Our Daily (G)races

Training to be the best wife, mom, runner, and person I can be each and every day....

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Angel Run Half Marathon recap

I decided after I found out I could not run the Pittsburgh half at the beginning of May that I really still wanted to run a half before summer.  The choices in this area are pretty non-existent and the only one I could find was the Angel Run in Montgomery, TX.  It is about 45-60 minutes from the house depending on traffic and it was before summer.  So, I registered knowing it was going to be crazy hot.

I trained really well for this race in my opinion.  I ran lots of miles at my goal pace.  I felt really ready to finally PR, but I knew the chances of that were slim.  All my training was in cooler temps.  Summer arrived late in May this year which was good, but not for getting acclimated to running in hot, humid weather.  I knew race day was going to be very humid and quite warm.  I was right.  It was 92% humidity and about 75 at the start.  Thankfully it was overcast or I may have melted.

Several things went well for me.  It was a great decision to carry my own water.  There were not enough water stations.  I was able to take my GU without any issues!  I wore sunglasses for the first time.  With the exception of sweating more on my face because of them, I loved not fussing with a hat in the wind.

Several things were a challenge.  This was the first year for the event.  There was a 10K and a half.  We all started at the same time.  I started a little too fast (7:53 first mile) for the heat.  I slowed my pace quickly!  The course was so poorly marked.  I just cannot explain how bad it was.  I figured it was going to be a problem when I saw the mile markers at the starting line as we were getting ready to start....I mean like two minutes from starting!  When I could no longer see the guy ahead of me I just hoped I would go the correct way!  That is never good.  Near the finish I had to ask a cop which way to go.  That was just horrible!  As I said above, there were not enough water stations.  There was no course support at all and I mean none!  That was tough.  It was more like a training run than a race.  The course itself was hilly in my opinion.  I train in the land of the flat so continuous rolling hills are tough for me.  I like hills, but 13 miles of hills was hard and I did not expect it.  The hills were not killer high, but they just went on and on forever. 

As for the race, I knew I would not be able to hold my goal pace of 8 minute miles.  It was going to be too humid.  I hoped to hang between 8:15 and 8:30.  I did a pretty good job of that with the exception of during the long climbs.  The first mile was through a neighborhood and then downhill for almost a mile.

Mile 1:  7:53
Mile 2:  8:18
Mile 3:  8:17

The climbs started around 2.5 miles and continued pretty much for the rest of the race.  There were some longer climbs at times and really no flat stretches.

Mile 4:  8:13---the 10K turnaround was somewhere after mile 4 and I took a GU
Mile 5:  8:11---running all by myself for the rest of the race
Mile 6:  8:44---climbing!
Mile 7:  8:45---still climbing and not really knowing when I would be turning around
Mile 8:  8:21---the turnaround point was about mile 8 and I finally saw some people heading out to the turnaround.  It was nice to hear things like...."you're 1st female, good job".  I relished that knowing it would probably never happen again.

By this point I was really tired and hot.  I dumped the water at the turnaround on me and that helped cool off some.  It was a little windier on the way back.  I just kept trying to remind myself that I wanted to finish strong and in first.  Just keep running was all I told myself!

Mile 9:  8:17---took my last GU at 9.5 miles
Mile 10:  8:47---last big climb
Mile 11:  8:32---trying to will myself to run faster as the gradual climbing continued
Mile 12:  8:32---still climbing for half of the mile and then it got somewhat level!
Mile 13:  8:07---the signage was so poor and this was horribly frustrating for me.  I was unsure where to go and then two girls ran in front of me near the finish.  I had to slow down and run around them.  I am pretty sure the look on my face was pure disgust because I know my thoughts were.
Mile 13.1  6:23 average pace to finish  

My Garmin had my time at 1:49.03.  My official time was 1:49.02.  I had the course a little short and so did the winner.  However, everyone else had it a little long so who knows.  I think if it had been marked better there might not have been such a discrepancy.  I think I still would have run a PR.  As it stands, it is a 20 second PR for me!
totally soaked from water and sweat!
lovely post race self portrait!
I finished 1st female in the half marathon and 5th finisher overall.  The winner of the half missed the 10K turnaround (probably because the signage was so poor) and still won the half.  He was blazing fast!  I was really proud of my effort and for winning.  It is pretty funny because my time is nothing great, but I was the fastest in this group of women on this day.  I am thankful for that and will always remember that one time that I won!


  1. Such a great run for a frustratingly poorly managed race!! I'm so glad you were able to hut your goal - makes up somewhat for the other parts, I'm sure!! :). Great job!! Are you on a race hiatus o
    For the next few months?

  2. You did SO GREAT!! To run a HM at the end of May in Texas is a big deal AND you walked away first female and set a PR! As far as the course... hopefully they will change things up for next year. I ran a half like that last September and it was extremely frustrating. The lead runners got lost- and one was hit by a car! I am actually about to register for this race again this weekend but I want to email the RD first to make sure somethings will be fixed!

    Enjoy some easy running now and give your mind and body a little rest. You definitely deserve it!