Cyndi and I ventured up to South Bend to run our 2nd Sunburst Half-Marathon on Saturday. This was my third time participating in this event. The first year, Jarrett and I ran the 10K. To sum up the race: HOT AND HUMID. When we woke up, it was already 74 and you could feel the humidity just hanging in the air. The race started at 7:30 am from downtown. There were only 1600ish people racing the half so it was not crowded. That meant the crowd thinned rapidly and there was very little weaving during the first mile of the race. About 10 minutes in, I looked down at my watch. I hadn't seen a mile marker yet. In another two-minutes I would encounter Mile Marker 1. WHAT?? I ran a 12:24 first mile? I DON'T THINK SO! At that point I was pretty pissed and frustrated. About 6 minutes later I see another mile marker...Evidently the first mile marker was set for one of the other distances being run, not the half. Crisis over. I didn't hit my watch again until mile 6. I finished the first 6 in 56:18 with a pace of 9:23. At mile 10 I was at 1:35:8 holding in at a 9:33/mile. I finished with a time of 2:08 with a pace of 9:46/mile. Biggest issue was the heat and humidity. There was not enough water on the course. Two of the ten water stops were completely out of water and only one had Gatorade. I dropped my bag of Chomps at mile 6 trying to open them because my hands were too sweaty to operate properly and had to resort to taking a Gu Gel. I only was able to gag down about a quarter of it but I was desperate at that point.
What this race taught me: I'm stronger then I give myself credit for. I did not walk a STEP even though I badly wanted to stop running. It was excellent training for the conditions I will likely experience at Augusta.
I still managed to get myself some lovely blisters on my arches. Luckily they aren't terribly painful, just gross.
Cyndi also did great! She finished in 2:28 - if not her fastest half time then one of her top three. Considering the weather - that is AWESOME!