So it turns out I am still slow. I think I just need to accept that.
But I managed to shave 10 minutes off my last half. Which to be honest isn't that surprising, because my previous half was also my first half, which was expected to be slow. But now that I am a seasoned runner and all, I anticipated running about 10 minutes faster.
I am awesome like that.
For the full long and boring and limited on pictures race recap, please keep reading.
For those who like short and simple, the first paragraph summed it up.
Saturday night it was cold and rainy. The forecast for Sunday morning was cold and rainy. I was bummed to have to run 13.1 miles in the cold and rain, but there was nothing I could do about it so I made my pasta, had my adult beverage, and hit the hay at a reasonable hour so I would get a solid 8 hours of shut eye.
Except I woke up at 1:23 am and did not fall back asleep. I would doze for a bit, but I was dreaming or thinking of the race in the morning. My heart was racing. I was anxious. By 5 am I got up on my own accord, went downstairs and watched some FNL, and tried to burn some energy. I made my breakfast, got everything prepped, and looked at the hour-by-hour forecast. PERFECT running weather.
Finally at 7 I loaded into the car and we took off to the start of the race. I grabbed my number and chip and stood around looking for my friends. After a smooth port a potty trip, four of us lined up, the gun went off and so did we.
The first three miles were lovely, which was a surprise because they are my least favorite miles of the race. Flat and straight. But we were all so excited and chatting and the weather was perfect. By mile 4 my sun glasses were fogged up, so I tossed them to my friend who was spectating. At the four mile mark I was making great time, and I was thinking I was probably going out to fast, but I wanted to keep up with my friend.
By mile 5 I had to (shamefully) take a quick little walking break up a hill that I can normally run up without a problem. I was still way under my goal time, so I felt ok with this. For most of the race we run somewhat along a little river. Imagine my surprise just before mile 8 when I saw Mr. G floating in the river in his kayak cheering people on. It was a great pick me up, as was the fact that I had just ran into my friend Brandy. For the most part we ran the rest of the race together. Thank god, too, because we were both on the same page. When we needed to walk up the hills, we happened to be together. When we needed encouragement or to yell out in exhaustion, we were together. It really helped.
I kept trucking and had to walk part of most of the hills, which really pissed me off because during training I could run up the hills. I am blaming it on my exhaustion from only 3 hours of sleep. Regardless, at every mile marker I was still under or right on my goal pace, so I was pretty happy with myself and knew I could afford to take walk breaks.
By mile 11 I was over it. I knew I had one water break left and that I was going to walk through the water stop and then just cruise on. But good god almighty those last two miles, and especially the last mile, were so long. My feet were blistered to hell. I was legit exhausted. I could finally see the finish line. I could hear the people cheering, hear the music, see the "FINISH!" banner and clock. But I swear it took an hour to reach it. I tried to run looking at the ground, a trick I do when running up hills so I do not see how far I still have to go, but every time I looked up I felt like I was making no progress. Finally, FINALLY, I was at the end. Some of my friends were spectating and cheering me on. Mr. G was there yelling my name. I crossed the finish line and just stopped walking. My gun time was 2:12:xx, my goal was 2:11:xx, my chip time was 2:11:30. I had met my goal, even with walk breaks.
I grabbed my water, metal, shirt, and collapsed in the field. I was exhausted.
And all of my girlfriends were impressive as well. I have kick ass friends. Jenna and Brandy completed their first halves and Jenna did it with a migraine! Juli completed her first half and kicked my PRs ASS! Way to go Juli! Kali, who did not train at all for this half, got her own PR and left me in the dust. My cousin (in law?) Holly shaved 10 minutes off her PR as well. And my old friend Jen placed 4th female overall, 2nd in her age group, with a time of 1 hour and mother fucking 27 minutes. You women are awesome and great inspiration for my next race!
I know I am slow, I am never going to be fast, I am never going to beat my friends. But I have already put a note on my calendar to sign up for the CBHM again next year, with a goal of shaving off a couple of minutes.