I caught a ride down with Sonia and her husband. I hadn't been there before and I liked the idea of having someone to drive me home after a tiring run. We arrived with 90 minutes to spare, so it was a nice relaxing time at registration, wandering around, and a few toilet breaks.
Just before 9am we were walked out to the start area. Time for a quick selfie before it all began! Then I headed back about 20-30 metres in the pack: a) because I didn't want to get caught up with the faster runners and b) I didn't want to get stressed out trying to keep up with Sonia (as it happened, I didn't see her the whole race!).
I started off with a grin, and quickly settled into the work. The first 10km felt great, and I was running well. I knew it was probably a bit too fast, but my legs felt so good that I kind of went with it.
I ran without my camelbak, but I'd studied the course map and knew that the water stations were approximately 3km apart. So I had a bliss ball around the 8km mark then grabbed a quick drink at the next aid station to wash it down.
At the 10km marker I checked my phone and I'd passed it in about 58:30. I was feeling quite good at this point. On track for a PB!
Sadly, somewhere around the 11-12km mark, my mood started to decline and I started focusing too much on how far there was to go. I really wanted to give up and walk, but I knew that I would be annoyed at myself if I did. So I kept plodding along.
However in kilometre 17 of the race I gave in and had a walk break. We'd run in some exposed areas and the sun was getting to me. It was around this point that the conditions under foot changed back to gravel - a little slippery and a few larger rocks to avoid. Not long - about 20 seconds. Long enough to get on top of my breathing, then start running again. I had three more of these between 17-20km, the last one was the longest at about a minute of walking. Then I knew I had to run the last kilometre and a bit to the finish. I raced up the last rise and down towards the finishing chute - I could see Sonia waving and hear her cheering (thanks Sonia! It was awesome!) and finally I was done.
|Crossing the finish line. Bit blurry, but the joy on my face is pretty clear.|
Hubby and my youngest son travelled down to see me finish. They were there in time but sadly he missed me! He was looking for a bright pink top (because that's what I often wear on training). Still, when I finally tracked him down (tricky with no cell reception on site!) I gave him a big hug.
Official finishing time was 2:10:10. So, between my A and B goals of 2:05 and 2:15 respectively (the C goal was to finish). So I have to be happy with that, though I can't help but feel I could have done better on the day! Still, I will chalk that up to experience - I now have 2 half marathons under my belt.
The major lesson I will take from this race is to really try to ease into the first half, and not get caught up in prospective finishing times too early in the race.
For the next half marathon I'm also going to
a) run with my camelbak. I think frequent small sips is less taxing than grabbing a water cup and trying to drink it in a hurry (and feeling compelled to drink half a cup when I wouldn't normally.. just because it's there!
b) just run with my music. I got really grossed out by hearing other people breathing behind me, LOL. Also there were some bags with annoying knocking or jingling sounds. (Clearly I was not in a great mood yesterday!)
Still, with all that, I ran a half marathon yesterday. I am extremely proud of myself and the best thing is, I want to do it again!
|Sonia and I showing off our race bling|
|Smiling and happy after a coffee, some bacon, and a chocolate milk..|