I talked earlier about the emotional stuff that came with running a half marathon this past weekend. Now to get down to the bones of the race and tell you about my second half marathon experience!
It was cold and cloudy the morning of which is great running weather. After nearly a week of solid rain, I was happy to see dry sidewalk, especially since a good 3 miles of the route were on packed gravel. A sunny day would have been perfect but hey, you can’t have it all right?
I had next to no jitters the morning of which is new. Usually I spend the entire ride to the race gagging on my nerves and trying to choke down a small breakfast. Not this morning! My running buddy Leslie and I chattered away until the starting horn for our heat went off and we were off! I naturally, got a bit misty as I almost always do at the start of a race. I’m not sure if it’s in anticipation of what I’m about to accomplish or perhaps how much it’s going to hurt. Either way…
The first 3 miles felt awesome. We settled into a good pace in mile 2 and even managed to find a pocket to run in that wasn’t congested with people. I was very thankful for that because the trail part of the route was pretty narrow for 1000ish half marathoners to be running through together. We passed the 5k mark at 31:12 and I was feeling fantastic! The next 3 miles flew by and we kept a pretty steady pace. At the 10k mark, we were looking good at 1:03:18. By this point, I could feel the blisters forming on my feet and they were sore!
Around mile 7, I felt something I have never felt during a race in my life: hunger pangs. Seriously, who feels hungry during a half marathon?! Apparently me. I had been sick the week before the race and hadn’t gotten my appetite back so I know I wasn’t eating as much as I normally would. Evidently, my appetite decided that this would be a great time to return. I just kept going.
Then came mile 11…and the bonk. My hungry tummy decided it no longer wanted to be ignored and I started feeling the drag. My legs felt hollow and weak and I thought they would give out on me at any moment. Those last 2 miles were a major struggle for me. I slowed down substantially because I didn’t have anything left in my tank. I am so thankful that I had Leslie there to keep me going because I would have walked the last mile otherwise. She really pushed me through to the end. Thanks girl!!!! I remember doing lots of praying, positive thinking/talking and crying to Leslie “don’t let me walk, don’t let me walk!”. Between that and the freezing gusty winds blowing right at us I was ready to finish this bad boy!
Then I saw the finish line…and my awesome hubby and Fit Boy shivering and cheering for me. It was full speed ahead! I slowed down just long enough to get my son’s attention so he could see me cross the finish line. Which I did…at a PR time of 2:16:30!! My previous half marathon time was just shy of 2:28 so I definitely improved!
I am so happy I did this race. Not only was it incredibly well organized but the route was amazing, the medal is cool and of course…there was post-race food!