My first half marathon is complete!!
I had a lot of trouble setting a goal for this race, mostly because I had no idea what to expect. I settled on the 1:50-1:55 range as my goal, and I’m proud to say that I met that goal (barely) on a very hilly, challenging course on a hot day.
This was a Sunday morning race, so of course I was stressing and worrying all weekend. I didn’t stress too much about what I was eating, but I focused on drinking a lot of water and staying hydrated. On Saturday night, Thomas and I went to dinner with my parents at one of our favorite restaurants and of course everyone else got to drink while I stuck with water, but I didn’t want to take any chances. We stayed at my parents’ house Saturday night since it is about 30 minutes closer to the race. Dad and I got up at 5:30 a.m. Sunday morning and I felt surprisingly awake and ready to go.
I drank some water with a Nuun tablet when I woke up and brought a quarter of a bagel with peanut butter for the road. I was not hungry at ALL, so I had to force that down just to have something in my stomach. I had a Gu and washed it down with some water when we got close to the race.
We made it to the race about 20 minutes before we started and I didn’t do a warm up or anything. I felt really loose from stretching so I just decided to save all of my energy. The race started right at 7:00 am and as soon as we started I heard all of the advice I received from you wonderful people going off in my head – “DON’T GO OUT TOO FAST!!!!” So I didn’t. I held back and ran my first mile right at goal pace: 8:38. This still might be too fast, but I was happy with it and I felt really comfortable (it ended up being only 7 seconds faster than my overall pace).
The race was on a pretty nice course through a mix of main roads and residential streets, but the hills were kind of awful. They weren’t unbelievably long, but they were one after the other and I tried my best to keep my pace comfortable to avoid getting too tired too fast.
I brought one Gu with me and took it at mile 6 right before a water station so I could chase it down. That helped a lot with my energy for the second half of the race. I had a little bit of hip pain towards the end of the race, but other than that I felt great. I knew I wanted to run the second half of the race slightly faster than the first half, so I held back a little bit until the turnaround, which was on a nice flat stretch of greenway.
Nothing super exciting happened… I kept a pretty steady pace but saved some speed for a kick at the end. I finished in 1:54:49, 9th in my age group (out of 49) and 29th female overall (out of 339).
Thomas and my mom were our photographers and they captured the end of the race for us. I wore my Tiux compression socks, which are AWESOME (and super cute). My legs felt great the whole race and I barely even noticed that I was wearing them. I’ll be giving a pair of these away in the next week or two, so stay tuned!!
My dad ran the whole race with me… he usually runs a half marathon in the 1:35ish range, so this was just an easy long run for him (but he still got 2nd in his age group).
Here are my splits and the elevation chart for the race. My watch and my dad’s watch both said 13.23 at the finish. Watches can be wrong, but this was a pretty big differential for both of us to have. Also, the elevation doesn’t look like much, but the constant ups and downs (with the exception of the stretch on the greenway) were NOT fun.
Here are a few post race pics. I got my medal all tangled up but I promise the front is way cooler than what I’m showing you here…
Overall, I was really happy with how this turned out. I met my goal, set a PR (by default), and had a lot of fun. Oh, and me and my dad both had open faced turkey sandwiches with fries after the race. If you aren’t from the south, you probably don’t have an appreciation for gravy and you might think this looks really disgusting, but it is actually heaven. Gravy for DAYS.
Later that afternoon Thomas and I went to the winery by our house. We have lived at our current house for a year and we have never been to this winery that is about 5 minutes away. It was a beautiful day to sit outside and relax!! Pinkies up!
And that’s a wrap!! Time for some rest before I start thinking about how I’m going to train for the Richmond marathon in November. Part of me can’t imagine doing what I did today twice. The other part of me is really excited to start training to make that happen. First I need to lay in bed for about three days, and then we’ll talk about what’s going to happen next
I know there were a LOT of races this weekend. If you raced, how did you do??
What is your favorite post race meal/treat?