Well friends, I did it! I am a half marathoner!
Thank you so much for the kind tweets, Facebook messages, emails, and well wishes. I thought about all the people I’d have to report back to when I finished and the people thinking about me as I ran. I love having a blog to connect with such caring people.
2010 was a big year for me and running, starting with watching the Houston Marathon last January, running my first 10K at the end of February, another 10K in May, signing up for this race in June, thinking I could start to train in crazy heat, and then finally getting my groove with increasing mileage.
I am really proud of myself and had a great race. I finished in 2 hours, 46 minutes, but here’s the story of why I also count 2:26 as a personal time for this race too.
The morning started off as usual with two pieces of toast, peanut butter, and half a banana. I actually slept pretty well and woke up around 5:30 a.m. The weather was COLD — the coldest I have felt this season. I have probably never run in these temperatures ever. It was about 38 when we got to the start and maybe 48 by the end of the race. I wore three layers at the start, shed one before the gun, and a second around Mile 10.
At the expo, I bought Zensah calf sleeves and a thicker headband that covers my ears. Both were awesome, even though I tried them out on race day and you aren’t supposed to do that. The calf sleeves helped keep my legs warm, and I had no shin pain while running. Love those. And the headband never moved under my hat. Great purchases. I also used KT Tape on my left IT Band, but I don’t know if it did anything.
The beginning started fine, the crowds were awesome, the race was well organized, and it was fun. I couldn’t feel my toes for about 1/2 mile, but it came back! Jeffrey was the race photographer and he got some great shots!
Around mile 2.5, my left knee got stiff like it used to when my IT Band would rebel, so I stopped for a second and shook it, bent it, and then kept going. Then I had a little talk with it telling it I was the boss and it would not screw me up and mess up my day. For the whole rest of the race, it was like a dull pain or no pain. I told it who the boss was. There were some choice words toward that muscle too. Dull pain has nothing on me. I also liked the sign I saw saying “Pain is weakness leaving the body.”
I saw my parents and Jeffrey at Mile 3.5, 7, 8 and then the finish. So fun to see familiar faces because I didn’t recognize any other racers or spectators! The spectator strangers who read names on bibs and cheered for me by name were so nice. Lots of High 5′s. I learned a lot about how to be great spectators, like the homeowner who let a girl inside to use their bathroom or the little girl who had a sign that said “I hope you win.” Loved the Kleenex people too. Another great sign was “Way to be the best at exercising” and a girl had this on her back: “Dear Gd, I hope someone is behind me to read this.”
I actually felt great the whole time. I loved the Turtle Creek, Uptown, and Beverly Drive parts of the course. So many people out, pretty houses, pretty ponds and trees. Wide, well-paved roads. My legs got heavy near the last 5K, but my Garmin said my pace was still not slowing, meaning I was just feeling slower than I was. I took 3 Shot Bloks through the second half of the race, and also drank a lot of water and some Gatorade. Also one orange slice around Mile 11.
The only annoying part about the race was that my Garmin said I was way ahead of the mile markers even from the beginning. I honestly don’t know how it happened, because by the end, it said I ran 14.88 miles! It really messed up the race pace reported and how fast it said I was. Here are my Garmin stats:
- 1,00:10:06 (talk about coming out a little too fast!)
- time: 02:46:31
- mileage: 14.88
- avg pace: 11:11
- heart rate: 161-189
- calories: 1,625 !!
My pace was awesome! I haven’t continuously run this steady in the 11′s during the whole training cycle. I was so happy and surprised I was maintaining a pace under 11:30/mile. But the race pace says I was 12:42. My primary goal was to finish, and secondary was to finish under 2:30. My Garmin said I did that at 2:26, so for comparison purposes to other runs done with this Garmin, I was so happy about that.
I really don’t know how I took so many extra steps. I know the rules about running the tangents, not weaving, etc. I bought the Garmin at Luke’s Locker and will probably go there and ask what they think.
The end was awesome. The last mile coincided with the marathon, so we ran side by side with marathoners finishing a sub-3 hour marathon. That was pretty cool. And the finish line crowds were way bigger than I expected. I got my heat blanket, finisher t-shirt, race medal, took my picture, ate another banana, and found my family.
My legs hurt SO BAD right now, but that’s ok! I really pushed it the whole time. Very little walking, probably less than 0.1 mile total. I have one little blister on my right middle toe (?!), and a lot of pains on my shins, outer knees, outer hips, and the tops of my feet (?!). It’s too bad our house has a lot of stairs. I can barely walk on flat surfaces, much less up and down steps.
I will do another post about some things I learned from this training process, but for now, I’m enjoying my accomplishment. And one more thing–I loved spectators saying “Go runner!” I really felt like a runner. They were talking to me!
P.S. I finally met Dorry, a blog friend in Dallas who also ran the half with her husband. Go check out her site for her race recap! She is far more speedy than me! So fun to meet blog friends in real life and run the same race together. Now we are real life friends.