Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Half of It: My 13.1 Mile Tour of Charm City

This is the story of my half marathon. Everyone has asked, "How was it!?" So here it is, a recap of race day.

Let me set the stage for you a little bit to accurately convey the overall mood on race day.... You might recall from my last post that the weather was going to be questionable for race day and we weren't sure if Josh and the girls would be there. Well, the forecast remained the same, but in addition, Josh's car broke down on Wednesday night. And by broke down, I mean $5,000 worth of broke down. If the rain wasn't enough of a question mark, having only one car put the final nail in that coffin. I would be there alone, in the rain.

{A little bit of blue sky toying with my emotions}


{Breakfast of champions, mediocre half-marathoners, me}


As you can imagine, when I woke up on race day my enthusiasm was non existent. I had no desire to run this race, I just wanted to get it over with so I could go home. I arrived downtown around 6:30 so I could park in the free lots right near the finish line and just waited around for a little while since my race didn't start until 9:45. When I walked over to the finish line area where all the festivities were happening I immediately ran into my friend Alexis and her parents. That, and the fact that it wasn't raining, made things much better.


Finally at 9:45 it was time to get in position for the start of the race. It was a huge crowd, so I didn't actually cross the start line until 10:00. Once we got going my mood really improved and I was able to enjoy the run. I was so impressed by the number of people who came out to stand along the sidewalk and cheer us on. Some people had signs, some people just cheered, some played music on their car stereos {lots of "Eye of the Tiger"}. The little kids with their hands up for high-fives were definitely my favorite. I will say that the people sitting on their front steps in pajamas sipping coffee annoyed me a little, but I had to remind myself that I was on mile 6 while they were still in pajamas and that made me much more awesome. And to add to my enjoyment, the weather ended up being perfect. It was right around 60 degrees and just the lightest mist fell only as we ran down Eutaw street into Camden Yards and across the finish line. 

Here's the full official route... {sorry it's a screen shot off my phone}

I had my phone app going while I ran so I could see my splits after the race. Sadly, my phone died at 10.5 miles, but up to that point I was keeping a steady 12 minute mile which I was happy with. Apparently that's where I hit my wall though because my finish time was 3:02. Had I kept that pace I would have finished at about 2:35. I know I was feeling the miles there at the end and did more walking than I wanted to. My feet actually hurt more than anything which may be an indication that it's time for a new pair of shoes. I can't really complain for a first race though, especially considering that I trained and raced on pretty minimal sleep.

Yes. I ran 13.1 miles for this medal and a shirt.

Just kidding, I did it for bragging rights.

Of course, the second question everyone asked was "Are you going to do another one??" My response to that is- today is not the time to decide. I mean, it was great and I had fun and I'm glad I did it. It was a lot of time dedicated to training though, and I'm not sure when/if I'll feel like doing that again. Part of me is totally fine knowing I did it and I'm capable. Part of me is a teeny bit curious how it would have gone if i had been able to train a little better and had gotten adequate sleep. Maybe we'll find out, maybe we'll never know. You'll just have to stay tuned.

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