That's right, a 9:46.6 pace!
According to the results page there were 2049 people who finished the half marathon and 933 of them were women. In my age group (25-29) there were 162 females and I ended up finishing 63rd out of them. The very first finisher was a man from Poland with a finishing time of 1:10:25… yeah, that’s just barely longer than my 10K time… lol. He’s fast!
Okay, here’s my recap of the events:
Thursday Rebecca, the roommate and myself picked up our race packets and t-shirts (pictured above). At the pick-up place, I saw some Christmas ornaments that I just have to have... they may be dorky, but I promise you I am buying both of these! LOL
All day Friday my right hip and outer thigh were sore. I took the foam roller to work and used it off an on all day and took some ibuprofen before bed that night. A group of us also had a “Pasta Party” that evening and ate yummy spaghetti. I was seriously hoping to make my 2:30 time, but I was starting to have doubts.
Saturday morning I woke up very early and had my usual waffles and a banana for breakfast along with my caffeinated Crystal Light strawberry drink and two ibuprofen. The week before I was given free Sports Beans at the gym, so I ate about four of those and tucked some away in my pocket for just in case (I never did eat them).
Due to some parking issues, Chris and I got to the race a bit later than anticipated, and had to wait in line to get the chips for our shoes. There were soooo many people there! I had never been to such a big race. I did not even find my roommate, Rebecca or Joe before the race.
At the start of the race, I was determined to stay at a nice steady pace and not start off too fast. Around 1one I was at a 10 min/mile pace, which is where I met up with Joe. He had started in the back figuring he would be able to find me that way. He said he would run with me for the next mile as his warm up then would speed up to try and beat his previous half marathon time. While we were running, a lady passed us and complimented me on my hair. Apparently she had been following me from the start and loved my hair. LOL. That was cool. At 2 miles Joe went ahead and I continued at my pace, trying not to think about the overall distance but just taking it one mile at a time. I heard two girls next to me talking, and they mentioned that they were trying to keep a 10 min/mile pace, so I figured that as long as they did not pass me I was doing pretty good.
There were water/Gatorade stops every mile and a half. Starting at mile 4.5, I took one swallow of Gatorade at every stop (and water at one, because they did not have Gatorade). As the miles increased, I was staying at just under a 10 min/mile pace. I was shocked, but I still felt really good… like I was not pushing myself too hard. I kept thinking to myself “Wow, I can tell everyone I made it at under a 10 min/mile pace up to mile 5…” which then became 6, 7, then 8…
Mile 9 was where I had problems. That happened to be right after the stop where I drank water instead of Gatorade, which may just be a coincidence, but who knows. I ended up with a terrible side stitch that left me walking. I almost cried, but mostly out of frustration. I walked until it felt a bit better, then I would try and run. This went on for probably a quarter of a mile. I was just praying that it would go away, because I did NOT want to walk to the end. I had been doing sooo well! After the next drink station the pain finally went away enough that I could suck it up and run. I sped up a bit, trying to make up for my time and crossed the 10 mile mark still under a 10 min/mile pace (Seriously people! I was shocked too!).
The last two miles, partly on uneven brick roads, was when I was really starting to feel exhausted. But hey, I would not consider it such an accomplishment if it was easy. At about a half a mile or just under before the end, I actually caught up with Chris. This was great because it really helped me to speed up and push harder to the end by trying to keep up with him. Right after crossing the finish line, someone removed the chip from my shoe, and I received my amazing finisher’s medal (pictured below)! I then drank of Gatorade and ate some fruit.
Unfortunately Joe and my roommate did not get to see me finish, because I told them to expect me later. LOL. But some of my other friends did see the finish, and man it was great! I did eventually find both Joe and my roommate, which I was very happy about.
One of our friends, Diane, ran the 5K, and it was her first race. She said she wants to run another! YAY! The 5K finishers received medals as well, which I thought was great. The roommate did well on her 5K, and now she has the half marathon itch. We are talking about doing one that is all off-road February 2nd.
Oh yeah, after the race, there were some physical therapists offering free consultations at one of the tents. When I described my hip pain the guy actually started laughing because he said he had heard the exact same description so many times that day. He had me lay on the padded table and bent my leg into some crazy positions. The right hip was definitely a LOT less flexible than the left. He showed me an exercise to stretch the hip and told me to try that several times a day. I will definitely be doing that!
Of course today I am still limping, and I feel like an old lady who needs hip and knee replacements. LOL. I am quite sore, but it is getting better. My plan is to take it easy tonight, because I have to get some grocery shopping and other chores done. Then tomorrow I hope to go swimming and maybe just use the kick board for a while.
Thank you all for your support! I was really looking forward to writing this blog to let you all know how it went. I am still shocked and honestly proud of myself. Here are some pictures from after the race (I didn’t get any before pictures due to time constraints, and sadly both Joe and Rebecca had to leave before I could get a picture with them).
I completely forgot to mention this... this really was the absolute BEST race that I have ever run! It went through residential areas and there were people sitting out on their lawns cheering and playing music. It was GREAT! There were even these three little bitty girls in cheerleading uniforms cheering "Go Runners Go!" Sooo adorable! The crowd definitely made a difference! I couldn't ask for a better race!