I'm trying to figure out how I can get away with wearing my half-marathon shirt and medal to work tomorrow. Sadly, I don't think I can pull it off.
I was really nervous about the half-marathon. The longest I've really run is about 11.5 miles. The last time I tried to do a long run before today, I was less than successful. I was really afraid that I was going to finish with a really slow time which was going to mean I was going to have to do a lot more work to prepare for the marathon.
Team Ortho is pretty well known, at least around here. One of the things they do is have pace groups. The slowest advertised pace group for the marathon was 11:27 miles for a goal of 5hrs. I didn't think I could run that fast for a half-marathon, so I was bummed. But when I got to the starting line today, there was a pacer for 12:00 miles. Sweet! I'd like to take this moment to thank Kristen, you were a great pacer for the first 9 miles of the race.
In my pace group I met a few people who were running the half-marathon so I ran the last few miles with them. (Thanks here to Dan and Sandy. It was nice to meet you both!)
My favorite thing about training for the marathon and doing all this stuff along the way is that I'm continually reminded that it's not possible to run alone: even if I'm the only one in the race, all of you who've taken an interest in this are with me.
Today, Jenna and Beth cheered (really loud) for me at mile 9 and then after the turn around, gave me sour patch kids, water, and helped me up one of the hills by running with me. (I really can't say enough about how helpful that was. It meant a lot that you were there.) And then, I knew after they "dropped me off" at the water stop, I knew I only had less than a 5k to go to see Amanda and Kelly who were waiting at the finish line for me. (Oddly, they had food for me too.)
The course, mostly along the West River Parkway, is gorgeous. For those of you who don't live around here, the course runs right along the Mississippi River. The catch: it's not flat. Coming out of downtown, the course goes down hill, and then up hill for a mile. The nice thing is that we had that long down hill with just a mile or two to go. But then, that's right, we had to go back up in the last half mile. Wow. Check out the map and elevation chart here. I was so happy to see the finish line. And all those people cheering for me (well for everyone, but mostly me). I believe you can check results at the main web site. My bib number is 4985.
After the race, Amanda and Kelly treated me to an awesome breakfast of
I came home and got in my pool. My presence was also required at the YWCA (one last visit to get my discount for good behavior) so I sat in their hot tub too. Now I'm sitting here thanking all of you. I seriously couldn't do this alone and I'm grateful for all of your support.