Monday, September 20, 2010

13.1 miles (part deux!)

I recently completely my second half-marathon. This time, I hoped to improve upon my finish from last year.

I went into the race with three goals:

1. Walk through the aid stations and actually drink some Gatorade and water. Success! I remembered that I tried to run through the first few aid stations last year and I wasn't very successful at actually downing any fluids. So, this year I specifically told myself to walk through the aid stations. Sure, I hated slowing to a walk, but it was rather refreshing to pass people after each stop :)

2. Finish strong. Success! I wasn't running this particular race as a true race. Instead, I wanted to run at a strong, but comfortable pace. In an ideal world I wanted to finish the race and feel two things: I could have run faster and continued running. When I came through the final stretch and out kicked a guy, I felt really good. I got a shout-out from the race director at the finish line, which has never happened before because people are too intimidated to try saying my last name aloud (silly hubs!). But after I crossed the finish line I found my bestie B and grinned, "I could have kept running!" This was a drastic improvement upon last year's race when B practically had to pull me across the finish line.

3. Finish in under two hours. Success! I'm even more impressed that I finished with running sub 9minute miles because I did walk through every aid station and I kept telling myself to slow down during the race. I was running really well despite the low temperatures, rain, and mud during the race.

Overall, I'm really happy with the race. My goals were all met, which is fantastic. I wanted to run a decent time, but also know that I could have continued on for 16-18 miles at the same pace (or somewhere close to the same pace). The objective wasn't to run the fastest time I could, rather keep in mind that the bigger picture, aka the full marathon is just over a month away.

I'm also proud of my running because I ran by myself. When I convinced B to run a marathon with me she remarked, "I know I ran your first half with you, but if I'm going to commit to training for a full marathon I'm going to run it for time." Her time goal was to run in the 1:45 area during the half, which is a time way beyond what I could have run. So, I borrowed her boyfriend's Nike watch because my cheap Target watch broke on me! At some point I'll upgrade and get a Garmin, but for now I'm happy just knowing I'm running distances rather than times.

Unfortunately, I don't have a single picture from the race. Well, that's kind of a lie because there are pro pictures online and I do actually look somewhat decent in some of them (that never happens, I think the rain helped). B and I ran this race on our own and treked back to her place on the DC Metro. Note to self: taking the Metro after running for nearly 2 hours in the rain sucks. You're wet, cold, muddy and did I mention cold? B and I decided that a half was a little ol' thing and told the boys they didn't need to come.

Dear Significant Others: when your ladies tell you don't need to come, that means you should still get up and be there at the finish (preferably with a warm towel or sweatshirt).

It's fine, I'm not bitter at all. After the race we had a girl time and went and got pedicures. :)

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