Plano Balloon Festival Half Marathon Race Recap

Having a very specific plan and new found confidence in my tempo runs made all the difference for this half marathon.  My Plan.  Run close to marathon pace for the first 10 miles, push the pace for the last 5k.  Adjust the pace if the weather is unfavorable.  This race was a training race as part of my marathon training.  My Goals.  Stick with the plan.  Stay relaxed and in control.  Finish strong and feeling good.

My morning race routine began at 4:00.  Wake up.  Hit snooze.  Find contacts.  Run back to my phone to turn the alarm off.  Breakfast, coffee, stare at my phone, get dressed, pack up my gear, and GO.

I parked at Collin County Community College and made my way down to the event to find gear check.  Last week, I found my head phones so I listened to some music on the way.  After dropping off my bag and saying hi to the owner and manager of Run Texas, I began my warm up.  With 75% humidity, I started sweating at mile one of my warm up, so I kept it slow.

A hot air balloon gondola sat right next to the start line, and on Saturday I enjoyed seeing them ignite the flame.  However, on Sunday, I lined up as far away from it as possible.  The heat was intense.

The race began at 7:00.  I went out at a comfortable pace, sticking with my game plan.  Mile 1.  6:53.  I backed off slightly because I knew the weather was not going to be kind to me later in the race.  My heart rate stayed low.  I controlled my breathing.  Mile 2.  7:09.  The hills felt comfortable.  Miles 3 and 4.  7:13.  We ran through a neighborhood and around to Bob Woodruff Park, where the Plano Pacers hold their monthly races.

I picked up the pace a bit for miles 5, 6, and 7.  7:09, 7:05, 7:03.  At Mile 8, a good sized hill slowed me down a little.  7:26.  At this point the humidity started to affect me, but I stayed strong and in control.  I increased my effort and got my next split down to 7:22, then 7:11.  From there, I focused on catching the runner in front of me, making sure not to increase my pace too much.  “Stay in control.”  With the increasing heat and humidity and my increasing heart rate and effort, I thought I had increased my pace more than I actually did for miles 10, 11, and 12.  7:11, 7:17 (uphill), 7:32 (uphill).  Running strong through mile 13, I finished in 1:33:07 (official time) with an average pace of 7:06/mile.  3rd Overall Female.

After a sweaty team picture, I drank three cups of gatorade, not caring one bit about what flavor it was, retrieved my phone from my bag, turned on my music, and headed off to cool down.  My cool down consisted of jogging, walking, and listening to Nickleback.  Even though my legs didn’t feel bad, they were done for the day, so I called it after one mile.

Photo by Mark O.

The awards ceremony took place shortly after my cool down, and I received a very nice plaque for placing 3rd.  “Life is a Journey.”  And so is marathon training!

​I am happy with my performance for this half marathon.  I stuck with my plan, stayed in control, and finished with a good result!

Recovery and Hydration Notes

I wore my 2XU compression pants for the rest of the day, and my legs recovered faster than I expected.

Initially, I planned to stock up on more Tailwind for the race, but a broken dryer and a gas leak in my house took up too much time last week, and I was unable to get any before race day.  I will be able to get some more this week before my 20 miler on Sunday.  I will include my hydration notes in Training Highlights.

Who else had a race over the weekend?  What distance?  How did it go?

Thanks for reading!  Like!  Share!  Follow!  Comment!

This post is sponsored by RunTexas.



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