In fact, I believe that for both of us, this was the 2nd half marathon. As you know, we’ve been training, so we were both hoping not only for PRs, but specific goal PRs. My main goal was to beat last year’s time of 2:25. My real goal was to come in under 2:15, and my super-secret goal was to get pretty close to 2:10.
It was a bit on the warm side today. And I am a delicate flower who wilts in the heat (see Reach the Beach Century Ride, May 2008).
Before the run, we knew it was warm, but we were full of hope & confidence:
The first couple of miles were hard, but by mile 3 I was feeling a bit better. The course is a double loop course and according to Leo, looks something like this:
(I, however, don’t remember running through the Willamette quite that much.)
The first three miles were a mixture of exposed road & paved trail, somewhere between miles 3 & 4, you enter a tree-lined asphalt path, which was shadier & rather pretty.
Mile 1: 9:55
Mile 2: 10:14
Mile 3: 10:24
Mile 4: 10:13
Somewhere between Miles 4 & 5, JM & I met for the first time (although I was totally concentrating on not tripping over a stump at the time, and didn’t see her – I did here her yell my name).
Shortly after that is the turn around, and then it’s about two miles back to the start – then you get to start all over again. At this point, I was still feeling pretty good, and was at mile 6 when I saw the half marathon leaders coming back for their last 3.5 miles.
Miles 6 & 7 were hard, hard, hard. I was really not sure at that point if I could hold on to my pace, but somewhere just before mile 8, my Gu that I took at mile 6 kicked in, and I felt good for the next couple of miles.
Mile 5: 10:20
Mile 6: 10:28
Mile 7: 10:17
Mile 8: 10:09
Mile 9: 10:31
At this point, I was in count-down mode. I knew I could run 4 more miles, and once I hit mile 10, I was feeling super confident that I was going to get my 2:15 goal. Around mile 10.5, I saw JM again, and was so glad that she (hopefully) couldn’t see how much I was hurting.
Right before mile 11, I drank a cup of HEED as well as a cup of water, and I think that was a mistake. The next mile, I felt baaaad, and afraid that I would end up on a demotivational poster (don’t tell me you don’t know which one I’m talking about).
My stomach settled down, and once I hit mile 12, I knew I could run one more mile – cause really, who can’t, right? Also, right before mile 12, I passed a quarter marathon walker who was pretty wiped out, and she high-fived the “Mile 5” sign – she was so stoked to be that far! That really made me happy for about 2 minutes, then I remembered how much pain I was in & lost my happy.
My left toe was hurting so bad, and it felt all squishy. I was so sure that I was going to have a bloody sock & maybe the beginning of the end for a toenail.
The distance between mile markers 12 & 13 seemed to be a bit longer than 1 mile. In fact, it seemed closer to 5 miles, if you ask me. There was a water stop at about 12.7 miles, and that was the only one I skipped (in fact, many of the stops were on both sides of turn-around, and I stopped on each side). I hit mile 13 & could see the finish, but it seemed SO FAR AWAY. And that last bit was on grass, and was pretty narrow – there were quarter marathon walkers finishing up (and walking 2 abreast, I might add), making it hard to pass, but I ran past a few, saw JM at the finish (tried hard to smile for the finish line camera) and then sprinted past a woman I’d been leapfrogging with for the last 2 miles for the finish.
Mile 10: 10:14
Mile 11: 10:44
Mile 12: 10:48
Mile 13: 10:22 (hope gave me speed, here)
Mile 13.1: who knows – forgot to turn Leo off until after a few seconds of walking around moaning quietly – but whatever the time that would bring me to about 2:16 (again, not 100% official, as I didn’t turn off Leo & can’t remember what the finish line clock was).
I got my medal & a cup of water, then wandered around aimlessly for a few seconds until I spotted JM. We got some Jamba Juice (the water station was empty) and some cinnabon bites & sat in the grass & decided to look at our feet. Mine look fine. Mostly. There is some pain & soreness happening, but no blood, no blood blisters. JM”s on the other hand, not as pretty. I just can’t bring myself to post that photo, but I bet she will, so keep your eyes open for that beauty.
(Not a bad photo, considering. I’m pretty sure the official photos are going to tell a different story.)
We laid in the grass & moaned for awhile, then I made a trip to the bathroom, stopping to grab waters from the restocked water station on my way back. Then we had more cinnabon bites, and I grabbed a dinner roll. I was not feeling the soup.
We left, I dropped her off, and now, here I am. Wiped out.
Tonight, I am going to a party. If I’m not dead. I have already eaten 3/4 of a (small) pizza, drank about 5 quarts of water, and tried to motivate myself to move off the chair & maybe nap or shower or be less gross.
That was the hardest race I’ve ever run, and honestly, I am a little surprised that I was able to pull a 9 minute PR out of my ass. I’m hoping for a cooler race day for my next half (I’m not counting the 20K coming up – that’s a trail run and a whole ‘nother story), because I feel that I have a lot o’ potential for shaving some more minutes off today’s time.
I’m glad I did it, though! And I’m really glad that I came so close to my goal time. I’m just hoping that my belly feels happier soon, and that I can sleep all day tomorrow.
Congrats, too, to JM & her PR! And congrats to any other weekend racers!