Even though this was to be my 7th half marathon, I was nervous as I was with each of the other 6. I always feel that I haven’t trained enough and that I may not be able to finish. This race was no different.
I had my usual oatmeal for breakfast and my hubby drove me to Colonie Town Park where the race began. (This worked out great…I got to sleep an extra hour than if i had to take the bus.) I got there in plenty of time to use the restroom (yeah, real ones) and look for familiar faces. Everyone felt like me – nervous & excited.
We tried to gather all the SRMss (Strong Running Mamas) for a photo. Of course, me missed a few that were in the bathroom (or running the full marathon).
The weather was perfect…cool but promised to warm up into the 60’s and be sunny. I debated about what to wear. I decided on a tank top but with my long sleeve SRM shirt over it. (In hindsight, should have ditched the SRM shirt.)
As I waited for the race to start, I contemplated my race strategy.
My plan was to run faster than my long runs for as long as I could and then run/walk the rest. I also planned to walk at every water stop (so every 2 miles) and take a gel at every other (so every 4 miles.) With any luck, I will finish under 3 hours.
Finally, it was time to start.
As you can see, this is basically a flat course. The half marathon is the second half of the marathon course. I am only familiar with the last 4 miles or so (the Corning bike trail).
As with any race, it took me a while to get in the groove. But I knew I had a while. I tried to run slow but at an even pace.
What really surprised me was the first mile had HILLS!! And I refused to walk because it was too early. it was through the park so there were potholes, loose gravel & wet leaves. (The volunteers were super calling out warnings.)
Though I tried to run slow, I was caught up in the excitement and ran too fast.
I also realized that it was way too warm to wear my shirt. After the first mile, I took it off & tied it around my waist (which annoyed me the whole race 😦 )
The course was beautiful. Sun shining through the colorful foliage. I wish I had taken pictures but it was too hard to get my phone out of my belt.
Everything was going really well until almost mile 6.
I had water at each stop and drank it while running. I had a gel around mile 4 (I still haven’t mastered holding water, opening the packet & eating it while running.)
But near mile 6 is when I realized that I had been running too fast. I was ready to be done. My legs weren’t tired. My feet didn’t hurt. What was killing me were my arms and my shoulders!! Was I tense? Was I clenching my fists? Don’t know but it was hard to move.
So I just started walking and then running and then walking more and running.
I was only at 1:03 at halfway. It seemed that I should easily PR (my PR was 2:22). Why was I thinking PR? I just wanted to finish, right?
But as I walked more, it seemed less likely that I could. It bothered me but not enough to will myself to run and not walk.
Finally we reached the river. Now I was familiar with the course. It was beautiful. But I was struggling. I just wanted it to end.
Finally about 1 mile to go, I saw a SRM cheering me on so I started to run.
Then a 1/2 mile later, I saw my hubby. He took a photo (turned out to be of the ground) and then another as I was running by.
As I approached the finish line, I heard motorcycles and people screaming!! The lead runner in the MARATHON was about to cross. They were yelling at me to run faster. I tried to run as fast as I could but I couldn’t outrun someone who had run 26.2 miles at 5 min miles!! So I just moved out of the way.
And then, I crossed after him. (So no PR & I finished after a full marathoner…)
There was lots of food. I grabbed a few things but wasn’t hungry.
On my way back to meet my hubby, I bumped into some SRMs & we snapped a photo.
I saw many of the others & hugged them. They ALL did great.. many PRs and many firsts!!
Happy to be done but disappointed in my performance, we jumped in the car and drove up to Lake George.
My shoulders & upper back were killing me but my legs and feet were fresh. Go figure.
Here were my race goals:
GOAL A: under 2:30
GOAL B: under 2:45
GOAL C: under 3:00
GOAL D: finish uninjured
And yes, I met GOAL A. I am happy. I had fun. And I know that I can do better. (The positive: this was my 2nd fastest half marathon.)
- mile 1 – 10:18
- mile 2 – 10:06
- mile 3 – 10:05
- mile 4 – 10:02
- mile 5 – 10:21
- mile 6 -10:59 – starting to die
- mile 7 – 10:58
- mile 8 – 11:15
- mile 9 – 11:27
- mile 10 – 11:41
- mile 11 – 11:45
- mile 12 – 12:02 – dying
- mile 13 – 11:08
- .18 – 8:42
Happy Running! Anyone else race this weekend?