Monday, December 17, 2012

Do the Hustle

Me before the race.  I'm ready!!
Had my final Half Marathon of the year.  The Santa Hustle Half Marathon in Indianapolis.  This would be my 8th Half Marathon this year.  Only one more race scheduled for this year which is the Huff 50k on December 29th which will give me 8 half marathon's and 8 full/ultra marathons in 2012.  My running streak is also currently at 390 days.  I have also been a mileage monster lately in order to try to reach my goal of running 2012 miles in 2012.  I have 93 more miles to go in order to reach that goal.  Last week I set a record for mileage in a week with 65 miles run running 4 days in a row with 10+ miles each day.  I have also run 138 miles so far for the month of December and am on course to break my record for a month as well that stands at 234 miles for a month.

It was a great day for a half marathon.  50 degrees, in Indiana, in December.  I ran this race as a 5k last year and it was 15 degrees and snowing.  Couldn't have asked for better weather.  I was really excited about this race because I was going to be running and pacing my good friend John.  It was his first half marathon.  John had been battling an injury the last couple months which only allowed him to run about 3-4 times in the last month and a half leading up to the race but John was a competitor and determined to not let anything stop him from competing in this race.  His goal was to finish in less than 2 hours but I had other ideas.  I knew what John's fitness level was even though he had only run a hand full of times leading up to the race John was a Cyclocross competitor and a good one at that.  From previous training runs we had been on I knew a healthy John was capable of running it in 1:40.  My goal was to pace him at a 1:50.  I was the only one watching the pace so he wouldn't know what time we were at.  HA HA, Sneaky I know.  In order to run a 2 hour half we would have to average a 9:07 pace.

John and I during the race.
First mile and we were at an 8:42 pace, Mile 2 8:16, Mile 3 a very fast 7:51.  I think John was starting to loosen up there.  He said he was feeling good and was comfortable with the pace.  Mile 4 8:00, Mile 5 8:02, Mile 6 8:10, Mile 7 8:16, Mile 8 8:13.  He said he was still feeling strong.  We look over and there were people doing cyclocross racing.  That was where John's wife Christina and their daughter Grace were doing cyclocross racing.  We look over and there is Christina and Grace cheering us on.  With us coming up this big hill I think it was just the motivation John needed to power up that hill like a champion!!  Before you know it we are at mile 9 8:15, Mile 10 8:36, Mile 11 7:51 pace!!  Wow, where did that come from.  That was also at that point the furthest John had ever run.  Mile 12 8:44 pace.  At this point John got a massive cramp in his quad but he kept fighting and pushing through it like a champ!!  Only 1.1 more miles John, you can do this!!  Mile 13 12:34 pace.  There's the finish!!  Finished with an incredible time of 1:53!!  Which was a 8:37 pace overall.  What an outstanding display of guts and determination.  His first half marathon!!  I really feel a healthy, John with a little more training could do one in under 1:40 easy.  Still an amazing time for his first one.

Autumn sprinting to the finish line!!
I also wanted to give a special shout out to Autumn who also completed her first half marathon!! Beast mode was definitely out in full force on that day!!  She killed it!!  I am very proud of her as well.  She looked strong and like a true champ crossing that finish line!!

Pretty amazing day for the entire Paul family.  John finished his first half marathon.  Christina got 3rd place in her Cyclocross race and their daughter Grace got second in her race.  Just goes to show when you want something bad enough you can overcome anything.  Great job John.  I'm proud of you and was honored to get to run your first half marathon with you.  You earned that medal buddy!!

John was ready for his first half marathon
Ronda, Wes, John, Becky and I after the race

John, Beau, and I after the race

Becky Clause is ready to run.

John and I showing off our medals after the race.

Big hug from Autumn after her first half marathon

John, Becky and I after the race

John and I.  We were ready to run.

John, Wes, and I during the race.