Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon Race Recap

This is long overdue!! As I always say better late than never, right? I keep telling myself that I'm going to be better at posting and I want to post on a weekly basis. I really want to develop this blog into something more than just a training log. Until I can figure out how to add hours into the day, you'll have to take what you can. :)

Now let's get on to the important stuff. In case some of you don't make it all the way to the end of this blog, I'm going to get it out now. I got a new PR!! I beat my previous half time by 5 minutes! I finished in 2:37:31 with an average pace of 12:01. That is so great!

Now for the nitty gritty. I was up about 10 minutes before my alarm was scheduled to go off (before 5am!) and I tried to just relax a bit and not let the nerves take over.  I had to wake up my 3 year old, which was actually the worst part of it! He did really well though and we made it to the metro by 6, which was my goal.

On the metro. I think they'd both rather be in bed! Haha!

  We got to the start of the race with time to spare and I left Sidney and Jack to search for my corral. I was supposed to be in corral 31! I got down there and waited in line for the port-a-potty. The start of the race began but they were letting the corrals go every minute or two, so I knew I'd be fine. I actually thought they'd be more strict with the corrals but after going to the bathroom, I moved closer to the start line and I ended up going out with corral 20-something. There were huge masses of people and it was crazy!

Starting line- this is the only race picture I got! Sadly, no picture of me at the finish with my medal. Next time!

The first 3 miles were a bit slow and I figured it would take about that long for the crowd to thin out. Well it never really did. I was weaving around people even in mile 8! It was a bit annoying but I was focused on enjoying the race. I purposefully left my headphones at home because I wanted to hear the bands along the course. I wanted to have as much fun as possible!

I cheered, did some fist pumps, and hi-fived anyone with their hand out. I saw a group of people on the left all cheering and giving out hi-fives during the second half. I was on the right hand side of the road but I sped up and maneuvered my way over to them and gave them all hi-fives. I even hi-fived a DC cop! When you're running alone you've got to do whatever you can to keep your mind off the miles and the time, especially when you don't have headphones.

Some of the women I run with on Tuesdays ran the course 2 weeks prior to the race. I ran with 1 woman the week before the race and she told me to watch out for a steady incline between miles 5 and 7. Make it past that and the rest is good. For the first 5 miles I told myself to conserve energy and wait until I made it through the hills. My plan was to wait until I hit mile 8 before kicking it up a bit more. I'm so glad she made it seem like the hill would go on for 2 miles! There were 2 very big hills with long, steady inclines, but it wasn't as bad as I had expected and I got through them without too much of a problem. Must be all those squats I've been doing. ;)

The first 10 miles were actually a breeze. Did I really just say that? Between mile markers 10 and 11 I started to get a mental block and feel a bit sluggish. The hardest mile is the second to last as it seems to go on forever. That's how I felt in my other halfs and I was starting to feel the same way at this one. I knew once I hit mile 12 I would be fine, because I would just concentrate on finishing strong. But once I got to mile 11 it hit me. The feeling that this mile would never end. I dug deep and tried to push away the mental blocks. It worked and I felt such relief when I saw the number 12!

As always, I sprinted to the finish not having any clue about my time. I didn't look at my phone even once throughout the race because I didn't want to psych myself out. My goal was to just beat my previous time and I really really wanted to be in the 2:30's. I obviously did it and I couldn't be more proud of myself!

What really surprised me is that my 10-mile time was 2:02:17, which means I ran the last 5K in 35 minutes. Not bad when you've just ran 10 miles! My 10-mile PR is 1:58:30 and I was only 4 minutes off that. I'm running that same 10-mile course this Sunday and I'm ready to crush that PR!

I'm so amazed at what I can do and the changes I've made. Just from January until now I've lost 6 pounds and shaved 5 minutes off my half marathon time! I'm eating healthy, exercising regularly, and I feel incredible. I have 3 races in April and I can't wait to see what else I can do! You never know what you're capable of until you try.

I have to thank my family, especially Sidney for waking up super early and having to wait around for 3 hours with a restless 3 year old just to support me. It helps knowing my family is at the finish waiting for me. Thanks, I love you guys! :)

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