Saturday was the big day. I trained 12 weeks for this 13.1 mile run. And as I said before my goal was under 2 hours. On our way to the race I told A it would be awesome if I got in the top 10 of my age group, but I’d be pleased with top 20 as well.
So at 5:45 my alarm went off so I could eat a light breakfast (bagel thin toasted with peanut butter) and stretch out. Before we left I took my “before” picture while holding up a 13.
I love the Nike tempo shorts, and once I saw these in Chicago I knew I had to get them for race day!
The weather was a perfect 40* at start time. I got to the race around 7:20, which gave me plenty of time to warm up for a start time of 7:46 (sunrise). A friend of mine let me use his Garmin for the race which was awesome. I loved knowing my pace and what I ran each mile in right then and there.
I remember standing there at the starting line with about 2000 other runners all with the same goal, running 13.1 miles. I was nervous, excited, and proud all at the same time. I kicked my own butt for the past 12 weeks to get to this point. I ran in the rain, heat, & the cold to prepare. I scheduled plans around my run and had A pumping me up all week for my long runs. And here I was standing there just waiting to conquer this goal. It was so surreal.
I was really good at the start of this race and didn’t gun it like I always want to. I ran mile 1 in 8:26 and I knew I could pick it up (it was a little crowded in the beginning). Mile 2 was 8:12 followed by mile 3 at 8:08. I was feeling good!
Mile 4 had an incline but nothing huge and my pace slipped to 8:34. That’s when some Eminem “Til I Collapse” came on and I picked it up at mile 5 to 8:08 again. Mile 6 was 8:32. My PR for a 10k was 52:00 and I was at 51:12 so I knew I’d meet my goal if I kept it up.
At mile 6 was when I had my 3 shot blocks with a few sips of water. I wore my fuel belt and I’m so glad I did, I didn’t have to stop at any water stations so I never had to stop. Mile 7 was 8:30 and mile 8 was 8:22.
9 miles was the longest I did in my training. I hit mile 9 at 8:32. I kept myself going with a PowerBar gel at this time. I hit mile 10 at 8:32 and 11 at 8:25.
2 miles were left so I kicked it up a notch. I saw a sign that said “Your feet hurt from kicked some butt” and boy was it right! My feet did hurt but I kept telling myself I had 11 under me already whats 2 more! Mile 12 was 8:38. I had a girl ahead of me that I told myself that is who I had to pass. At about mile 12.5 some Ludacris “Move b**** get out the way” came on and I push my legs harder (I wasn’t applying that to her, just in general to everyone in front of me ).
Mile 13, the last one was at an 8:11 pace. GO ME! I knew A & my mom would be waiting for me at the finish line so I sprinted in. A said some people came in looking like they just went for a stroll and other came in hurting. Yea, I was one hurting-but just from the sprint I felt GREAT the whole race.
One hour, fifty one minutes, and 27 seconds
I crushed my under 2 hour goal. How am I going to be that?!
Once I checked the results online I saw this:
#10 in my age group! SWEET! I achieved both goals! My chip time was 1:51:07, an 8:29 pace. I was # 242/1130 overall.
If you made it this far, thank you for reading. This was/is an important achievement. I know I’m not the first or last to run a half marathon but I did it. Me, the girl who hated running long distance in high school. The girl who only ran a 5k to see if I could do it. About 6 months ago I ran my first 6 miles and said maybe next year I’d run a half. I even surprise myself sometimes! Last March I made a comment that maybe one day I’ll get to half marathon status, and I did. I am a half marathon runner.
I can not wait to run another race (even as I sit here with sore legs/hips!). Call me crazy but I’m thinking of a full. There is a huge marathon on my 26th birthday. 26 miles for my 26th birthday????