I finished my 8th half marathon of 2013 yesterday! It was a really great experience. I did set out with a pretty lofty goal of trying to finish in 2:15 which is more than doable for me, but I forgot one thing: this WAS THE HILLIEST RACE I’VE EVER RUN! The race was about three hours away so we loaded up the car and headed to spend some time with friends before the race. This was probably the best part of the weekend for me because we just got to hang out and have a good time. There was tons of good food (and I forgot to take pictures) and Willie even made his caramel sauce for everyone. Good food, good people and great fun. Best weekend ever and I haven’t even started talking about the race yet!
The race started at 8:00 am so there really wasn’t a rush to get to the start. I woke up at 5AM and everyone else woke up around 6AM. I wanted to make sure I had everything together before the race. I had my usual oatmeal and eggs.
It was a small hometown race so there wasn’t much traffic or people to deal with on the way there. So of course there was a ton of time for pictures.
We’re ready to run!
And we’re off! The weather had a slight chill in the air but it was misty and I didn’t like it, but it was better than being super hot. The race started on an uphill and that’s when I knew this sucker was going to be trouble. I knew it was going to be hilly but I didn’t know it was going to be continuous. It never seemed to let up but I wanted the run as many of the hills as I possible could. I did pretty well on the front end of the course. I was taking them slow and steady and just rolling through the miles. I walked around mile 4.5 to take my GU because I can’t do run and GU at the same time. I kept on rolling. I felt really good until mile 11.5 or so when I was trying to run these hills but my body was like “No way Jose.” I was trying so hard to push through but the last 2 miles of this race were on a serious uphill and I just couldn’t hang. My mind was telling me yes, but my body was telling me no…the complete opposite of an R Kelly song!
I walked a lot of the uphills on the way end, but when I reached the top I was home free and ready to finish. I finished very strong and I was so happy because I ran a good race. I fueled my body appropriately and I really was pushing on through the rough parts. I couldn’t have ran this race better. I know I was pushing for 2:15 but 2:18:46 isn’t bad especially on these hills. The last race I ran hilly in August I finished in 2:24 so I was proud.
And the finish was so pretty. How could you not want to finish in the rose garden? I’m really working on finishing strong and I was running pretty good across the finish line! It’s that last little bit that usually always has me wanting to throw up in the end so I’ve been working on finishing strong on my long runs and I didn’t feel like hurling when I finished. In fact, I was all smiles!
I ran this race for Willie! He is my biggest supporter and cheerleader. He pushes me to be a better version of myself every day and he believes in me even when I don’t believe in myself! Marathon training takes a lot of time and he’s there pushing me every point of the way. And now that I’m getting into my longer runs, he’s gonna have to be there with fuel for me too. LOL! Marathon training takes a lot of support and UNDERSTANDING from the people who love you the most because it’s time that you sacrifice with them to train! Right now my life is kind of ruled by training plan. I’m running races a LOT but the thing is, I would be out there doing these runs anyway so I can at least get a medal for doing it, right?
There are people who get it and understand and there are others who don’t, but I’m doing this for me. I have a goal to accomplish this year and I WILL run my marathon this year. I run for myself, I run for all those who think they can’t and I run for all those people who have been told they will never be or do anything because of their size and shape! I’m living proof that change can happen!
These are my friends and they all accomplished some great things yesterday. I am super proud of every single one of them. These are the people who inspire me. I love running and it’s apart of me. But these people (along with many more who aren’t pictured here) making running even better for me!
Overall, this was great! I don’t know if I could do a marathon here though. I think I would die because the half had me at “oh gosh, another hill?” The race was small but nice. There was great water stops along the way but not a lot in the way of nutrition along the course. It’s always wise to bring your own anyway. There was a stop with candy and pretzels though. The medal wasn’t the best looking thing, but so far this year it’s the one I will cherish the most because I think I worked hard and smart for this one. I proved something to myself with this race…along with the rest of my friends.
There was post race pizza that I didn’t eat, but I would imagine this was a plus for everyone who did eat it! Small race but big fun and very rewarding experience. I’ll more than likely do it again next year!
Of course there was chocolate milk with my Team Refuelmates!
And a nice leg soak in cold water for the legs.
I had a really great time! Thanks to everyone for making it a great weekend! And a big thanks to Greg’s parents for letting us stay in their home and making us feel welcome.
Now I”m ready for Rock n Roll Denver on Sunday!