It was COLD that morning! :) About 32 degrees that morning at start Brrrr
I layered my top twice (one dri-fit t-shirt and then a long-sleeve thermal dri-fit shirt). Had my headwarmer and glove/mitt combo (they are the ones with cut-off fingers and you can flip the mitten top - luv them!) that I purchased the night before from Wal-mart.
I did take along my handheld 20oz bottle - big mistake from mile 7+ it felt like a brick in my hand in which I immediately vowed to wear my fuel belt for any race more than 6 miles!
Let me also say that I did not feel good at.all prior to this race. I had a last minute procedure that required 3 stitches and then I had my monthly visitor - what perfect timing (again)! Not to mention I was just plain ol tired.
I did take pepto-bismol tablets right before the race as my #1 concern was my 'runners trot'. This trick/tip I learned did help keep that little issue at bay (thank goodness!)
With all these physical ailments going on my mind just wasn't in it and "I hit my wall" at about mile 8 right at the point where my most favorite long hill during training was on the course (please note the sarcasm).
It took me off guard because we were coming from a different direction and I immediately started freaking out...I don't know why?!?! I ran this hill at least 20x in all my training runs. Heck I ran 40% of this course during our runs...my head was so not straight for this race.
Well some of my run buddies came out to cheer me on right at the exact part of the course where I was falling apart mentally with these great signs
PRICELESS! My friend Susanne ran up the hill with me holding my hand while I was literally crying...(I know such a baby). But got myself back together again to finish the last part of the course.
I did have another race angel!! He came right before I hit my wall and helped me keep pace right after I squatted in the bushes for a quick TP break Haha! As I needed to quickly catch back up with my group and he helped me. This much older man was using intervals in the race (ran fast for 1 mile and then took a quick walk break) so we ended up running together for a period of time. He mentioned how he had not done a race in 20 years and was happy to be out there again (heart tug!) and he asked for my name as he said he wanted to cheer me on. And sure enough just when I was losing steam, right before I caught up with my group, he came up behind me and said "Run Stacey!"
The last 5K of the race I wanted it to be OVA!!! I was exhausted and was literally thinking "I will not be running a marathon!" *seriously*
My group leader Lucretia literally slowed down to coach me through the last 3 miles (I heart you!). I swear if it wasn't for that police officer playing 'Eye of the Tiger' on his car stereo and hearing the crowd screaming towards the end of the finish line I would have started walking and would have gotten there when I got there Haha! But I didn't. Ran it to the end (I did take a few walk breaks at the water stops)
We all finished and I am so glad!!
This was a challenging race for me and I did it in 2:12:26
Lessons: I learned from this race that running long runs and racing long runs are two different things. And you gotta keep your mind in it. Think on "good things".
"whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -- think about such things" Philippians 4:8
I was very happy to have shared my 1st half marathon with my heart there. Having him run the race and congratulate me at the end was cherry on top of my race dream!Onward to my 26.2!