I didn’t plan any big time goal races for this spring, because ideally I wanted to work on strength, which in my mind is a long term running goal. I knew I needed to be able to run the New Orleans half marathon in February for Erica’s birthday. I also signed up for a 10K that I have run several times and always enjoyed. Since I didn’t have a race goal time for this spring, but I signed up for a couple races, I wanted to have some sort of race plan. Approaching the NOLA half, I decided a great goal, that I have never attained, would be to run a negative split.
How I was going to do this I wasn’t sure. Lately I have found it more fun to go into a race not having an exact plan in mind. What I did plan for NOLA was to drink margaritas and eat tacos the night before (check) and then on race day, run with Kimberly for some miles at whatever pace she started (check).
What a fun race! Around mile 3, we saw an Episcopal priest walking his dog. My favorite race moment ever: Kimberly calls out to him, “May the Lord be with you!” and he calls back, “And also with you!” What a great way to start a half marathon. Not long after, we saw Erica on the other side, having already well passed the turn around point. My heart soared, knowing she was feeling great and having a great race. Somewhere around the halfway point, I talked myself into picking it up about 15-20 seconds per mile. After mile 10 or so, I decided that if I were to really make this negative split a reality, I would need to pick up the pace more. I felt pretty good and thought I had plenty of gas left in me.
I was able to finish the half marathon at a solid 10K pace the last couple miles. I was so thrilled! I felt good at the finish, having finally found the control to run a smart race. And most importantly, I ran happy and relaxed, which made it a truly successful race!