Sunday, April 23, 2017

First ever half marathon done!

Saturday, April 22, 2017, I ran my first ever half marathon. And it was an incredible experience.

I was freaking out over the weather forecast and not trusting my training again, but I didn't have anything to worry about.

The weather turned out fine and my training was spot on.

I woke up early Saturday morning because I couldn't hardly sleep. First thing I checked the radar and was delighted to find the forecasted rain moving out of the area. I had a bagel with peanut butter and a banana and headed out the door. I stopped at a McDonald's for a coffee and headed to the race.

Start time was scheduled for 6:45 a.m.

When we pulled onto the exit ramp to the race area at 6 o'clock, this is the sight that greeted us:

Traffic was already backing up pretty badly. We followed the line of cars around and found a spot to park.

I wore my fleece sleeping pants over my shorts because the temperature was right around 45 degrees, I was so happy it wasn't raining though!

Here's a shot at the starting line area.

Here I've shed my warm clothes and am getting ready to line up with my chosen pace group.

We were in line waiting when I took out my phone to get a photo and noticed a notification from the Garmin race app. They had delayed the start 15 minutes because of folks still trying to get parked. Yikes! It was so cold, but it wasn't so bad with all of us standing pretty close together.

A little before 7 o'clock, they announced they were pushing the start time back yet another 10 minutes. Haha! Oh well.

Finally at 7:10 they sang the national anthem and we were off.

Now I said earlier that I didn't have faith in my training. And I need to say right off that it was entirely my own fault. See I recently got a fancy new watch, the Forerunner 230. Which has a "race predictor" feature. And that feature predicted I could run a half in less than two hours. Now the 5k and 10k predictions were pretty close to what I can actually run, so I trusted the watch about the half.

The only problem was that my body and training was telling me that I could not run that fast. When I started my race, I ran in accordance with what my training had told me, and I did great!

I averaged 10 minutes per mile the entire 13.1 miles. And this was a challenging course. There were a good amount of hills, I'm really glad I decided long back in my training not to skimp on the hills!

This was about mile 8, where my Beloved and her sister had set up see me as I passed. It was really good to see them there! That's a funny trick of the camera, makes me look like I'm right on that lady's heels! I swear I wasn't that close.

Anyway, the race was really great. I felt like I gave a good effort. I was just about spent by the time I got done.

This was somewhere around mile 10 or so, it's one of the official race photos! Looking good!

Just after this photo it got pretty hard. There were a series of three hills that were very steep hills. And then the last half mile to the finish line we turned north to face straight into a headwind that must've been about 20 mph That was brutal!

I finished in 2:11:33, very very close to my target of 2:10. I was so happy!

Here's the official race photo of the finish line.

I didn't stay long at the party. That wind was blowing and I was wiped out. I wish that I had though. Definitely next time. I'll plan a little better and have more appropriate clothes waiting for me at the finish line!