I got a PR on today’s SF Half: 2:08:30, which is 9:49/mi. (About 12 minutes faster than my SF Half time last year!) I felt pretty good through most of the run, though my left Achilles/ankle was bugging me on the bridge. Amanda and I ran together for about 10.5 miles, but I pulled slightly ahead when Amanda took a walk break on one of the hills after the bridge. There’s a long downhill after that when I was feeling great, but the gradual uphill for miles 11-13.1 nearly killed me. I was feeling nauseated around mile 12, so I ate another Gel, which helped a bit. (As an aside, as I was grabbing the Gel from my waist pack, I heard someone yell my name, and I looked up to see Ross, one of my pace group members from my marathon training in ’05!) I was feeling pretty wiped as I entered the park, but seeing all the finishers and hearing all the spectators gave me a bit of an energy boost, and I was able to sprint in to the finish. I grabbed a bottle of water and turned around to wait for Amanda. I overheard the announcer say that someone who just finished was born in 1933, and looked up to see an elderly man cross the finish line and start yelling, “Catch me! Catch me!”, followed by a younger woman yelling “Catch him! Catch him!” so I grabbed him and basically bear hugged him until he was able to stop and stand up. Then I patted him on the back and said, “Nice finish!” A few seconds after that, I saw Amanda cross the finish line and cheered her in. (She got 2:09:30, exactly 1 minute behind me.)
My time was certainly a long way from the sub-2 I was originally aiming for, but I’m still feeling really proud, especially since this was not just training for a half, but really just getting back into running shape. Considering I went from basically zero running about 3 months ago to a PR without totally injuring myself, I’m feeling pretty good.