I DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
13.1 miles later, I am officially a half marathoner and I couldn’t be more proud :)
This race was seriously the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Obviously the distance was hard, but the main problem was the HEAT! It was SO brutally hot, humid, and sunny, plus the course was majorly hilly with only a few miles worth of shade.
I finished in 2:04:03 for an average pace of 9:25 — over my goal time of 2 hours, but honestly I was just SO proud of myself for finishing/not dying considering the weather, that I was REALLY happy with my time!
Our day started bright and early — the race started at 7 a.m.! My training buddy Ashley and I were tiiiiiired.
But excited :)
Heather came up from D.C. to run the race with us, too! Yay!
I also ran into Kate while we were hanging out before the race started — she ran the half this morning too! Congrats, girl!
I decided to bring my CamelBak to run with, which turned out to be the best decision I’ve ever made, considering the heat. This meant I was able to just stop at a couple of the water stops for Gatorade and not worry about water. I drank almost the entire thing!
I attached this nerdy sign to it, heh :)
It was fun because a lot of people cheered me on by name during the race because of it! :)
Around 6:45 a.m., we lined up at the start line, which was at Navy Stadium in Annapolis.
It was pretty! Although I can’t support the advertisement — Go ARMY Beat NAVY!!! ;)
And then, at 7 a.m. on the dot — we were off!
I knew within the first few minutes that this was going to be a ROUGH race for me. The sun was beating down relentlessly, and my legs didn’t feel their best. This race turned out to be a major mental game. I was so hot and tired and I wanted to stop and walk so many times, but I didn’t. I’m really proud of myself for pushing through :)
Mile by mile recap:
- Mile 1: 8:44 — Feeling somewhat decent but nervous about how far we have to go. It is really hot, and there is no shade.
- Mile 2: 8:31 — Picking up the pace a bit once the crowd thinned (I loved that this wasn’t a huge race where we had to dodge people the whole time) — still crazy hot.
- Mile 3: 8:42 — Still going strong, but starting to feel the relentless heat and knowing I can’t keep up this pace.
- Mile 4: 8:53 — Our first hill — a huge, long bridge. Beautiful scenery, but whew! No shade and the sun was beating down on our faces.
- Mile 5: 9:10 — Things are starting to go south. Ashley and Heather go ahead, which was fine with me since I was not feeling my fastest and the heat was really starting to get to me.
- Mile 6: 9:19 — Ugh. At this point my right calf starts feeling sore again (I was having issues with it last weekend), slowing me down even more.
- Mile 7: 9:48 — Feeling ROUGH. More hills. So hot. Help.
- Mile 8: 9:27 — Things are slightly looking up — this part of the race was on a beautiful, flat, shaded trail. Thank god!
- Mile 9: 9:19 — YAYYYY trail! Yayyyyy shade!! But still super tired and hot and my calf is angrier.
- Mile 10: 10:07 — Massive hill and back in the sun. Kill me. Calf still super sore.
- Mile 11: 10:07 — More hills. I see Heather and Ashley looping back and say “I just want this to be over!!”
- Mile 12: 9:51 — Thank god I only have one more mile. SO HOT. Starting to get cold chills. Yikes. Calf has given up hurting since it knows I’m not stopping.
- Mile 13: 10:18 — Completely running out of gas and not even the fact that I’m almost done can get me to go any faster. Another big hill.
- .1 Nub — The race ends with a hill. How cruel! Normally I sprint all out at the end of races, but I was feeling so exhausted and overheated I knew it wasn’t going to happen and settled for picking up the pace slightly instead. I have never been so happy to see a finish line!
As you can see from my splits — this was not my best race. I was much slower than usual, and felt pretty rough almost the entire time. Normally my race feelings go much more along the lines of this hilarious chart that Angela made plotting half marathon mileage vs. desire to sign up for another race, but today I was pretty much stuck in the “@#$@!#$@*#$” section the whole time, lol! The heat just REALLY got to me.
It’s too bad my first half didn’t have better weather, but I’m just so proud of myself for finishing and not walking or giving up, even though I really, really wanted to. After I finished and was sitting down to stretch, there were a few minutes where I seriously thought I was going to pass out — very dizzy and light headed. No more long races in June!!
However — after, the race there was this:
Oh, yes. You better believe Ashley and I waited in line a full hour just to get a free 10 minute massage at the after race party. SO worth it :) The people who massaged all of our gross, sweaty, salty bodies are serious saints. THANK YOU to them! My calf was KILLING me after the race and this definitely helped.
After the best shower of my life and arriving back in DC, I met up with Meghann for smoothies at Starbucks before taking her to the airport! She was in town this weekend for a marathon relay race and I was really glad I caught her before she left. So great seeing you Meghann!! Next time you come to D.C. make sure I’m here so we can play ;)
I was clearly wearing my race shirt with pride:
Along with this necklace that we got for finishing! It’s a sailboat (since Annapolis is on the water) with “6-6-10” on one side and “Zooma Annapolis” on the other.
I think it’s safe to say I earned it :) Is 7:15 too early to go to bed?? ;)