BOOM shaka laka-I am now a third time half marathoner. I have to admit I was slightly worried going into this race for multiple different reasons. One reason being that my training wasn’t quite on par and I actually ended up skipping my last long run due to the fact that I was a week off when I started…oops. Mentally this sort of tripped me up.
Secondly, and as much as I hate to admit to this, I was worried to be alone during this race. Emotionally this was a huge accomplishment for me and almost as if I was fully closing a door to my previous chapter in life (almost.) Running this race alone meant that if I hit the wall, I had to pull myself through. Thankfully my mind was right this entire run.
The course was amazing, with winding back roads and views of the foggy mountains and colorful leaved trees around every corner. Views of the water and farm land for 80% of the course. I couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful location. October is officially my favorite time of year to race. Perfect fall running month.
I prepared the day before by consuming carbs slowly throughout the entire day, and capped off my night with a giant bowl of veggies and pasta. I also made sure to guzzle water and ended off with 100oz by the end of the night. I’m OK with that!
Miles 1-8 were great. I felt strong, and I knew at this point the run was going to go well. Once I hit mile 8 I needed to stop for the bathroom..NEEDED. This added 3 minutes to my chip time, but I made sure to stop my Garmin while I…was…going to the bathroom. HA.
The hills started to get intense around mile 8. Giant hills, which would then balance out into mild, gradual hills, which would turn back into giant hills. I had to walk a few of the intense hills and I have no regrets about that. I was already sitting good for a PR.
Mile 10.5 was the game changer. I suddenly felt something sharp on both of my calves in almost the same spot on each side. I thought maybe I brushed against a thorn, but then realized that would only make sense on one side. When I looked down I got my answer. Still clinging for dear life onto my pant leg, butt inside my skin, was a hornet. Ugh. One of them fell off or escaped who knows, but I had to flick the other one off while running.
At first things felt fine, but when I got to mile 12 my calves were KILLING. All I could feel were the throbs from the stings. Of course the last 3miles were some of the hilliest and I was dyyyinnngg. Finally at mile 12.5 it was smooth sailing and the roads balanced out.
I stopped my Garmin when it reached 13.1, with a time of 2:09:28. A twelve minute PR from my last half marathon. I kept running about .1 of a mile more to cross the finish line and accept my medal. Second proudest running moment of my life. First was Disney. Along with my bee stings, I got my first subungual hematoma on my right foot. Real runner alert.
To be honest the last two weeks leading up to this race I was ready to take a break from running. I even said to myself a couple times during the race, “just finish this up and then you can take a break from running.” After getting a PR and once again experiencing that high of crossing the finish line..I already want to find another half marathon. This race empowered me in ways I thought impossible, and re-sparked my fire for running.
Thank you to all my blog friends and family for the texts, and messages wishing me luck.
Q: Do you stop your Garmin when you take a bathroom break? Maybe it’s cheating, but I always stop my watch. My time is for when I RUN, not for when I go to the bathroom!!