I completed the Capital City River Run Half Marathon today. This race has become an annual event for me, this being my 7th outing so far (the first three years being a 10 mile run before it shifted into a half-maraton). [See links here, here and here]. I completed the race in 2 hours and 11 minutes (a perfect 10:00 minute per mile pace). This was a better pace than what I had achieved in the past three years, so that, I guess is an achievement.

Though much is said about the “loneliness of a long distance runner”  (based on Alan Silitoe’s story with the same title), I know for a fact that I could not have completed this race if it weren’t for a large number of people, most of them strangers, who encouraged me and pushed me to try harder. Foremost among them, in today’s race, were Pacers Lisa and Chris who kept a steady 10 minute-mile pace, allowing me to stay with them. And they did this while dressed, not in running gear, but rather in somewhat elaborate costumes, and carrying a flag, so that they could be easily visible to all of us.

Early in the race I got in front of the Lisa and Chris and just let them chase me to the finish line. At the end of the race I got a chance to thank Chris and have my picture taken with him. Here it is.

Who knew that the best way to run a race was to have a pirate chase you till the finish line!

I am hurting a lot right now (the perils of not having trained properly and enough) but I am thrilled at my new timing. This isn’t my best pace but it is maybe the most satisfying. I had run a half marathon in approximately 2 hours and 5 minutes, but that was 6 years or so ago, when I was younger and much better trained. Since then I have been trying to run a 10 or less pace – and today was the day!! The goal next year is to shave 15 seconds of my time so that I can end up in the 9 min + category. But again that is a year away… The goal right now is to hobble over to the medicine cabinet and get myself some ibuprofen!