Race Report: RunGirl 13.1

Yeah, I know; been slow to post recently.  Busy with home, work and just a general lack of time during the holiday season.

I had to post about RunGirl 13.1 though, because I PR'd.  :) And while it seems that everything is a PR lately, keep in mind I have a lot of low hanging fruit.  After 2 long years of training, I think some things are starting to s-l-o-w-l-y come toghether.

I was running backwards saying, "Hi!" to a
Friend and got *chicked* by a chick who had
run a half marathon the day before and had to
power walk the last 3 miles. 
Yeah, she still beat me.  LOL
First, about this race.  TriGril Sports puts on this race.  They do all female races in both triathlon and running and new for next year will be an mud/obstacle course race, "DirtyGirl".  The 2 women who run the race are amazing, and the races never disappoint.  I can't figure out how the two of them do it all (of course with the help of some volunteers).  I always appreciate the effort they make to address everything that is controllable and important to having a great race experience.

You'll find all levels, shapes and sizes of athletes at their races too.  It's a really fun day of camaraderie among female athletes.  Lots of first timers to cheer on, lots of experienced and fast runners for your aspiration.  It is a pleasant course set in a park of trees so thick you can't see the roads outside the park.  :)  In fact, you almost forget you're in Houston!  This year they added even more sponsors, cool swag and group training runs.  I was bummed I couldn't get my schedule worked out to join them on the training runs, but it seems from their Facebook page, the ladies all had a blast!

So... on to the race!  It was a bit overcast and very cool to start, but once we started it was perfect.  It is a 2 loop course and on the second loop I unloaded the ear warmers. :)  Tights, running skirt and a long sleeved tech worked perfectly.  I wasn't too hot or cold.  Yay!  Half the battle is being comfortable in the climate.

As always, I'm thankful for the upbeat volunteers and the aid stations were perfect, for me, at about every 2 miles.  The Tri4Him folks took care of two of the aid stations and as always were cheering us all on and lifting our spirits!  Oh, and I can't forget to mention the robed resident who spectated the entire time from the front of her trailer park.  She was out there last year too, and returned again.  We all were joking with her that next year she needs to be running with us.  She was so sweet to everyone with her well wishes and "Merry Christmas!" shout outs to everyone.  

My plan for the run was to make this a long training day.  I've been having hip problems since the Turkey Day 10K.  So OC and I talked and decided I would just target a 13:30 pace.  Nothing fast... just get through the day.  I would run mile-to-mile and if I finished under 13:30 for a mile, I would take a walk break to make up the difference.  Somehow though, for the first 6 miles I was still under 13:30.  Makes no sense to me because I was walking the difference. Guess I was running faster to make up for it.  If I felt good the last 5k I would try to give it my all.

Hip got achy around mile 7 and downright hurting around mile 10. Somewhere around mile 11 I had done the math in m head and thought I had a shot to finish at 2:49. I tried to pickup the pace, but hip hurt to badly to risk it, and I was only able to go about 15 seconds faster; knew I couldn't hold it. So I trashed that idea and just tried to hold it together.  I finished (very painfully, if you can't tell by the look on my face!) in 2:52 and some seconds.

This sounds contradictory, but overall I felt strong, my legs were getting fatigued, but I think nutrition played a part in that. EFS seems to work well for me on runs, and I didn't have it with me for this race (accidentally spilled the last of what I had when I prepped it!).

In the end it was 11 minutes off of last year's RunGirl time, and 9 minute PR for the 13.1 distance.

After this race, I decided I'm deferring my Half entry for the Texas Marathon & Half on New Year's Day.  It's a bummer, because I want that stupid 4 lb. medal (LOL), but what I really need is for this hip to get well for Houston so I can have that sub 2:49 finish I was so close to catching today.   

I have to say I'm pretty happy, can still do better, but pretty happy. :)


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