So...the half-marathon. I was SO nervous beforehand, especially with the extremely humid weather, which I don't breathe well in regardless of temperature. Kudos to Dr. Z, who dealt with my pre-race snippishness and moodiness.
I saw several people I knew who were also running, including IronDad, TriBob, and BookstoreTri. (Okay people, I can only come up with so many nicknames in a town full of triathletes. So sue me.)
JewishMom showed up on her bike to wish me well and take pictures, which was awesome of her. I wasn't sure if she was going to show up or not.
We actually started on time. I lined myself up in the back, knowing I wouldn't be able to keep up with most of the crazy long-distance runners in L.P. I did start my stopwatch when I crossed the start line, which will become important later.
Right off the bat, we did a lap around the horse show parking lot. JewishMom snapped a picture and we were off. We crossed the street to head up John Brown's Farm - the nastiest hill on the course. Right at the bottom, the IronFamily was on the corner and they cheered when they saw me, which lifted my spirits.
I fell in with some guys for a while and we were doing a nice 8:40 pace. Dr. Z was on his bike and met me every mile telling me I was "on pace." (At this point I thought he meant under 9:00.) I used the downhill to River RD to gain some time and catch my breath, still feeling good.
I kept mile five at a good pace because it's a long, flat stretch of road that I tend to slow down on for some reason. Having a group to stay with definitely helped. I was happy to see that I wasn't getting passed because it meant I wasn't slowing down. Dr. Z showed up at every mile and finally told me that I was on an 8:40 pace but if I felt good stay with it.
I FINALLY got close to the turnaround and saw that IronDad was ahead of me. It surprised me because of his talk of how slow he is. It made me wonder what he must consider me then.
Around mile ten I really started flagging. It didn't surprise me - I knew the last 5K would be run on guts alone. I found out later that I lost a minute off my pace during miles eleven and twelve, most likely because not only was I tired but there was no one around to pull me along.
At the end of mile twelve, my stomach started seriously cramping. I ended up walking from the end of River Road to past the bridge. Dr. Z encouraged me to "make the hill your bitch," which I did. Unfortunately at the top I had to stop and dry-heave, getting passed by someone in my age group. I continued and made it back to the Horse Show Grounds. 100 freaking meters from the finish line I had to stop and retch again. I was SO annoyed. I ran through the finish with my arms up in victory, finishing in 1:55:59.
I was so, SO happy, especially since the IronFamily, JewishMom, Dr. Z, and BabySis were all there to greet me at the finish. It rocked, and the resulting endorphin crash later that evening was well worth the accomplishment. I could definitely see myself doing it again.
Time: 1:55:59. And this is where the stopwatch comes in. I foolishly did NOT stop it as I crossed, which sucks because for some reason the chip did NOT record the time I crossed the start, which took at LEAST 15 seconds. I know because the picture of me crossing the finish says 1:55:59. I thought the point of chips was to prevent mistakes like this? I'm assuming a true time of 1:55:44.
112 out of 249 total(Top 45%)
7 out of 21 in age group (Top 33.3%)
28 out of 106 women (Top 26.4%)
So not only did I beat my goal time by over four minutes, I placed VERY respectively in this town of hardcores for my first half ever.
To see the photos, check out http://www2.snapfish.com/thumbnailshare/AlbumID=246900066/a=40039603_40039603/t_=40039603