This was THE race. The one I’ve basically been training for for a year. Yep. A year. Let’s start at the beginning…
In 2015 I ran the 10k distance at the event as my first race. I was sooo proud of myself! I felt unstoppable. I had only been running for a few months, and had never run that far before. It was the best feeling. A year later, I decided to come back and run the half marathon distance. I spent a few months training for it, but not well. I found a popular, free training plan online and followed it. Of course, never reading the accompanying book to explain how to implement the plan. I ran every run like it was a race, not understanding the value of easy runs. As a result, my body was overworked and I ended up injuring myself on race day. I finished in tears and with the resolution that running was not for me.
That lasted about 24 hours.
I eventually decided to train differently. I started a heart rate training program from Another Mother Runner and have been hooked ever since! Training this way has worked really well and I loved every minute of it!
Packet pickup day arrived, and I was getting pretty excited. I had my clothing and gear all ready and my alarms all set. All 5 of them.
Race morning came, and I was able to eat my breakfast without vomiting. Win! My husband took me down to the start line and dropped me off, promising to be back with the kids. There was nothing to do but wait. And take selfies.
The race started at a local beach, and then makes its way around. The full marathon going all the way around it! It’s a small race, only about 200 people doing the half, so we all just lined up at the starting point when it was time. I placed myself in the back, knowing that’s where my pacing would put me. And then we were off! My plan was to take it easy that first mile, then bump it up a tad, so I quickly fell away from the pack. And realized I had my own personal security detail.
Yep. Last place. It actually was rather reassuring knowing there was someone there. I could usually see at least 1 or 2 runners ahead of me, but some of the areas we were running in were pretty secluded, so it was nice to know there was someone there. I felt bad for that poor volunteer who had to follow me 13 miles at a snails pace though! We were pretty much BFFs by the end.
The first 6 miles of the race is all about hills. All. The. Hills. I walked up the larger hills, and mostly kept to my race pace overall. But I think it eventually caught up to me.
The first half seemed to fly by, and before I knew it the race was halfway over! It was around mile 8 that I started wearing down a bit. I are some banana and a gel, and that helped a bit. My plan had been to pick up the pace a tad for miles 6-10, then lay it all out for the end, but it was all I could do to just maintain pace. By mile 10 I knew I wasn’t going to hit my first time goal of 3:15, but I could see that reaching my second goal of 3:30 was totally doable. It even gave my a bit of leeway to keep my pace a little easier and not overdo it.
In that last mile, my calf started cramping up, causing me to have to walk occasionally to shake it off. Thankfully, toward the end a friend of mine who was driving the course looking for me, found me! She jumped out and started running with me. It made all the difference! It was so nice to have someone to chat with, and laugh with as people cheered her on and told her she was almost there 😂 She jumped out right at the end and I made my way through the finish chute, smiling and waving to my family who were there cheering like crazy people!
y official chip time came in at 3:29.36. Just barely made it! My time ended up being nearly 21 minutes fast than last year’s finish! I know that, for the course, I ran a strong race. Am a capable of faster? Probably. But I am happy with my race.
Of course, then there were all the customary post-race pictures:
I’m glad I came back and tried this course again…but I think an easier half marathon is next on my agenda!