But the real reason I didn't announce the race was I didn't want to put pressure on myself. I had thought it would be the type of course we could PR on (not that I'm in that kind of shape); as SR said "road half marathons don't lie!".
The thing we didn't know was that the race would be held during the thunderstorm of the year and that half of it was on trails - that had turned into a muddy mess. (all of this was fine by me, though, because the pressure to PR was gone).
Race start: 10:00 AM
Course: basically a big, winding circle on trails - half asphalt, half mud, lots of turns, very little elevation change. Very clearly marked (I didn't even get lost). Some areas of minor flooding.
Distance: 21 km, DAF opmålt (the distance was accurate)
Participants: 93 (72 men, 21 women)
Weather: lightning, thunder, drenching rain, brisk wind
It must be SR that got me started doing this - but I love scoping out the females ahead of time, trying to determine, by their body & other more subtle cues, how fast of a runner they will be. It's a weird and not very attractive habit. And I probably shouldn't admit it...
Anyway, I immediately spotted Karina Hansen as someone who would likely be good competition. And there was no small prize on the line - 1500 kr. ($300) gift certificate to Kaiser Sport + running style analysis. It only made sense that some fast runners would show up.
As far as SR's competition, well, the most notable was the Kenyan living in Copenhagen, Anthony Gikandy. He looked very fast.
Here is the start line, right before the downpour:
SR started out super slow, so I was actually right behind him the entire way around the track. That was odd. He said afterwards he just didn't want to start out in the lead.
Right after we left the track, the rain came. Shortly thereafter, lightning struck so close to us that we heard the thunder simultaneously. Cool (as long as you don't get charred!). I ran the first 5k in 21 and still felt good, but pouring rain and hard winds can slow you down fast, I found out. an arduous wet t-shirt contest
Plus we had to keep running through standing water. And I thus rather quickly gave up any last thought of a PR and just wanted to keep an even pace.
I'm going to skip the blablabla and just get to the end.
I never saw Karina or any other woman behind me. My time slowed in the headwinds and on trails and my average time got gradually slower. My right quadriceps tendon has been bothering me all week and bothered me a lot the last 5-6 km. But I managed to rally and at least run the last mile in a sub 7 min pace.
My final time was 1:39:33, which I was pleased with in the conditions and with my leg. Plus I had just won the equivalent of $300 (though I would soon find out I could only spend it on shoes + running style test).
(if you want to see the absolute worst picture of me ever taken running across the finish line, see here :) )
And then Charley, one of the coolest race directors in Denmark, said "din mand vandt også". So I turned to SR he was smiling, having won in 1:19:18, 4 minutes ahead of the second place, Anthony Gikandy.
So, I don't know whether or not to be pleased or disappointed. On one hand, it was not the fast time I was hoping for. But, on the other hand, SR and I both ran 6 minutes slower than our PR, so the hard conditions got to us equally. Or, even if we are both equally out of shape, we did both win - so, we agree to not dwell on it too much and just be happy about it.
Great race, despite the weather.
Edit: I have been really down on myself because I thought I had run a half marathon in 1:36 5 weeks post-partum with The Lorax, but it was 3 MONTHS post-partum. Ok, I don't feel so bad now. Relax....... ah. Is it any wonder my mom said yesterday "SLG, I'd been worried you had OCD since you were 9 and you wouldn't stop obsessing about your timed math tests."
Running song: øv. My iPod is non-functional again. I swear I will make up for this! (song I'm counting on being good: Hits Me Like a Rock by CSS)