As with all (but one) races that I've run, it was actually a new-to-me course, since this race has been run for about 20 years or something. It was also a new-to-me distance; I got an automatic PR for the 11 mile. Excellent. Really, this race was my idea of the perfect half-marathon: one that ended when I wanted it to end, and not 2.1 miles later.
So! Mile 1 was the pace I was going for, Mile 2 was about 2 1/2 minutes slower. No prizes for guessing where all the hills were. Yep, mile 2 was straight up out of the canyon. I kept moving, but only barely. Mile 3 was a bit faster than mile 2 (I was still recovering), but every mile after that kept getting a teensy bit faster. I wish I could do that at every race!
I had no real goal for this race except to keep a sub-12 minute pace. I verified with a board member before we started that there was no cutoff time for this race (I was a bit worried about that), so I knew that all I had to do was keep going.
Race highlight: There was a woman who goes to South Plains who was out with her son watching; apparently, there were enough people she knew running to make it worthwhile to come out & cheer everyone on! It delighted me to get high-fives from Cathy & Eli.
And then, the downhill came. I love that downhill. It was fantastic to run down as fast as I could, and also to get a break from the crazy wind, thanks to high canyon walls.
I beat my office manager by about two minutes! That was kind of exciting. We totally should have had an office pool.