Half marathon #6 is in the books! It was a hot and sunny day but I had a ton of fun running the Stillwater Half Marathon.
One of the best parts of this race is the course. There’s not a lot of spectators (even once you get into Stillwater itself) but most of the course is along the Gateway Trail. You are running in the woods and it’s just gorgeous. Plus there course is mostly shaded which helped a ton on this day! There’s a little bit of running along the road and once you get into town it’s through neighborhoods but that’s only about the last four miles.
I started out with the 2:20 pacer and kept with her until around mile 8. At that point, I knew I was needed to slow it down some more and take some walking breaks with the heat. But that was the first time I had a pace below 11 minutes and I never went above a 12:59 pace (which was at mile 12 when there was the least amount of shade).
Which is pretty awesome compared to the first time I ran the Stillwater Half. It was my first half and I could tell it by looking at my splits. I went out way too fast (not sure if they had pacers but I did not go out at a sustainable pace) and even had sub-10 minute miles in the beginning. Around mile 7, I went down to an 11:33 pace and finished walking most of the last two miles. I remember feeling exhausted at the end but super excited to finish my first half.
This time around, I knew i could actually finish 13.1 so I just focused on enjoying the race. Which I think made it go a lot easier for me mentally especially with the heat. I’ve also learned a lot more about running including pacing myself and fueling properly. Plus I’ve learned the fun of a walk break solo dance party!