13.1...again!Last Wednesday, I posted that I had just signed up for a half-marathon... (This is a nice event, too, in that it's varied--on the same morning, on the same course, there's a 5k, a quarter-marathon, a wheelchair-race, and the 13.1. So...all you friends who live in colder climes--come on down next March and run in the sunny desert with me!)So...this morning--I DID IT! My second one! The Phoenix half-marathon in January got me started, and I think I'm 'hooked' now...Earlier this year, when I caught the 'walking pneumonia' that was going around at the school where I teach, I missed an entire month of long runs...So I really didn't think I should try again so soon, but with the beautiful spring weather, I thought--hey, I'm back to my regular weekly runs, why not just TRY a half-marathon again--even if I end up running it a lot slower than I did in Phoenix, so what? I'm not 'competing'...It was a chilly start--49 degrees as the sun came up over the Santa Catalina Mountains...The route takes you through rolling high desert--from the foothills of the Catalinas to the foothills of the Tortolita mountains--so scenic, its suburban reality notwithstanding...
Here's an elevation profile of the course--HILLS:
Along with the fact that I hadn't gone on any runs longer than 9 miles recently, the hilly terrain led me to have a more modest goal-time of finishing in, maybe, 2hrs10min...(I'd finished the pancake-flat Phoenix course in 1hr58)...By the time I got to mile ten, this morning, though, I realized that I just might be able to finish in less than two hours after all! So I pushed hard the last three miles...and finished in 1hr59!! Just barely, but still--a sub-2-hr. time! With hills! and without recent long training runs! AND...I'm not writhing in pain!
(I can only hope this posting doesn't sound self-congratulatory...but seriously, I am thrilled at my time today...and still bemused that I've taken to running later in life than most peple--I like running?--moi? oui, moi.)
The view from the parking lot at the finish line:
...just a few desert marigolds in bloom in the foreground--after this year's unusually dry winter, the Catalina foothills are a far cry from last year's wildflower show in the same area:
With flowers or without--a beautiful spring morning to go for a run in the desert...