It should have been a great race for me. The temps were around 55, nearing 60 at the finish and the humidity seemed manageable. My husband was willing to slow down and run with me to try to encourage me when I got tired.
But, it just wasn't my day. I'm not sure if it's the stress of everything that's been going on, the fact that I'm getting older, the allergens in the air or just plain one of those days but I wasn't able to breathe well at the start and my lungs never opened up. Deep down, I knew going in that I probably wasn't going to break 2 hours in this half. I just never felt like I was running my tempo runs at a fast enough sustained pace. That said, I only ended up 1-2 seconds per mile off last year's pace at this race and only about 10 seconds per mile off my PR pace. This translates to a race in which I came within 2 1/2 minutes of my PR so in the end I was quite pleased.
That doesn't mean that I'm still not hoping to break 2 hours this year. I have my sights set on Appleton in September, where I came within 24 seconds of my PR last year. But it also means I have to figure out how to tweak my training a bit and convince my doctors that I don't need any surgeries, biopsies, CT scans or anything else that screws up my training weeks or my mental state.
As all good training programs ending with a successful race should be celebrated, we went out to dinner at The Boathouse, a fabulous restaurant where I had one of the better restaurant meals of my life. It was a fitting celebration of the race and of our 7th wedding anniversary. Now that we're home I'm taking a day or two off and then hitting the trails for a few weeks before I start the training program all over again for Marquette and hopefully Appleton 2 weeks later. Bring on the summer running, I'm ready!