I know it’s been a while…sometimes I’m just not on top of blogging. But here is a little bit about my first 1/2 marathon! (The official pics aren’t available yet, and I didn’t have my camera!). My goal was under 2 hours at a 9 minute pace-I finished in 1 hour and 55 minutes at an 8 1/2 minute pace, 594/3118 half marathoners and 26/171 in my age group. Success!
All last week I ran less each day, getting down to 3 miles on Friday and then not running at all on Saturday. When I left my house to drive to Tulsa weather.com forecasted Sunday morning to be in the 60s. The reality? 33. Thank you weather.com for lying to me! I had shorts and a sleeveless racing singlet…thankfully I threw in my running jacket at the last minute. I got up around 6:15 and drove with my friends over to the race. Pre-race I had a small banana and half a kashi bar. I don’t typically eat before I run but I did that morning for a few reasons: 1-I hadn’t eaten much the night before and wanted some carbs in my system, 2-I wanted to make sure my blood sugar stayed steady, 3-I knew I wouldn’t eat during or soon after the race.
We got there pretty early (for parking) and used a port-a-potty on a construction lot before going to the starting corrals. There were so many participants (over 12,000 between a 1 mile fun run, 5k, 1/2, and full marathon) that they had the marathons go in heats. My friend Drew and I were in the first heat and so thankfully we didn’t have to wait to actually start. I wore my old, falling a part shoes… and my feet were actually kind of numb from the coldness. It was overcast and windy, but the course was mostly flat and downhill. At the first clock the time said 8:45 and I asked Drew, was that the mile marker? I couldn’t believe it-we were cruising along at a faster pace than we planned for, and the time went so quick! I had thought I’d be pleased with 9 minute miles, but here we were consistently hitting miles under that. Miles 1-5 had all the uphills, but I felt pretty prepared for them. I also wore a “fanny pack” to carry my insulin and glucose in-not so much so that I could check it midrun (that would have been hard!) but so that I could have it on me if I needed to and for right before/right after the race when I couldn’t get to the car or the check-station.I was made fun of for having it beforehand-but tons of people had on packs or belts with stuff, especially the full marathoners. I purposely kept my blood sugar high so that I didn’t have to worry about it, and I think I probably kept it too high for too long because along with the nerves that shot it upwards, it stayed pretty high most of the day. I’d prefer high to low though in that case.
Miles 5-7 went by pretty quick as we went in and out of fancy neighborhoods and downtown. It was kind of like running through a parade because so many people came out to cheer us on and there were at least 3 live bands, 2 places where there were speakers blasting music, police, crazy costumes, and confetti. I loved the energy and encouragement and chill-ness of the pace. There was also a belly dancer at one point-I definitely laughed.
At about mile 9 I started to struggle with keeping up the quick pace and my shins started to hurt from running on concrete so much (not used to it!). I started to think I wasn’t going to be able to do it and how much I just wanted to be done. At about mile 10 was a turn around and once I got to 10 miles I felt stronger, like I had a fresh breath of energy. Miles 11-13 weren’t easy, by any means (it had gotten a lot colder and windier and I was by myself), but I felt a strength return to my legs and I was able to push through all by myself. I kept having to lift my jacket to show my bib number because it was on the singlet underneath. I kind of felt like I was flashing everyone… Everyone got a finishers medal and they wrapped us in foil blankets and gave us water and bananas. I had half a banana but I wasn’t really hungry for a while after-just extremely cold and wet. I wasn’t super hungry the rest of the day-just tired mostly, although I did seriously crave some protein that night, not carbs like I thought I would. And today I got new, minimalist shoes that I’m pretty excited about! That seems like a super condensed version of the events, and it was still pretty long:) I really loved the distance-it was way more relaxed than a 5 or 10k and will definitely run another one.