Starting line photo with another Montana Running Rancher.
Mile 1: Always the sweetest mile in my opinion and so much depends on the first mile. If you go out too fast you could burn up too much energy and not have enough for the second half of the half marathon. It also can be a great indicator of how the whole race is going to go. If the first mile is a struggle it, in my opinion, it is never a good sign. If the first mile feels effortless, is at a comfortable pace and my breathing is under control, I take it as a good sign.
Time for mile 1: 7:26 This is a downhill mile so I knew it would be pretty fast. My breathing felt good. and of course with the downhill it all felt very effortless. I also started in with my mantra
"Stay calm. Stay focused. You've got this."
I had predetermined not to use my music until at least mile 5.
Mile 2: This was a bit uphill and had a bit of a headwind, but it still felt pretty good 7:43.
Mile 3: Pretty consistent with 7:42, but not really were I wanted to be either I decided I was feeling too good for that pace. I ate two shot blocks.
Mile 4: Picked it up just a bit and hit 7:33. I decided that was where I wanted to be.
Mile 5: Still no music and still using my mantra "Stay calm. Stay focused. You've got this." Feeling really good and had a pretty good uphill portion so this mile was a little slower with 7:56.
Mile 6: 7:36 Feeling good and starting to get tired of the mantra so I decided once I hit the halfway mark of 6.55 miles I would turn on my music.
Mile 7: 7:36 (how is that for consistent!) Feeling good and finally turned on my music! The music gave me a needed boost! Starting to feel tired but also still feeling strong and breathing was under control. The pace was feeling really good.
Mile 8: 7:38 Ate three shot blocks, and I think there was a bit of hill in here, I can't remember now.
Mile 9: 7:38 Road construction~ rough road! But feeling pretty good and still passing people.
Mile 10: 7:33 I attempted to pick up the pace a little here. Mentally knowing I only had three miles left was awesome and a huge boost.
Mile 11: 7:31 Another strong mile ticked off and some passing of people done!
Mile 12: 7:33 Seriously impressed with how consistent my pace was. This mile felt pretty good, but starting to get some tired legs!
Mile 13: 7:37 The hardest mile! I was really feeling the hill that was in this mile, thank goodness it wasn't a very big one and thank goodness this was the last mile. and then it was all down hill.
last .1 or (.2 according to my Garmin) big downhill, like a cruel joke at this point on tired legs 1:19 with a 6:34 pace. I was really hoping to get under 1:40, which unofficially I did, but officially I did not!