Why run a half marathon during the hottest part of the year in Texas? Let me replay the scenario for you.
Rich: Hey Susan, you want to run a half with me in a few weeks?
RS: In August, in Texas, are you crazy?
Rich: Please, please, please, I really need someone to pace me and it’ll be a lot of fun, I promise. I’m begging, pleeeaassse, for me.
RS: But Rich, Coach David has 23 miles on my schedule for that day and Coach David is very serious about my training.
Rich: But Susan, didn’t you know that running 13.1 miles at race pace is exactly like running 23 miles at training pace. It’s totally okay, David will be fine with it.
RS: Really? Okay then, if it will make David happy, count me in.*
When I left the house at 5:00 AM this morning it was 78 degrees with 81% humidity. I reckon when the rain left, it took away those blessed few days of cool mornings. I’m not sure what the temperature was at the start of the race but my feet were already soaked.
Through the first half of the race we kept a really steady pace. Rich announced at the halfway point we were at 1:02 – a 9:27 pace. Awesome, if I could keep this up I knew I could PR, or get really close.
Rich and I parted ways for a bit and then things kind of went like this – it got hotter, it got sunnier, I got sweatier, and I got slower. But I never stopped running – except for a few seconds here and there to sip water because I have yet to figure out that swallowing while running phenomenon that the rest of the world can manage. The important thing here to note is that I ran the whole time, NO WALK BREAKS. That’s a big deal for me.
Somewhere around mile 12.5 Rich and I found each other again. We hugged and shared a special moment before we finished the race together hand-in-hand. Okay, we technically weren’t hand-in-hand, but we did high five as we crossed the finish line in 2:15:58 – a 10:22 pace.
Reality strikes, it was slow. I so much wanted to run a 2-hour half, but I felt I ran really strong. It was fun too, despite the heat: 87 degrees and 57% humidity by the time we finished.
*Conversation may not be accurate to all parties due to recent heat exposure.