So yesterday I ran my first half marathon in like 3 or so years. And now I’m going to tell you all about it!
Race Eve Night
The night before the race (Saturday) I actually went to a friend’s birthday/Halloween party. They had snack foods there and some chili (and by some I mean almost none), so I ate a little bit, but then I felt my stomach start to act up so I quite eating and then left way early to go home and finish getting my crap in order.
I had everything laid out and I even packed extra clothes just in case I wanted to do the “Parking Garage Dressing Room” act and change.
I went to bed about 10 p.m., but I didn’t get a really good nights sleep because I freak out that my alarm won’t go off and I’ll be late and miss the race or not find parking…horrors!
I got up at a quarter to five, because I was going to have to take some kind of crazy ass route to get to downtown STL, because MoDot thought it would be a great weekend to close ALL of eastbound hwy 40 into down town. They’re pretty awesome like that. They also like to skip parts of the highway during snow plow season. Yay MoDot!
I got downtown a little after 6, and at first parked in this random lot. Then as I started walking away, I noticed that it looked kind of like a church and that it had signs all over stating “Permit Parking only: All violators will be towed”. Seeing as how I did not want to run for four hours and come back to find my car gone. So I moved it over to a parking garage across the street. I only had to pay $7 for the whole time I was there and was able to use my debit card to pay, so I feel this was a win for me. Plus, I feel like garage are a little more secure than open air lots. For some weird reason…
VIP Porta Potty
I loved this thing! Not only was it nice to not be in a stink box and have to do the balancing act because folks think that a porta potty gives you the right to pee like an animal all over everything, but they had real sinks and paper towels. And other fun little things. I would definitely do this again.
I was supposed to be in corral 15 but I decided to move it back a few corrals so I chose to start in corral 17 instead. My plan was to start out conservatively, and then try to pick it up the last few miles. I had two main goals: not die and finish in under four hours (the “cut off” time). My OMG I feel fucking fantastic goal was to finish in 3:30, but that was only if I was really feeling it.
My start conservatively plan was pretty much blown out of the water. I had planned to keep my pace between 15 to 17 minute miles.
My actual pace?
Mile 1- 14:13
Mile 2- 16:26
Mile 3- 16:22
Mile 4- 18:06
So, yeah I pretty much went out way too fast on the first mile. I kept checking my pace and thinking, “Slow it down!”. Mile four was a little rough for me.
Mile 5- 17:24
Mile 6- 16:43
Mile 7- 17:15
Mile 8- 18:35
Miles 5-7 went close to plan, staying in the mid to low 17’s and high 16’s. After mile 7, when I had less to travel than I had already ran, I assessed how I was feeling and allowed my self a little bit more of a walk time. My legs weren’t feeling too bad, but my feet were hurting and a few of the aid stations had run out of cold Cyto-max before I had gotten there. And oranges. So I was feeling a little less than stellar, but I was afraid to try any of the Gu’s or anything because I can have such a sensitive stomach sometimes. I did carry my Nathan bottle with some very diluted Cyto in it, but by mile 5 it had gotten pretty warm and I was just sipping on it to keep from getting to dry-mouthed/dehydrated.
Mile 9- 18:42
Mile 10- 18:56
Mile 11- 18:46
Miles 9 and 10 were tough because my feet were hurting so bad that when I hit aid stations I started dumping water on them to make them feel a little better. My knees to hips also started to feel a little sore, and the hills were starting to get to me. They weren’t super steep, but just really long climbs that you could feel in your quads for forever. I honestly wanted to quit. But at mile 11 Eminem’s “Til I Collapse” came on, and I really dug deep and started to rally. I pretty much kept telling myself in my head that I had this, and I could do it, one foot in front of the other keep it together, etc.
At least I think it was in my head. 😉
Mile 12- 18:24
Mile 13- 18:21
The Point 1- 14:32
I really started to buckle down and try to push through some of the pain. I managed to shave a few seconds off at both miles 12 and 13, and there were a lot of spectators cheering for EVERYONE which was nice. I’ll address some of my more negative feelings in my race review because they impact over there more than here. Once I hit the 13 mile marker, I pulled out my ear buds so I could hear the folks cheering and I put my head down and ran! I was surprised with my finishing “kick”. Also pleased with it. I passed several people in the finishing corral so that was nice.
One majorly bumming thing was, they ran out of medals due to the huge number of full marathoners that dropped to the half. But like I said, I will address that later.
Once I finished, grabbed a bottle of cold water, and found out that I will have to wait to get my medal, I was pretty much done and ready to go. I grabbed an orange slice (because other than bananas, which I am allergic to, that’s all I really saw to “eat”). I focused on making my way back to my parking garage and my car. Which I did with only minor difficulties. Then I got back on the road and headed home, stopping only for a double cheeseburger and Dr. Pepper from McDonald’s.
- Garmin Time: 3:51:37
- Chip Time: 3:51:36
- “Gun” Time: 4:15 (It took me 30 minutes to even cross the starting line)
- Average Pace: 17:30/mile (I’m cool with that)
- Overall Place: 14275/14511 (Half finishers)
- Gender Place: 9433/9635 (Women)
- Division Place: 1677/1696 (Females 25-29)
Overall, I’m pretty pleased with my performance. I know with training and hard work, I can do better. I do think I want to invest in a pair of compression tights because I wore my sleeves for the whole race and currently my calves and shins don’t really hurt/aren’t sore, so I think that helped a lot. Now for a week of “rest” and to think about my next adventure 🙂