This was my first out -and -back race and it was also the smallest half marathon I have ever run in. There were 771 running finishers (there was also a walk division). And only 53 women in my age group. Compared to the 10’s of thousand I have run with in my previous 3 halves.
Before I get into the race I want to send a shout out to a great woman, runner and fellow sister in Christ Amanda. She blogs at www.runningforhim.com and Running for Him on facebook.
I was honored to wear her great shirt and got many compliments from fellow runners before, during and after the race.
The morning started off chilly…..ok it was downright cold for those of us in VA. A whopping 37 degrees at the start, um brrrr. But the sun came out and broke of the chill quickly. At the finish it was a beautiful 71 degrees. But back to my race..I had no predetermined plan for this race. I was going to just run it as a “see how I feel” race. After a week of vacation and indulging 🙂 I was also off my racing weight and usual pre-race diet. (Man I really missed my night before meal of chicken fajita!) I also had to watch my hydration as we were driving from NJ and I didn’t think the hubby would appreciate any additional bathroom stops on the 6+ hour drive.
Soon after the start I found the pacer I was looking for and wanted to keep in sight. I ran with her for about 4 miles. After that I decided to go at it alone, she was running faster and building in time for walking. I prefer slow and steady, walking the water stops. It was also at mile 4 that I felt some knee discomfort. At mile 6 I was still on PR pace. By mile 7 the knee pain had increased and I walked some. At mile 10 I was very surprised to find I was still on target for a PR. But that’s kinda were it really fell apart. I tried watching and adjusting my form to help with the knee to no avail. I finished miles 10 – 11 mostly walking. Just before mile 12 I found myself amongst other injury laden runners. As I was passing a man, clearly in knee pain, we shared a few words of kinship and he threw me these words of encouragement “We have to work with the wheels God gave us” and so I did. I picked the pace up for the last mile and had a strong finish alongside another female walk/runner. (we had been passing each other on and off for the past few miles) We high-fived each other after the finish.
Although I didn’t PR, surprisingly I was only 2 minutes slower than my best time. And I still beat my first half time by 8 minutes!! Not too shabby considering that was only 7 months ago!
Plus I think the shirt didn’t hurt 😉 Thanks Amanda for helping me find my happy pace.