Race Report – 2014 Space Coast Half Marathon

2014 Space Coast Half MedalThis race went so much better than last year.

The trip started out the same.  Flew down on Friday, went to Kennedy Space Center, where I bought an annual pass, since it will still be good when I go down for next year’s half.

But there were a few notable detours.  I can’t say that they improved the race, but they sure improved the weekend.  On Friday, when I got in, some of my friends were at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  I was headed to Walt Disney World on the Sunday after the race, but I have an annual pass, so why not stop by before heading down to Cocoa Beach?  So I did.  And it was awesome.  More about Disney in another post.  This is a race report.

On Sunday morning, we woke up way too early and I was so glad to not wake up feeling awful.  It made for a very different day as compared to last year.  I knew that I was well trained and while I didn’t have a PR in me, I really wanted to run a sub-3 after a series of tough half marathons.  This course is known for being fast, and so I thought I could do it.

I set out to run my intervals on my own, so as to not let anyone else hold me back or push me too fast.  I should have set my Virtual Partner on my Garmin to the pace I needed to run to get a sub-3, but instead, it was just set at its usual 14:00 pace.  I knew I needed to stay under that pace and then some if I wanted to come in under 3 hours.

I really like this race course.  It’s a simple out and back through a really friendly neighborhood.  There were lots of spectators out, including a beer stop and a bloody mary/bacon/pancake stop.  People were cooking breakfast for the runners!  So much fun.

I did stop for a shot of Blue Moon, but no bacon for me.

I like the out and back because I have a lot of friends who run this race, and an out and back course means I see pretty much everyone.  It’s hard to see people before the turnaround because the sun is in your face, so you have to rely on the people coming back to call out to you.  But it makes for an entertaining morning.

Somewhere along the way, I started doing race math.  How far ahead of my virtual partner did I need to be to get a sub-3?  Race math occupies my brain for a good while, which makes it an excellent running hobby.  I knew that I had the sub 3 as long as I didn’t totally fall apart, which was a great feeling.  I really needed a good race.  Plus it reminds me that yes, the training is actually working.

I was helped along by an absolutely perfect morning, weather wise.  Not too hot, not too cool, not too muggy.

I haven’t had a chance to download my splits from my watch, but I managed to keep every mile under 14 minutes, which is always my goal. and the end result was what I wanted!

2:56:18

No speed records for me, and still about 8 minutes or so slower than my PR, but I’m really happy with this time.  It was a vast improvement over last year and the fastest half I’ve had since 2012. I feel really good about it.   It makes me think that maybe next year, I can try to PR at the race.  Losing a few pounds wouldn’t hurt, but mostly, it’s about sticking to the training and more importantly, trusting the training.

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