Goals for the Whidbey Island 1/2 Marathon (my second 1/2)
Goal A: Beat my first 1/2 time of 2:37. Obviously I would like to better my time to show that I have improved.
Goal B: Get under 2:30. I definitely want to get sub 2:30 and never go over 2:30 again. I would prefer to be a 1/2 marathon runner that can finish in under 2 1/2 hours.
Goal C: Shave 10 minutes off my first time and get 2:27
I had been reading how hilly and challenging this course was so I wasn't sure how realistic my goals were but I also knew that I felt stronger and more prepared than the first one so I was hoping these 2 factors would balance each other out. But there was also Jeff's IT band injury to take into consideration and I didn't want to finish without him.
Our plan for the weekend was to arrive in the area on Saturday afternoon, with no rush except to get to package pick up before closing time, grab a course map and drive the route to get a feel of what we were getting ourselves into, have dinner, lay out our gear and head to bed early.
Everything went as planned. The package pick up/ expo was very small so we were in and out pretty quick. But not before picking up our ugly ass race shirts! Not even kidding, they were the most hideous shirts I have ever seen in my life! WTF were they thinking!?
Here is Hubby and I modelling the fugliness:
So we drove as much of the route we could and the hills we saw were freaking me out a bit. My stomach was starting to turn and I was getting nervous. We are so not used to running hills and it was worse than we thought. Ugh! Oh well, at least hills meant downhill and we would just have to make up time on the downhill.
We went for a pasta dinner and then laid out all our gear. I was having a hard time trying to decide what to wear because although it was supposed to be a beautiful sunny day, it was still chilly in the morning. I decided to wear crops, a tank top and layer with a long sleeve swiftly top that I could easily take off and tie around my waist. We also brought some throw away shirts in case we had to wait outside in the cold for a long time.
It was still early and light out so we decided to go for a nice walk to shake out the legs and nerves a bit. It was a beautiful night and I'm so glad we decided to do this. It gave us a chance to reflect on our training and talk about our race strategy. We decided we would stick to our 10:1 intervals as much as possible but skip walk breaks on downhills and if we were running slower than we could walk up some of the steeper hills then we would walk. We wanted to keep our overall pace at around 6:50 as much as possible. We had printed a pace band for a 2:27 finish before we left that we were going to try to follow as well.
The race started at 8:30am but there was a bridge closure for the full marathon at around 7am which would have gotten us to the parking area too late if we didn't try to go before the closure. So we decided to get up at 5:30 and leave at about 6:30 to get us to the area around 7ish and then we would just wait around until start time. We went to bed and surprisingly had a really good sleep! I was really happy because the last race, we slept horribly.
The morning went smoothly except for a few GI issues (sorry but my tummy does not do well with nerves!). And then we found out that the Garmin was frozen and didn't charge properly!!! EFF! I was upset but couldn't do anything about it. Because we were in the US we also couldn't use the GPS apps on our iPhones due to high roaming charges. Except for the pacer, mile markers and our stopwatch we were pretty much running blind. So much for the pace band we printed out :(
We had some bananas, apples and coconut chia pudding for breakfast and were out the door on time.
We got to the parking lot with lots of spaces still left and it was nice and close to the start line so we just had to wait it out in the car for an hour or so. It was a good time to just relax. We were supposed to meet our friend Zyta who had also come out to race but we sadly got a text that morning that she couldn't make it as her partner was really sick and she couldn't leave him alone at the hotel. We were SOO sad and felt so bad for them both. Zyta is a really good runner and works so hard that I'm sure she was disappointed and we really wanted to share this experience with her but I would have not left my sick hubby alone away from home either.
The hour wait flew by as we went back and forth to the bathroom nearby and watched all the runners pile in. It was a brisk but sunny morning and the weather could not have been more perfect. They had a really good gear drop off station so we didn't need the throwaway shirts and just wore some light shells to ward off the morning chill until we had to start getting into our corral.
It was a much smaller, quieter crowd than the SeaWheeze but it was still exciting! The corrals were self seeding so we got behind the 2:30 pacer and hoped for the best! And off the start gun went!