It’s official! I’m a member of the elusive sub-two hour Half Marathon club! And it feels awesome.
This morning’s Half Marathon was my third. My first Half, I came in at 2:06:30 (recap), and my second Half, I squeaked in at 2:03:00 (recap). I had two goals in mind for this morning: set a new personal record (PR) and finish under 2:00:00. It was QUITE the challenge, and I can’t believe I did it!
Although I’m all smiles in the post-race pictures… I nearly hit The Wall at Mile 11.0! Yes, The DREADED Wall. But more on that in a bit…
I could not sleep last night. I think I maybe got 3 hours, and when my alarm went off at 4:15 AM, I jumped out of bed. I made a stabilizing breakfast:
A peanut butter sandwich with melon… but I could only eat one piece of toast! I found this very concerning because I definitely knew I needed the calories.
It wasn’t raining yet, but the sky looked so full – you could tell it was about the pour!
Then, we took some pre-race pictures. It helped to calm my nerves.
Once it was time to get in the corral, Katy and I lined up at the 9-minute mile sign and Megan went ahead to 8-minute mile sign. That’s when I got really nervous. This race was pretty much my last chance to set a PR before the Disney Marathon in January, and I really wanted to walk away from the 2009 – 2010 race season with a record!
To achieve a sub 2:00:00 Half Marathon, you have to average 9:10/mile. I had my handy-dandy Pace Tat to help me keep track of my times. I loved this product! The Garmin is helpful, but the Pace Tat is pretty cool. I decided to aim for 9:00/miles… after all, most courses are actually a little bit longer than the official distance (because you run around people, run out the outside of corners, etc).
Instead of setting up a Negative Split (where you start slower and end faster), I decided to try and create a small excess of time at the beginning. The first 6.0 miles were fine – my right foot fell asleep for the first mile, and I started to get a side cramp, but both quickly went away. I had a water bottle and managed to avoid water stations until Mile 6.0. It also started to rain at Mile 3.0, but it was just a light drizzle (which lasted the rest of the race).
- Mile 1: 8:39
- Mile 2: 8:46
- Mile 3: 8:51
- Mile 4: 8:53
- Mile 5: 8:46
- Mile 6: 8:50
At Mile 7.0, things started to get a little rough. I was HUNGRY. Really, really hungry. I took one Goo shot before the race started, and I gulped down my second one about 1:10 into the race. I knew I would never make it the rest of the way without more calories, so I started to grab Gatorade from the water stations.
I also randomly burst into tears at Mile 8.0, which was really weird! I don’t know what happened!
- Mile 7: 8:57
- Mile 8: 8:58
- Mile 9: 9:09
- Mile 10: 9:01
Mile 10.0 seemed to go by really quickly, and then Mile 11.0 came up like a BEAST. My legs suddenly felt like LEAD. My butt is the always the first thing to start hurting, and I could feel every single step in my behind. Then, I started to lose it mentally. Crazy thoughts started to race through my head – Maybe I can just quit? Maybe I can just walk the rest of the course?
The cobblestone was a KILLER!
Then… I remembered the Galloway Method (walk/run/walk/run)! I decided that Galloway was going to save me. I started to walk/run, walking every mile or so for about 30 seconds (I had also walked through some of the earlier water stations).
I knew that I was “safe” to do a walk/run because even though my pace suffered a little bit, I had created that excess at the beginning of the race. By Mile 11.0, I knew I was going to finish under 2:00:00 unless something went terribly, terribly wrong!
- Mile 11: 9:11
- Mile 12: 9:33
- Mile 13: 9:20
- Mile 13.2 (course was long): 1:43
I ran as fast as I could to the finish line – but I couldn’t sprint! I had NOTHING left in my tank… Caitlin was out of gas!
Megan had come in about 8:40 minutes before I did, also setting a new PR! GO MEGAN!
And Katy whipped her first Half Marathon, coming in around 2:10. This was the longest distance she has ever run!
I grabbed one of these protein shakes that the volunteers were handing out – I needed it! It had about 210 calories and 25 grams of protein. It was pretty yummy, too.
All in all… this Half Marathon was AWESOME! Here are my final statistics:
- Distance: 13.1 miles
- Duration: 1:58:45
I feel happy, proud, and EXHAUSTED! I’m glad I pushed it, and I know I gave it my all. There is NO FEELING like setting and achieving a fitness goal – it makes me feel so strong!
The Husband made me an awesome post-run veggie omelet with two pieces of toast:
And now it’s time for a NAP!
I hope you have an excellent Saturday!