Half marathon #2-done. All goals set-accomplished.
Goal #1-Don’t finish last (officially there were 253 people that finished after me)
Goal #2-Improve speed (I admit, I don’t spend a lot of time fretting over time and realize I’m slower than molasses, running isn’t about that for me–but if I’m going to do it, I might as well get better, right? Better? Yeah. Official times between both races put me at 20:53 faster than September…my mind is blown, I would have expected improvement–but that’s just insane to me)
Goal #3-Finish under the course time limit (This one freaked me out because my last race time was greater than the limit for this race, so I’ll admit to buying myself some time in getting a slightly earlier corral posting since course time limit was based on the last person over the start line…but from goals #1 and #2, as you can see, I was safe!)
The weekend started on Friday when we went to the Race Expo and Wellness Fair at the convention center–needless to say, it was overwhelming with people. I’m glad that we went on Friday in the afternoon before all the masses, there’s no way I could’ve handled it on Saturday!
The morning started at 4:30am with coffee and breakfast, getting my head in the game, gearing up, and heading out.
Overall, it was a fairly uneventful race. Honestly, I doubt I would do this particular race series again just because of the volume of people–smaller venues are definitely more comfortable for me in a lot of ways. My hyper-alertness just can’t handle that many people in one place like that. It wasn’t bad once we got out on the course and could move after the first mile or so, but it took over a half hour to just get over the start line.
I felt really good throughout the race, kind of cranky the first three miles (which I always am anyway on a long run, the first three are just hard to me…once I hit 5k, it’s smooth sailing)…I attribute that to the crowds and then once they thinned out I got a gnarly foot cramp around mile two that hung on for a mile-ish. The next water station had Gatorade, which I hate, but I knew my stomach could tolerate it, so I took it and it got rid of the cramp thankfully since all I had on me was my Skratch chews and Hammer gels for fueling at the appropriate times. After that I was fine until the hill from hell in the final third of the race (now that was quite cruel)…I can’t tell you how many times I’ve driven over that stinkin’ road before in my life, but it felt like climbing Kilimanjaro today. Hit the wall at mile 11 but still kept a respectable pace. Once I hit mile 13, intervals mattered no more–it was a sprint to the finish!
It was a great overcast day–thankfully. I’m so grateful to so many for their love, support, and prayers that got me to and through today. My husband and family deserve major credit for sticking it out all morning and waiting around for me to finish. After I got a banana and some chocolate milk into me and could get on my feet again, we even took a rickshaw back to the parking garage and later on after cleaning up and rest got a burger and shake at Five Guys! (I’m thinking cheeseburgers are just my craving of choice following long runs…)
All in all, fabulous day. Fixed some mistakes I made on my rookie race, obviously made some improvements, and it’s only going to get better from here–which is a darn good thing, because my next 13.1 is part our team for Toughman Triathlon Relay in 61 days (but who’s counting?).
When it all comes down to it, all I can say is…Thanks be to God. This is an amazing journey.