I signed up for the Prairie Fire half because I had a training run scheduled around that time for about the same distance (for the Dopey Challenge in January) and there were a bunch of runners from the Enid Running Club (ERC) going up to Wichita for the race. I hadn't ever done the Prairie Fire before but had heard that it was a good race and a fairly flat course.
I checked into the Hyatt Regency after having my car serviced at the Wichita Luxury Collection where I had bought my car last year. I picked up my race packet downtown and a few packets of Roctane Gu all the while drinking as much water as I could. Members of the ERC got together for dinner the night before the race at a place called the Albero Cafe where I had the pork with angel hair pasta - it was really good.
|Pre-race dinner at Albero Cafe with the Enid Running Club|
|Pork with angel hair pasta|
A friend had asked me what I thought I would do for this race and I answered probably in the 2:45 - 2:50 range because it was just another training run. I started the race at a pace that was a little faster than I wanted and decided that it felt good so I kept around the same pace for the first half of the race.
I drank at every water stop - mostly gatorade and took a Roctane Gu at around 1:40. For some reason, maybe a combination of still feeling great and a slight downhill part of the race, I sped up significantly at around mile 8. I kept thinking that I really needed to slow down but the pace felt good and I hadn't run at this pace feeling this good for a long time. Then, I got even more motivated when I started to catch up to the 2:30 pace group. By mile 10, I caught up to the 2:30 pace group and stayed with them until the next water stop where I grabbed some powerade, chugged it down, and took off running again. At this point, I lost sight of that pace group and was just on my own for a bit until I saw a fellow ERC member and tried to keep up with her but by mile 12, I was starting to feel the effects of my faster pace so I slowed down a bit the last mile.
I knew when I finished that I had beat the 2:30 time and thought I was around 2:28 but was pleasantly surprised to see that I had actually finished at a 2:27:39. Was that a PR? I thought it wasn't even close until I looked it up today. My PR was from the OKC Half Marathon in 2009...2:27:11! I was SO CLOSE to my PR and had no idea. I think if I had known, I might have tried just a wee bit harder to beat it.
So here's how my race times look so far (**PR**):
Disney Race for the Taste 10K 2007 **1:04:01**
Great Land Run 5K 2008 **28:17**
Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 13K 2008 **1:21:24**
Oklahoma City Memorial Half Marathon 2009 **2:27:11**
Great Land Run 10K 2009 1:06:13
Expedition Everest 2009 1:26:48
Tulsa Full Moon 5K 2009 41:02
Walt Disney World Princess Half Marathon 2010 2:32:13
Disneyland Half Marathon 2010 2:46:10
Walt Disney World Wine & Dine Half Marathon 2011 2:37:17
New Years' Double Half Marathon 2014 (Eve) 2:42:352015 (Day) 2:45:07
Oklahoma City Memorial Full Marathon 2015 **5:29:34**
Walt Disney World Dopey Challenge 2016 5K 53:06