Toeing the line of the Hapalua Half Marathon last Sunday, I was convinced that this was not going to be a good race. I was coming back from being sick; I hadn’t really trained; I just wasn’t feeling too confident. I’m starting to get used to the dreary, early-morning excitement of race days, but this wasn’t one of them. Instead of normal butterflies and focus, I had a heavy, distracted sense of dread.
As the race kicked off towards the iconic statue of Duke Hahanamoku, my steps got a little lighter and easier. I was so distracted by my bad attitude I didn’t even realize until mile 5 that I was going faster than my normal pace and was almost halfway done. Say what?!! I started to do the math between my watch and mileage and recognize the fact that I might even p.r. – and I wasn’t even tyring. I was plodding along while mentally complaining at a pace faster than I’d ever ran a half before.
After the halfway mark I enjoyed every step. I even picked up my pace until I hit the hill of death that was, for some terrible, awful, unknown reason, at mile NINE. Everyone was staggering and walking their way up the hill, but I hit short steps & breaths and powered through the crowd and caught the tail end of the next group. I sailed down Diamond Head and ran the last mile hard. Nestled between Diamond Head and the crowded Waikiki Beach, I finished the Hapalua at a 2:15:05 – a pace of about 10:20 (according to my results!)
I’m stoked and slightly shocked that I clocked a new p.r. without much training, confidence, or optimism. I guess it means, if anything, that staying healthy and fit does make a big difference in your performance. I have another half along the same course at the end of May, so I’m shooting to train and come in under two hours. As a slightly slow (and former very slow) runner, a sub-two hour time would mean the w o r l d to me and my thick, soccer legs.