I was extremely nervous for this race. I don’t know why we, as runners, get so nervous, as my mom says, it’s just putting one foot in front of the other. I had a goal… well actually about three of them. A given goal was to finish. The goal I told everyone was to finish under 1:45. The goal in my head was a PR. I ran the Hypothermic Half Marathon in February in 1:37:36. I wanted to beat that time. There should be an asterisk beside that time because that course was only 12.81 miles long according to my Garmin. False advertising. So I had another 0.4 miles to go… in less time. Talk about nervous.
To save suspense I ran it in 1:37:44. I was really happy with my time. I would never in a million years believed I could run 13.1 miles (13.21 according to my Garmin) at an average pace of 7:24 min/mile.
I felt good, full of nerves, but ready to run in the morning. I had a bagel with peanut butter and banana about an hour and a half before the race began. I think the first thing everyone does when they arrive at the race grounds is line up for the porta-potties.
I headed closer to the front of the pack while the others went closer to the back. I made sure my iPod was set to songs that would get me running hard right out of the gate, and that my Garmin was ready to go when I crossed the starting line. In the end, my Garmin and my chip time were almost exactly the same.
I felt good for most of the race body-wise. I had major stabbing cramps for about three miles in various places in my stomach. That didn’t really slow me down but made it painful to run at my target pace. I had positive splits and probably started too fast but the first fast miles helped me get close to my goal with my later slower miles.
Mile 1 @ 7:12 min. “Ah, here we go! Just keep going at this pace!”
Mile 2 @ 7:16 min. “Ok, I can do this, only 12 more!”
Mile 3 @ 7:16 min. “I think my pace quickens around the good looking police officers!”
Mile 4 @ 7:18 min. “Ouch, cramp, ouch, cramp…”
Mile 5 @ 7:14 min. “This isn’t bad… almost halfway!”
Mile 6 @ 7:25 min. “Where is the stupid turn-around point?”
Mile 7 @ 7:30 min. “Half way done… you’re slowing down!”
Mile 8 @ 7:32 min. “Hey look it’s mom and dad.”
Mile 9 @ 7:24 min. “This guy keeps speeding up whenever I get close to him, how will I pass him?”
Mile 10 @ 7:32 min. “My lungs hurt. My legs hurt.”
Mile 11 @ 7:29 min. “Ok only about two more miles… home stretch.”
Mile 12 @ 7:42 min. “I should have drank some water.”
Mile 13 @ 7:26 min. “You GOT this. Run. Fast.”
Last 0.21 mile @ 7:08 min/mile. “Where is the finish?”
In the zone and watching to make sure I don’t trip over myself at the finish line. I had to focus on making sure I kept going… one foot in front of the other. My gun time was 1:38:03 and my chip time was 1:37:44.
I am glad I did it, and I am glad it’s over! I forced the volunteers at the end to put the medal around my neck… bending down AND grabbing the medal was just too much effort at that point.
I kept my Garmin on the “pace” screen so I could monitor my pace the entire race. I changed it to the “distance” screen once and saw I had 1.5 miles left and about 11 minutes to make my goal. I quickly changed it back to the pace screen because that scared me.
I think I would have run a bit slower without my Garmin. When I looked down a couple times and saw 7:50 min/mile I bumped it up and chased the good-looking guys ahead of me. My aunt was waiting for me at the end and then we grabbed my jacket, flip-flops, and sunglasses from the car so I could change out of my sweaty runners. About an hour later my parents came through – holding hands which made me smile wider than my face. They walked the half marathon and finished in 2:41:43.
I thought my day couldn’t get any better once I was done my race. Then I checked my email on my phone while waiting for my parents and cousin to finish. I almost died. Guess who emailed me? My blogging/running/life idol. Janae from Hungry Runner Girl blog. I have been following her blog for a while and she is one of the reasons I started my own blog.