First of all, this morning was freeeezing. Well, ok... it was 36, so not technically, but that is damn cold for Columbia. I had to break out my running pants for the first time since last year. Second of all, I was a total idiot on Friday - I had set myself a calendar alert to go pick up my packet, got the alert, and then promptly went home without picking it up. That meant I had to get there even earlier than usual this morning. Also, this was the first time that J didn't come with me, so I didn't have a cheering section/photographer. So anyway... at 6 am this morning, I was wallowing in all of this and not feeling super pumped.
I had heard that the course has a "brutal" hill at the start, which is actually a big part of why I wanted to run it. Y'all know that I've been obsessing about the hills on the half course, and I wanted to see if I could handle them at HM race pace. My plan wasn't necessarily to try to hold pace on the hills themselves, but overall. My goal was to try for about 8:55 average if I could... but instead I ran about 8:48, finishing in 54:41 for a new PR!
*Official results gave me the 54:41.
The splits are all over the place - I felt really good, but I was getting freaked out by low 8s on the Garmin and kept trying to talk myself into slowing down. Also, you can tell which were the hilly miles (1 and 4) and which were the downhill miles (3 and 6). I definitely need to work on giving a more even effort, but in the end, I'm really happy that the hills didn't bother me (though I wouldn't characterize these as "brutal"), and I came away an unexpected PR.