So this happened.
If you read this post, then you know my goal was 1:55, so basically I nailed it! My official chip time was 1:53:02. My previous best was 1:56:47, which means I have an almost 4-minute PR! Woop! I'm only kind of annoyed that I was a silly 2 seconds away from going under 1:53. Next time!
For this recap, I'm just going to break down a few of the main points instead of going through the day chronologically.
1. The Hills
My "good" goal was to not walk the hills, and I'm happy to report that this was a success! The hills were tough, especially a pretty steep hill during miles 11-12, but it's 100% different when you're mentally prepared. Last time, I wasn't ready, and when I saw a hill I groaned and got defeated before I even started. This time, I attacked the hill and viewed it as a personal challenge. Running really is mental, and preparing yourself is half the battle.
If you ran the race and saw a crazy girl sprinting up the hill while shouting, "LET'S DO THIS. I LOVE HILLS."
That was me.
2. The Bathroom
The week before the race I was really careful about hydrating and not eating a ton of fiber. I also decided to forget everything I'd read in Runner's World about calorie intake the morning of a race and ate only half a chocolate Cliff Bar and a package of cherry-flavored energy beans.
I'm happy to report that I didn't once feel the need to hit the Port-o-Potty, which is honestly the biggest accomplishment of the entire day. Every time I passed a Port-o-Potty, I gave myself a non-literal pat on the back in sweet, sweet victory.
3. The 1:55 Goal
At first I thought about sticking with the 2-hour pace group for the beginning of the race just to get my groove. But then I realized that 13 miles wasn't quite enough to make up the time I'd lose if I didn't get out to a fast enough start. So I went at it alone until 6, when who did I meet up with but the 3:50 marathon pace group, which was also pacing a 1:55 half! I knew if I just stuck with them, I could get across the finish line and hit my goal no problem.
But then, after a few miles (I think around mile 9), I started speeding up. I was feeling really good at this point and knew that barring a major catastrophe, I had it. I gave the finish line a good old-fashioned fist bump as I crossed.
I think this is my best race pic yet. Minus the crooked headband and the poofy hair.
4. The Frostbite
OHMYGOSH. Um, it was cold. There was actually a huge ice patch during mile 3. The race people did a great job putting cones out and alerting runners of the danger, so I don't think anyone got hurt.
It was so cold, I couldn't feel my feet for the first 5 miles. I passed the 5-mile flag and was like, Oh hello, feet! I was worried I was going to trip or something, because I couldn't really lift them too well.
But then my feet warmed up, and then it was my hands that were the problem. Once I finished and was in the food tent, my hands started hurting so bad. It was the weirdest, most painful feeling. I tried to flex them, but it was like they were moving in slow motion. I stood still for a good ten minutes just opening and closing my hands, and finally they slowly stopped hurting. I don't know what happened, but I hope it never happens again. Any of you ever tried putting those hand warmers inside your running gloves? I'm wondering if that's something I should do next time.
Other than the numb feet and the painful hand issue, the cold really wasn't so bad. Serious shoutout to all the volunteers who stood in the cold for hours handing out water and medals and working the medic tent.
And... just for kicks, here are my mile splits. Clearly I should never be a pacer.
The Route 66 website also included a really fun graph! At least, I thought it was fun, but maybe that's because the graph was all about me. The best part is the square at the bottom right. It's so much more fun to pass people than to be passed, which is exactly why you start out slow so you don't burn out at the end.
Half marathon #7 is finished, and now I just have one more race in 2013.
Quick holler to my running girls
(if I forgot anyone, I'm so sorry!)
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Kate is running her first half marathon in a few weeks.
Emily is running her first marathon in a few weeks.
Courtney ran her first marathon a few weeks ago.
Meghan has got marathon #2 on December 29.
Amber is going to run her first half marathon in 2014.
Tamara recently signed up for her first marathon in 2014.
Rachel recently ran a half marathon two weeks after her full.
Melinda recently ran 6 miles, her farthest distance ever.
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Anyone else have a race coming up or recently signed up for a race?
What motivational phrases do you say to yourself when you're running?