, so I made sure to keep the pace manageable…sometimes at the end of races I will push it so hard that I start whimpering….none of that today!! The two ladies did pass me again in the final stretch, but I brought it in strong. Didn’t go under 2:05 though – came in at 2:06 on the nose. I was extremely proud of my performance; I never expected to shatter my A goal like that!

sugarandspice

I got a post-race massage, no wait (another thing to love about this race) and considered sticking around for awards. I ran much faster last year and placed 3rd, so figured there was no way I placed, best to head home to Rachel! Imagine my surprise to check results online and discover I won my age group. This is a fluke; guess the fast gals didn’t show up…or they aged up, as the 30-34 age group was much faster (I would have placed 10th in that age group). Still, I will always take the podium!! No arguments here.

It’s funny, because if my calculations are correct, I had JUST conceived Rachel at this race last year (ok, not AT the race, but you know what I mean). It’s all come full circle! Woodlands will be extra special in 2 weeks, because the night before Woodlands, I found out I was pregnant.

I was really using this as a practice race before Woodlands half, as that’s a much bigger race and I’m expecting some spectators (my parents might be in town). So you know my A goal will be to get as close to 2:00 as I can….I really don’t think going under 2 is feasible right now. But if this race was any indication, this year will be PR city!! Ready to smash my records! By the end of the year I want to go under 1:50 for the half. We shall see….

I forgot how much I love road races.  There’s nothing like going out there and doing your best and feeling that sense of accomplishment.  Looking forward to more races this year!!

{ 2 trackbacks }

Weekend recap – riding, running, and fun!
February 18, 2014 at 11:01 am
Weekend Recap: Race apathy, a Nana visit, and the bad luck ride.
March 4, 2014 at 11:29 am

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Emilia @ Run for Your Life February 17, 2014 at 7:45 pm

Nice job! Wow, look at all that swag…I’ll be on the hunt for a race that weekend next year since my b-day will be on the weekend and I might have to go with this one!
See you at The Woodlands! P.S. What brand is that pink singlet??

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Christa February 17, 2014 at 9:32 pm

Sweet! See you at Woodlands! The singlet is my tri/running club, SBS! https://www.facebook.com/groups/149252421823176/

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