An amazing, huge first Half Marathon. 6870 participants in the Half (3267 men, 3603 women). Our results by the numbers:
- Steve’s time: 1:42:58 (7:51 pace), top 7% of all finishers (!!), top 12% in men, top 12% in gender/age group.
- My time: 2:07:07 (9:42 pace), top 39% of all finishers, top 26% in women, top 29% in gender/age group.
Can I just take a moment to say WOW HOLY CRAP WOW about Steve? Wow. He is unbelievable and I am ridiculously proud of him.
- This will be the only negative thing I say and it was my own fault: I wish I had known when I signed up that my pace would be faster than it was four months ago. The corral I started in was at the very back end of my possible pace and thus kind of frustrating. The first three miles it was so stupid hard to get around anyone… hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of anyones, that my first three miles were all at paces well beyond what I ever run now even for warmup laps, even on a bad day. I just truly had nowhere to go. So I wasn’t too thrilled about that. I will definitely put myself one corral up next time.
- I KILLED the hills! Killed ‘em dead! Every damn one, including the 90-footer (that, oh god, went on and on and on and just when you thought it was done there was a little more around the bend). Never once did I slow my pace or start to falter. I was crazy proud of myself for that.
- I am sososo happy I had a Nathan belt. Having my own food and water was quite awesome. I got to refuel (gels with caffeine) and rehydrate (electrolyte tabs in water) on my own schedule and I didn’t have to deal with the massive crowds around every fueling station. Every time I approached one I veered off to the left and just kept on truckin’. Loved that.
- I had no real breathing problems – I’ve been conscientious about using my inhaler for a couple of days straight, regularly, and I’m glad I did. No chafing problems, either, which were an issue for me last week, so yay for that. Some muscle and joint soreness and hurt, but no injury-level pains. All in all, I came out physically okay. I’m very thankful to be able to say that.
- I HAD FUN! Above all else, I was really happy through the whole thing. As I said earlier, I pondered more than once the idea that not so long ago, I could barely breathe properly on my own nor could I even run a mile. It made everything else, all my other tiny worries, seem insignificant. I saw the big picture of what I was accomplishing. I also did my best to stay out of my own head, soak it all in and enjoy my surroundings. I absorbed the beautiful views, the gorgeous morning weather, the spectators and their funny signs. I stayed seriously focused but joyful. I smiled and smiled and smiled. My finish line picture is going to be me grinning like a hyena. I can’t wait to see it.
- One of the most gratifying and encouraging parts of all this for me was having Steve do the race as well. We’ve always been a “do everything together” kind of couple and it just feels right that we’re running races together, too. Every time I hit a tough spot, I thought “he went through this part a little while ago” followed by “he’s probably worried about how I’m handling it” (he was!). When I hit my last mile and felt oh-so-tired I thought “I want to come in strong because he’s there waiting for me at the end.” There is really something unbelievably special about experiencing these things together. I am so grateful.
That’s all I really have to say about it. I’m already figuring out what my next Half will be – of course. I want to get one in before the summer hits and I have the pick of two good ones in April. Then maybe another one in September or October. Then it’s on to a Full for the Dallas Marathon early December. Right now it’s hard to imagine doing twice what I did today, but I know the training will take me there.