Here it is – my race recap of my first half marathon!
For starters, I was less than amused by the weather forecast.
100% chance of rain. As a novice runner, participating in my first half marathon, I thought signing up for an April race in Dallas would put the odds in my favor for a nice day. Apparently, Mother Nature thought that I needed a greater challenge.
However, everyone else was excited for my race. I was inundated with supportive emails and texts in the 48 hours prior to the race, which was so encouraging and motivating – and a tad scary, since I realized that everyone cheering me on meant everyone was watching to see how I did.
One of my runner colleagues even left me a care package on my desk at work.
I woke up at 5:45am to a dreary, dark and damp morning. After a quick shower to wake up and braid my hair, I ate my usual pre-long run half bagel with peanut butter and sliced banana, and we headed downtown.
It began pouring, hard, as we approached the race site. I was not amused.
After sitting in the car for 10-15 minutes, I decided it was not going to let up, and I might as well accept I was going to be wet for the next few hours. We splashed our way through parking lots to the area near the starting line.
I got in line to use the restroom for one last pee break (having hydrated since 5:45am). And waited. And waited. And waited. There was definitely a shortage of port-a-potties for the numbers at this race. With 6 or 7 minutes to go before the 8am start, I decided that I didn’t have to go that badly, and gave up.
So, for the my first half marathon, I was cold, wet, nervous, and had to pee. But I still smiled for the camera!
(2 minutes before the start)
Mile 1 – I’m cold. I’m wet. This sucks. But hey! 11:16. Okay, that’s good. Faster than I want to be but not so fast that I went out stupid fast. Slow it down a bit. Relax. This isn’t that bad.
Mile 2 – why aren’t the cops smiling at us? They’re not running. What do they look so cranky for? They’re getting paid AND they’re not running. And they’re wearing big yellow slickers. I’m in a t shirt. I’m so cold. This is not getting warmer. Marc said I would get warmer as I ran. He’s a liar. A liar mcliarpants. Am I warmed up yet? It usually takes me a couple miles to get warmed up. I can’t really tell. Probably because I’m numb. And where ARE we?! This is a neighborhood. A not very nice neighborhood. Maybe I should have looked at the map before I ran.
Mile 3 – they said this was a flat course. They lied. People are LYING THIS MORNING.
Mile 4 – I recognize this. I think we’re near White Rock Lake. Wait, what does that sign say? “Half marathon that way” YES. Go that way. NOT the other way, marked “full marathon that way”. That would be bad. But a funny story. But bad. Turn this way. I’m not tired at all. Wait, don’t think about if you’re tired or not. Not supposed to think about that. People wear the weirdest stuff. Look at that girl in regular sweatpants. Oh honey. That can’t feel good. Apparently I need to get a pair of compression socks.
Mile 4.5 – I get to eat my GU now! Wait, I can’t rip it off. My fingers are frozen claws. Seriously. Like those bird talons you see on National Geographic specials. I cannot. open. the. GU. Okay. Ripping it off with my teeth. I cannot squeeze it. MY FINGERS DON’T WORK. I think if I crush it with my fist, I can suck it up. Yup. That works. Look at all these GU wrappers on the ground. That is horrible. A half marathon is no excuse for littering. I’m putting it back in my zippered pouch.
Mile 4.75 – the lake is so pretty! BUT OH HOLY HELL THE WIND. The wind. It is a tornado. I am running in a vortex. And the rain. This is ridiculous. I’m running in a hurricane. Oh no, that girl lost her hat. Wait. My visor is starting to lift. Now I am running and HOLDING MY VISOR BECAUSE OF THE WIND. This is ridiculous. Nikki said it was better than heat. I’m pretty sure she’s lying. Everyone is LYING to me this morning. This is ridiculous.
Mile 5 – Look at all these people stopping to pee. Really? I can’t do that. I have to pee. I still have to pee. But I’m not stopping. Don’t think about having to pee. My legs feel good. My lungs feel good. But I’m only at mile 5. Do not think about it. Don’t think about it. If you start thinking about how you feel, you notice being tired. lalala not thinking about how I feel. Just running. Just going for a run with 2000 other people in the same direction.
