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Running My First Half Marathon

Posted Apr 27 2008 12:00am
Ran the Greer Earth Day Half Marathon yesterday. Am still recovering, and got hit hard this morning with what I like to refer to as “running coma.” Neither of us could sleep in, so we went to the early service at church and then did a little shopping. Midway through the shopping excursion, I started to drag. Scott jokingly told me to “work through” the tired, but when I set a record by falling asleep within the first 30 seconds of our 10-minute drive home, he told me to go to bed. So I did. I’m about to call it an early night, but after the whole “race preparation” build-up, I don’t think it’d be very nice to let the suspense keep building.

So. Back to the race. The facts first:  I was 116th out of 240+ and ran a 1:59:30. It was a hilly course, and it was a little warm and a lot humid. I’m both disappointed and amused. Disappointed because I thought I could be somewhere closer to 1:45:00, amused because my main goal (besides finishing) was to break two hours. In typical underachiever fashion, I managed to do just that…barely. I am the queen of squeaking by. Scott was 2nd in his age group, maintaining his spot at the top of the GTC series leaderboard. Way to go, husband!!! :)

I ran a fantastic half of a half of a marathon. I’m telling you, that quarter marathon, I was feeling FANTASTIC. I didn’t even go out hard. I felt well within myself, but when the end came, it hit hard. Right around mile 7, the course went onto Hwy 14 (sidenote: always, always a bad thing when a race goes onto a highway) and I got a not-so-healthy whiff of a nearby landscaping company. Eau de Pine Needles x 10,000 pushed me over the edge. I went from averaging 8:40 miles and loving life (and half marathons) to throwing up on the side of the road and contemplating a shortcut back to the starting line. U-G-H. The water station at mile 8 probably saved the day. I took some time to drink a full cup of water and dump another over my head, then walked (argh! walked!) for a few minutes. The next three miles passed slowly, as I found the appropriate pace of “trudge” that didn’t make me want to vomit.

I ended up having to take a couple of extra breaks, and the long stretch on Poinsett was far from enjoyable. I got some encouragement from passing runners (thank you, anonymous runners  #1-4!) and eventually made it across the finish line. From what I’ve been seeing on the GTC website, I wasn’t the only one who crashed into a wall. I find that mildly comforting, because maybe it means I’m not as much of wimp as I feel like right now.

And my poor mom asked, “didn’t you ever think of just stopping?” Oh yeah, Mom. I’m sorry to worry you. I just can’t get all the way to mile 8 and not finish. Even if it’s not going the way I planned. Even if it’s not fun. Even if it means jogging. Even if it means walking. Even if I look a little pathetic. And in return, I’m sporting a fantastically tough-looking blood blister, a finisher’s medal, my 10 points for the GTC racing series, and (most importantly) a half marathon PR. Go me.

P.S. Congratulations to everyone who ran either race this weekend! And thanks to all the volunteers who made the race possible!

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