In case you forgot the huge smile that resided on my face for days and days.
When I got up that morning at 4:30, I hopped in the shower first. I just can't ever seem to get going to 100% without a shower, and I know that may sound weird to shower before a half marathon, but I knew I needed to be at 100% considering the farthest I had ran in training was just 7 miles. So I showered, checked the weather what felt like a hundred times, and decided on my race gear. No fancy pic of my clothing laid out since I mostly just stood around in my robe until I had it figured out. I ended up wearing my favorite capris, a nike sports bra, my splits59 tank, a pullover from Target and my trusty Adidas trail running shoes. No, this was not a trail race. Yes, I did all my training runs in them so I stuck to what I knew. I also happened to dig around in my closet at the last minute so I found my headband/earwarmer, some mitten-glove hybrids, and my rain slicker from biking. I threw on some tall socks and my UGGs, grabbed my gear and hit the road.
The trip took about 2 hours so I was glad that I had a full water bottle plus a spark ready to go. I ate some toast with PB2 and a hardboiled egg in the car. When I got to the race site, I ate half of a Stinger Vanilla Waffle and my phone said the weather was just 39 degrees. Yikes! I picked up my race packet and returned to my car to seat in the heat while I got ready - put on my bib, listened to pump up music, and check social media. When we had about 15 minutes until race time, I got out and made my way to the Port-a-Potties for what I hoped was one last time. All those drinks were going through me!
I thought I might see Kristen or Meg before the race, but I didn't and honestly I think that was good. I was so nervous but was in a really good headspace - this race was for me. I didn't have B come with me or drag my friends out to cheer me on. I think I wanted this first (and possible only) half marathon to be about me running just for me - just to prove to myself that I could. It wasn't about finishing because people were waiting for me or any other factors.
The race itself was tough but not as tough as I
The course was really hilly which I haven't trained for. Houston is pretty flat so I just accepted it. There was about a 3 mile stretch (post potty break) that was straight into a headwind, up and down hills, and in the rain. Those miles were pretty miserable but I just keep trucking along. It was before the halfway mark but after the restroom stop, so I was pretty good about passing up people, and I think that mentally made up for the rough conditions. We hit 6.5 miles (halfway) right at the bottom of a hill so it was quite literally uphill from there. Then we encountered "Manure Mile" which wasn't really manure but was a mile or so of dirt road with lots of big rocks to avoid. Then it evened out for a bit while we ran between two graveyards (a little creepy with the weather) before entering what I call "the park from hell". We ran through a park, which meant back and forth on these little winding footpaths. I should have taken a picture. Going in, you could see all these runners just crisscrossing across an area that was maybe 100 yards across. I felt like I wasn't making any progress and would never get out of there. The worst part? You could see a pretty big hill that you had to go up once you finally finished. Without a doubt, this was the hardest (and slowest) part of the race. Once we were out of there, it was just a few miles left through neighborhoods and back to the brewery.
|Pretty legit running shot. And that's my pacer friend behind me!|
|Totally dorking out while crossing the finish line|
|This should win some kind of finish line contest.|
|Lindsey, me, Kristen and Meg enjoying the best beers of our lives!|
|Attempting to not freeze to death while enjoying the libations|
|Look who found me after the race! I wish I could remember her name but I will never forget her!|
|Bloggers do breweries... think I've stumbled upon a great idea! Who's in??|
Thanks for all your love and support during my training and on race day! From my bloggy friends, to my IRL friends, my family and B - I never would have attepted this, stuck with it, or completed it without you. I can't wait til the next one!
Cait, the half-marathoner :)
PS - I almost forgot all the stats! I stopped my watch during the bathroom break so my time was 2:45:49 and my average pace was 12:49/mile. I think chip time put me somewhere near 2:53:30 or something. My fastest mile was mile 2 at 10:34 and my slowest mile was mile 1 at 14:38 aka "the park from hell".