I can’t believe I just wrote those words! My first half-marathon is in the books. It’s been this far-away bucket list item for years. A repeat New Year’s resolution for so many years it was almost a punchline. And now it’s, well done. However, it definitely did not go down easy.
As I mentioned in my countdown post, temperatures for race time were forecasted to be in the mid-eighties. If that doesn’t seem so bad, don’t forget the generous helping of humidity we can’t escape in this part of the country. While I wasn’t worried about my capability to finish on distance alone, I was a little worried about performing in those conditions with my low blood pressure, which makes me more susceptible to heat sickness, dizziness, and passing out.
To give myself the best shot I could, I worked with Tom, a member of my CrossFit box and a pharmacist, to create a hydration plan and figure out how much I’d have to drink to remain hydrated and replenish what I was constantly sweating out. I simply knew the water stations would not be enough. Neil and I then worked together to figure out where to switch out bottles — which ended up being miles 6 and 10 (which was right by our house). I drank nearly 3 bottles of water in addition to several cups of water and ice at each water station.
The route was a pretty brutal one to tackle in the heat. Lots of hills. Like me, it seemed many of the runners conceded to walking the hills. There were just far too many and all in the sun.
- Miles 1-3 were by far my favorite, as they were on a nature trail and entirely shaded by tree canopy. This section also had the most breeze. Gold star!
- Miles 5-6 were the most fun. After leaving the trail we ran through a residential neighborhood. Families were out with coolers of ice, fruit and sprinklers on full blast. I was sprayed with squirt guns by no less than 20 kids. It was awesome.
- Mile 10 was special. I met Anja’s new baby for the first time (he’s just 2 weeks old and attending races already!) briefly as I was jogging by. Such a baby tease!
- Miles 10 and 11 were by far the hardest. I was getting close to the end, but just not quite close enough to see the finish so to speak. I also felt blisters coming on after tackling the biggest hill on the route. I’ve never had a blister before, ouch!
My official time was 2:44:04, with a 12:32 pace, slower than I’d hoped for obviously, but really, I couldn’t be happier with it. I ran my hardest, did my best, but I also had fun. I met a lot of great people, and it was awesome to feel a part of so many people’s big moments. It’s the same reason I love CrossFit so much.
Fellow finisher Jen and I.
I’m definitely motivated to try another half, and am eyeing the Bass Pro Half-Marathon in Springfield in November. Flatter courses and cooler temperatures seem right up my alley, as does running with my BFF Rachel. Between now and then I’m looking at a couple themed fun runs, as well as the Roots n Blues 10k. It’s crazy to me that a 10k now feels kind of easy!
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