The Good News: I achieved my goal!
I want to take a few minutes to recap all that happened since my last update -- it was a lot! First, thank you to each one of you who supported me on this quest, several of you have reached out over the last few months to make sure I was still going due to my blog silence and let me know you were looking forward to making a donation to the Seacoast Community School, and that is great. It was that which got me through many difficult times and pushed me to complete my quest for 500 miles.
The day after my last post, I participated in my first half-marathon, The Great Bay Half Marathon. I had signed up on a whim the previous October because it was an early-bird special and had an option of dropping down to a 5K if I needed to. Most of the feedback I received was surprise that this would be the course I chose for my first long race, it is known as being pretty tough as it has 5 pretty big climbs. I made the classic rookie mistake going out way too fast. I ran the first 6 miles in just under an hour, which was near my personal best 10K (6.2 miles) of 59:30 (10 minute a mile pace). So in a 13.1 mile race, I ran the first 6 miles faster than I had ever run 6 miles before save for one time. I slowed way down and ran the next two mile at a more reasonable 11 minute a mile pace, but at the 8 mile mark I hit a pretty big wall and the next 5 miles were really difficult. I heaved to the finish line, clocking my last 2 miles in at over 13 minutes each. Suffice it to say, I was hurting, but was also really excited. I had set a goal of running faster than 2 hours 20 minutes, and despite being way ahead of that pace at the 8 mile mark, did not come close. Regardless, I felt very accomplished, it was exciting.
Great Bay Half Marathon:
1) Run a faster time at each race I had run the year before.
The next two races I did were 5Ks and in both I pushed Miles in a stroller and in both Lauren also ran. It was awesome going as a family and running together. In both I broke 30 minutes, which is always my primary goal when pushing the stroller. The second was the Red Hook 5K, the 2nd race I ran last year and the one that went really poorly for me. Joining us at the race were my friends TJ and Cassandra who were visiting from Texas. This was TJ's first ever 5K, and despite him doing minimal training, I only ran about 30 seconds faster than him, an impressive first race for him.