Sunday, October 2, 2022

Hokie Half

Today was the Hokie Half (half-marathon). That's me on the right, with Ally Bowersock who co-owns Runabout Sports Roanoke, among other talents and distinctions. We both won our age groups today!

After the finish, I ran into a fellow area master's runner, Randy, who asked if I was still doing triathlons and asked about my blog. I told him I was still racing, but with so much change in life over the last few years, I had shelved my own writing. But then and there, I decided it's time to revive the blog. As a health and wellness coach, I encourage clients to journal and I understand the value of time spent reflecting. It's time I "walk the walk" and continue my own conversation in this space.

When I first began my blog, I was in my early 40's and finding my way as a new runner and triathlete. My star was rising, and PRs came with regularity.

Now I am 55. I'm no longer chasing PRs, but I still love to train and love to race. In this phase of my athletic life, it's about finding my personal bests in mind and body that go beyond the time clock. 

Back to today. This was one of those races that ended up so dialed in for me! I added the Hokie Half to my calendar in mid-August after tri Nationals, just as a fun-change up, and I've truly enjoyed preparing for it. We shifted my long runs from Wednesdays to Saturdays and cut back on my cycling. Just those few differences - it's like fluffing the sheets. It freshens everything up! 

Based on my training runs, I came into this race targeting about an 8:25 mile pace. My last half marathon, a year ago, I ran in 1:52, so I was hoping for 1:50ish finish on this course even knowing it's fairly hilly. (My half PR is 1:39:45 from 2016). I stayed very relaxed on the first of the two loops and that paid off with a sweet negative split, averaging about 15 seconds per mile faster on the second half. I totally surprised myself finishing in 1:44:54, which comes out to an 8:00 pace. More importantly, I stayed in a really positive and confident headspace, which is so vital for a good performance. That was the real win for me.

That's racing. You just never know what you might have on the day, for better or for worse. 🤷‍♀️ 

The personalized bibs are fun. "Cort the Sport" is a nod to my dad and his nickname for me from a very young age! 

Always fun to see the Hokie Bird. 

Thanks to Coach Jim McGehee of One on One Endurance for the excellent race prep - 13 years of guidance and encouragement!