Week 12 Countdown starts with America’s Finest City Half Marathon The previous week has seen one of the biggest shifts ever in my training and it ended with the fastest paced run that I’ve ever done. The first several miles of this course are mild rolling hills, but, mostly downhill since it starts at Cabrillo Monument overlooking the City. We kept a great pace early on as the heat picked up. The downhill, ultimately, is very tough on the legs and we were all feeling the cumulative effects of the heat and hill by the 7th – 8th mile along the Bay. At this point, I was still on pace to “Potentially” break the 2 hour mark which I never anticipated since this would be my first 13.1 race not connected to a Half Ironman. I ended up slowing around mile 9 and had to walk a little to give the legs a while to recover (as much as you can in the middle of a race). There went the chance to break 2 hours, but still on track for a good run. Then we came to the “Hill” around mile 11 / 12…the one that takes you the last mile back up to Balboa Park. I had been warned, which is perhaps the reason I walked a little around mile 9, so I changed the music, kicked into gear, and started picking up the pace as everyone around me started their Walk. Surprisingly, I really pushed it harder than I thought I could and continued all the way up. The legs were burning, but I knew if I stopped it would be a problem….proceeded over the Bridge into Balboa Park and headed for the finish line. My initial Goal was 2:10 – 2:1, basically a 10 min mile Average. I ended up at 2:14 which I am thrilled with overall, since I was able to recover enough in the middle to power up the hill and finish very strong. I’m not sure if I’ll do this race again, but really glad it was part of my training along the way.