Mile 6 – I am so done with this damn lake portion. My god, the wind. And the rain. But my pace rocks. I can so do this. If I maintain this, I can finish in 2:30. I can totally do this for another 7ish miles. I’m almost halfway through. Here I come up again on you, Jeff Galloway walk run dude. There are so many people out here doing that method. I pass them. Then they pass me. Then I pass them. It’s like a game. But I’m pretty sure I’m going to beat them in the end, because I feel great! And that can’t possibly be faster, I don’t care what people say.
Mile 6.5 – leaving the lake. Thank god. You’re pretty but you suck.
Mile 7 – again with the neighborhoods. But whoa, on these houses. This is an interesting course – it’s like a scenic tour of the socioeconomic spectrum. Why aren’t there more people cheering? This is a sad, wet, cold race. Oh no, wait. There’s that sweet looking grandmother lady. I have seen her every 2 miles. Whoever she is cheering for must be near me. I’m smiling at her. She clapped for me! I’m pretty sure that was for me. What a nice old lady.
Mile 7.5 – this hill is ridiculous. Yeah, dude, let’s do this together. Come on. You are right around my age, and I’m guessing you did not birth 3 children. We can do this. No, don’t walk. We can do this. I know it’s like a 45 degree angle, but we can do it. Oh! Oh look! That cop is cheering for us at the top of the hill. Okay, it’s a bad hill when the police officer is proud of you. Dude! Alright, you walk it, I’m running.
Mile 8 – hey! It’s Marc! Hi! Shit, now I have to smile because he’s taking a picture. Okay smile. Hi! That was so sweet of him to find me on the course. He’s the best cheerleader. Wait, now he’s jogging WITH me. No you don’t have to run with me. No, go away. You’re messing me up. No, I mean it, please go away now. Love means never having to say you’re sorry in the middle of a half marathon.
(Marc’s picture of me at mile 8)
Mile 9 – I have 4 miles left. Do I start speeding up? I don’t know. I feel good. I feel strong. Wait, I don’t know what to do. It’s still 4 miles. But it’s only 4 miles. But it’s 4 miles at the end of 13 miles. Um. Okay, Runkeeper says I’m averaging like 11:19. That will totally put me in at 2:30. So… I guess I’m going to just keep doing this. I’m scared to speed up. What if I get too tired. Wait, 9 miles! Another GU. I don’t feel like I need it, but that’s where you have to run smart. I don’t *feel* like I need it, but when I feel like I need it, it’s too late. Suck it down.
Mile 9.5 – I’m really doing this.
Mile 10 – what is that? *squint* Is that… ? Jesus, my Magoo eyes. Is that the pacing flag? That’s it I’m speeding up.
Mile 10.25 – it IS the 2:30 pacing flag. I’m with the 2:30 crew! This. is. great. I don’t have to think anymore! I’m just going to tag along with them. Look at this whole little pack here! This is great! And they keep cheering. It’s like a little cheering, pacing club. I hope they don’t mind me running with them. Is this for everyone? Or is this like a running club thing? Screw it, what are they going to do, kick me out in the middle of the race? I’m running with them. Here we go. Bring me home.
Mile 10.5 – this seems awfully slow.
Mile 10.75 – this still seems awfully slow.
3 minutes later.
Marc: “So when are you doing a full marathon?”
My best friends, in the rain and cold with their baby, to see me finish.
My husband didn’t think my medal was enough bling for the day. He surprised me with this at the finish.
- Mile 1: 11:16
- Mile 2: 11:22
- Mile 3: 11:33
- Mile 4: 11:12
- Mile 5: 11:37
- Mile 6: 11:31
- Mile 7: 11:23
- Mile 8: 11:34
- Mile 9: 10:46
- Mile 10: 10:44
- Mile 11: 10:40
- Mile 12: 10:53
- Mile 13: 10:01
Despite the less than ideal weather, my first half marathon exceeded any and all expectations I had. I went in with the goals of breaking a 2:30, and (more importantly) running the entire race. I achieved both. My official time was 2:28:06, and I cannot believe how great my splits were. I honestly could not have run the race any better. The longest run I had during training was 12 miles, and I broke stride to catch my breath a few times during that run. So to run 13.1 miles at a steady clip (I carried my own water, so I didn’t even pause at the water stops) was incredibly empowering.