Otherwise known as my first Half Marathon EVER Race Recap (and #1 on my 101 list completed)! Can you tell I'm still excited?
Pre-Race: About 7 solid hours of sleep, pretty good when you consider I had to get up all early, but I did have odd, pre-exam jittery dreams about missing the start and deciding to run 13 miles anyway just to show that I could have if I'd gotten there on time. No worries though, since the evil kitten we adopted woke me up 3 minutes before my alarm went off. So, shower, 1/2 cup of coffee and protein shake with almond milk and strawberries and I was good to go, having laid out all of my stuff the night before, down to several wardrobe options in case it was warmer than I thought it would be. It wasn't. It was COLD, so I went with capris, zip-up jacket and running tee plus a headband for keeping my ears warm. I shoved my energy gels (yum!) and paper towels (for tissues) into my pockets, grabbed Max, and off we went.
Getting to the site wasn't so tough, but there was a bunch of traffic. Max dropped me off at the starting line since I saw no reason to delay his trip the local diner, and I wandered around a bit. I met some nice ladies in the bathroom line, then took my place at the start. I knew I didn't want to be too close to the start since I'm more of a tortoise than a hare, so I placed myself about 2/3 of the way back and waited. And ate my energy gel. And waited some more, since the afore-mentioned traffic was causing some hold ups. Anyway, 15 minutes later and off we went!
Miles 1-4: Of course I had to pee. I'd been chugging all that water while waiting for the delayed start. So I stopped and waited (bathrooms were Amish outhouses) and saw the in-front-of-me pack getting much larger and the in-back-of-me pack getting much smaller. Turns out this was good, since I did my thing and then took off, determined to make up time. I was afraid I'd burn myself out, but I just kinda kept going until I realized I was doing 10-minute miles, not the 12-minute miles I'd practiced in my training (told you I was slow).
Miles 5-9: Not very eventful, except for my newfound speedier pace, which allowed to pretty much catch up to the people I'd started with, until I got to the top of the hill around Mile 8-ish. Suddenly, I was grumpy. My ankle hurt; my stomach was crabby and hungry; I was feeling a little dizzy and tired. So I slowed down and chomped some Clif Shot Bloks, which surprisingly aren't that bad. More like candy than the icky gels, although they are REALLY hard to chew if your mouth is kind of dry. Luckily there was a water station just ahead, after which I started moving at my pace again. Even more lucky for me, about a quarter mile after I started moving again I saw my sister, my brother-in-law and Max standing by the side of the road with a GIANT sign. Total pick-me-up, especially since my sister ran out and jogged along with me (and the sign) for about a block, even with the wind blowing the sign all over the place.
Miles 10-DONE: Oof. My ankle hurts. Like, really hurts. That's okay though, since I only have three miles to go. This was the point at which I sort of started talking to myself (in my head), saying things like "this is just running to ---- and back. No big. You've SO got this." It helped, but not as much as Spectator Moment #2, when I saw my dad and stepmom, which prepped me to get through those last two miles. And about a quarter mile later, when a group of Amish guys said to the little pack I was in "You know, a bunch the ones up further had their tongues hanging out. I bet if you keep going you can pass a few. Great job!" So I did. I picked it up and ignored my ankle, chugged ahead as much as I could, and even managed a thumbs up for the photographer. And then, I was done. And I was done about 25 minutes faster than I thought I would be, thanks to my ill-timed bathroom break and attendant desire not to be the last person over the finish line.
The Results: My official time was 2:14:13 (I was originally aiming for 2:40ish) and I was 691st overall out of about 1350. My overall pace was 10:15 per mile. Yay for me! And no walking, except to get water, since I haven't yet mastered throwing water into my mouth while maintaining forward motion. I'm kind of sore today, and yesterday I felt like I had a cold for part of the day, but overall I feel good. Like maybe I could run a marathon next. Or something like that anyway.