That is my official finish time of my first half marathon. I couldn’t ask for a more perfect day. I was very relaxed the night before and actaully slept very well. I was surprised at how calm I was. Even for just my long runs at home, I feel anxious the night before. I guess mentally I knew this was just another long run for me and I was prepared.
I woke up before my alarm (which I set but accidently didn’t turn on). I was awake at 5, I really had to use the bathroom. Not to get into much detail, but that was a concern of mine. I wanted to be sure my system was ready before I went to the race. Well my system was a little ahead of schedule. I laid in bed for a little bit after and thought about the clothes I already had laid out. I was going to wear my long sleeve shirt and a fleece vest, but decided to wear a short sleeve shirt and my throw away sweatshirt instead because the sun was out. I got out of bed just before 6. I quietly went to the kitchen, made my tea and went to take my shower. The house was quiet, everyone was sleeping and I was feeling very calm. I took my shower and got ready. My son woke up and found me in the kitchen and we had a few minutes together before my husband and Adrienne came out. I put on my clothes, pinned on my number and went out the door. I was on the road by 7:15 which was my goal. I arrived at the Cheshire High School 20 minutes later, way ahead of schedule. I parked my car and took a walk over to the race location. On the way there I followed two girls on a hunt for a bathroom. After finally finding one I started towards the finish line. I stood for the national anthem right under the flag and then walked to the starting line to see what the timing method was going to be. When I just saw a painted line on the road, I stayed off to the side on a grassy hill to wait for the crowd. While I was up there I spotted Dr. Pat so I met up with him and chatted for a few minutes and told him I wanted to run along the side so I wouldn’t get trampled. After a few minutes the race was on. He ran with me for about 20 yards and took off.
The first part of the race went through a neighborhood and up a bit of a hill, then around mile 3 we entered the canal. That was a wonderful section to run through. It was very flat and shaded. Miles 3 – 7 were on the trail and then we headed to the back roads of Hamden. They were a little hilly, but not too bad. But enough where on the second half of the half marathon they were harder. I had a gu pack around mile 6 and then needed another between miles 10 and 11. My ipod wasn’t properly calibrated so I was starting to struggle because the countdown was saying i had 3 miles left and I hadn’t seen the 10 mile marker yet. I was texting Kevin status updates at every mile to give him an estimate of when I would get there. In the beginning of the race I was pacing the mile markers approximately every 10 minutes. Then I was going through the calculations in my head to guess what my finishing time would be. I was miscalculating however cause I was thinking I would have a 2:15 finish time.
I felt good along through miles 3-7. The crowd was thinned out along the canal. So I was running alone. I felt like I was on a normal training run, but in a different neighborhood. I would pass a certain group of people, then my run/walk/run timer would go off and I would rest for a minute. Then I would start running again and pass them. This went on for most of the canal portion of the race. When I first started the race I felt silly for stopping to run only 4 minutes into it, but I had to stick to my guns and stick with that plan because that is how I trained. If I was foolish and kept running for the first few miles, then I would pay for it at the end of the race.
The day before the race Kevin asked me if I ever thought I’d do a half marathon when I started running. At first I said no. Then a few hours later I had a thought. When I started to casually run on the treadmill all the time I watched the NYC marathon and knew someone who ran it. I always thought that was admirable and always had a little piece of me that wanted to do something huge like that. So in a way, yes I think it is something that I thought I would do; but like many things in life, I think about them, but don’t always do them. When I finished my half marathon, I still had thoughts in my head like it wasn’t enough. Yea, many people don’t do half marathons, but it feels like I need something bigger. Like I won’t feel accomplished until I get that 26.2. So I think it is something I am going to strive for in the next few years. It is a HUGE commitment of time. I have been very fortunate that I had the time to train this past winter and had a fantastic winter to train during.
So now I think what next. There is a 10K in Cheshire on 9/22 that I’d like to run. Cheshire is a nice area to run in so I will do more events there. I may want to do the Hartford Half Marathon, but it does fall on Adrienne’s birthday. I am considering the New Haven Road Race 20K, and would REALLY love to do the Disney Half Marathon next January. I have some things that need to fall into place before I can make that decision, but it is a goal.