Greetings my fair people!
Today is the day I’ve been prepping for over the past 6 months. My second half-marathon! I slowly progressed from boxing 3 days a week and doing occasional runs on top of my daily walk/hikes to adding in one run club, a body pump class, and finally another run club. There was never a time since I signed up that I thought “I’m ready for this race!”, including at the starting line this morning. I ran by myself, and was nervous that I wouldn’t have enough self control to keep going once I started to fatigue. I’m going to go ahead and say I’m actually really happy with the way things went, minus one snag that completely derailed by speed (I’ll get to that). For the second half-marathon of a short-legged, poorly put together person that running does definitely not come naturally to I think I did pretty well. The first half of the race I was REALLY happy with my time, I stepped over the halfway line at 1:11, setting me up for roughly a 2:30 finish time. My goal getting up this morning was 1) to finish 2) to beat my previous time and 3) to get 2:45 if possible. I woke up a few times last night from bad dreams of being late to the race, feeling nauseous. 5am my alarm went off and I got my bag packed, ate breakfast and worked up some nerves in my belly. The bathroom line was, of course, huge and by the time I got the chance to go we had 9 minutes until race start!
All of this sounds like it was going smoothly, right? The course was really pretty at the beginning since the sun was just coming up over the downtown skyline, but I was surprised by the lack of spectators on the sidelines throughout the whole thing. My first few miles I was paced at 9min/mile, I was ahead of the 2:30 pacers until mile 9. My knee (the right if we’re pointing fingers) had other ideas though. At mile 5 it started to hurt, but these are my knees we’re talking about so..I just kept going and made sure not to come down too hard on hills. A few miles later, there were moments when it felt like I had a needle stuck in my tendon, but if I gave it a minute or so at a walk it was fine for a good chunk of my run/waddle I had going on by that point. And then there was mile 10. I was still ahead of the 2:45 pacers, but somewhere between the 10 and 11-mile markers my knee said “screw you” and It was hard to even jog 50 feet….I mean I did on multiple occasions of course because I’m stupid and I was GOING to finish as close to my goal as possible. I ended up speed walking most of the last 2 miles, eventually the 2:45 pacers passed me at mile 12 but I didn’t really lose sight of them until close to mile 13. My finish time was 2:49, which is overall where I was thinking I’d be but still so frustrating since I know I could have gotten so close to 2:30, maybe even faster If I could have kept running. I wasn’t breathing hard, sweating or anything that makes me think I would have had to quit if I didn’t have a fire going on in my leg. Of course, as it got worse I started to run with bad form and my entire right side got all wonky, my butt hurt from trying to walk so fast and my shins weren’t exactly enjoying themselves…but all things that were easily ignored until the finish line. I was very sad to learn they didn’t have any chocolate milk this time, but I did get a kind bar. The medic tent wrapped an ice pack to my IT band and I hobbled on back to my car with some other folks, stopped to shop at Walmart where people couldn’t figure me out and now have sat on the couch for about an hour and a half.
So to sum it up- I’m ready for my next long distance in March and prepared to kill it (in comparison to my own times…to everyone else I’ll probably just run an average race).
I’m now going to attempt to move around so I don’t stiffen into a sitting position forever. Adios!