Tuesday, January 31, 2012

3M Half-Marathon Race Report

Well, I did it. I set a goal of 2:20, and I ended up running it in 2:15:40. I couldn't be any happier with my time, all things considered. In fact, for awhile I was thinking I could finish in 2:10, but the last 1.5 miles got the best of me. But that's ok. I ran 13.1 miles with no knee pain at all, and I'm so happy that I can say I did it.

The first 6 miles were solid, and I was running a sub 10 minute pace. The coarse was almost entirely downhill, and that made it much easier! My 10K time was slightly skewed due to a slower second half race. I did the Cap 10K in 55 minutes last year. Just makes me realize that I should be able to run it faster this year. 6 miles sounds like a cake walk after running a half.

Miles 7-10 weren't bad. More than anything, I was just bored with running. My partner dropped me right before mile 8, but then I saw Hunk and some friends at mile 9 and that certainly helped me keep going. Mile 10 I decided to put my headphones on to listen to some music in hopes of being distracted. It didn't last long though. After not listening to music during my training, I found that it was more annoying than anything. So miles 11 and 12 were really just thinking about things....Hunk, my family, my job...really just how lucky I am and how happy they all make me.

And then mile 13 happened. Ugh. My legs were hurting, and there were two really small hills that felt like mountains. I had to dig pretty deep because all I wanted to do at that point was sit down. But- I didn't run 12 miles to walk the last one, so I just kept moving my feet. My pace dropped significantly, but when I turned that last corner and saw the finish line, nothing else mattered. I was panning the audience for my parents and for Hunk. I didn't see them, but heard Hunk yell my name. I just remember smiling, and stopping just feet after the finish line. The video is pretty funny. Most of the people around me kept running just a little bit more, but I was DONE!

I walked up to happily grab my metal, pose for a quick picture, and then give Hunk a big hug. The rest was kind-of a blur. I was so tired, and my legs were beat. I wanted to find my parents so badly, but it turned out that mom wasn't able to make it, and my dad had gotten there just after I crossed the finish line.  Because I ran a little faster than predicted, he just missed it. Oh well! I got some water and an orange and happily sat down for a bit. And then the cramping started. I made the horrible rookie mistake of trying to stretch out some muscles that really weren't ready to be stretched. I'll certainly remember that next time. And yes, there will definitely be a next time. There is not a chance in hell that you will ever catch me running a marathon, but I am certainly ready to take on another half, and beat my time next year by at least 5-10 minutes. Barring any injuries, I know I can do it!

Overall, it was such a great experience. The weather, the crowds, and even my nutrition was all perfect. I drank water or Gatorade at every stop, ate a Gu at mile 6, and another one at mile 9, and not once did I feel hungry or thirsty during the race. I had a breakfast of toast with almost butter and banana, and just a little bit of water. I'll have to remember that for future races. So check one off my "to-do" list, and moving right along. I'm going to continue with running, and add some biking and weight training twice a week as I get ready to gear up for a fun triathlon season. Looking forward to dropping some winter weight and tackling a few more goals.

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