My alarm was set to go off this morning at 4:30, but I was awakened 15 minutes prior by thunder, lightning, and heavy rain. Not a good omen the morning of a road race. The timing was perfect though, because the showers moved through quickly and the rain ended an hour before the start.
I arrived 45 minutes before the start, warmed up, and found my spot in the mass of bodies. I started off with what I felt was the right pace, but for the first mile I was quite a bit slower than I had intended. By the midway point of the race, I had found my groove -- and I knew the photographer was going to be somewhere in the dahlia farm part of the course, so I was prepared to smile for this race photo!
I knew in advance that wind would possibly be a factor, and that was definitely the case. I think the wind was in my face about a mile more than it was at my back, so who knows how it really affected me. The end result was that I did finish with a PR... by 1 second per mile. An improvement, but not quite what I had hoped for. Still, I'll take it.
One thing I would like to try in future half marathons is eliminating the Honey Stinger gel packets that I had thought were helpful for me. Just like the Volcano Half, I started to feel a bit nauseous towards the end of the race, this time before I'd reached mile 10. I've done 10-11 mile training runs with no gels, and never had this feeling.
As far as the Dahlia Run itself, it was a beautiful course, and an event that was very nicely executed. My hope is to continue training through this fall and winter, with the hope of running at least the two events I did this year, and possibly trying a 10K or two along the way.