Tuesday, November 17, 2015

2015 Sweet Tea Half Marathon Recap

Well, I did it!! This past Saturday, I finished my first Half Marathon. I added a half marathon to my bucket list a while ago. I'm so excited that I can finally cross it off!!

Honestly, I don't know what finally made me decide to start training and go through with it. But on a hot, sunny day in August, I started increasing my run distance thinking that maybe I would try to train for a half marathon. I talked to my cousin about whether it was possible to train for a half marathon by running just on the weekends. Once he assured me I could, I went for it. I was very lucky that there was oy one weekend where the rainy weather kept me from getting my long run completed. I really enjoyed those long runs. I had so much time to think and plan, which I love to do!

I wasn't even sure which race I was going to do until a few weeks beforehand. I had three I was trying to choose between...the Thinder Road half in Charlotte, the Savannah half and the Sweet Tea half.  When we ended up constantly on the go for weeks on end, I decided it would be best to do the Sweet Tea half. 

I waited until the next to the last day to register. I was so scared that once I finally took the plunge and signed up, that I would blow out my knee or sprain and ankle. I'm so thankful that neither of those things (or anything similar) happened!

We packed up the kids and headed to the  hotel to spend the night before the race. We had dinner with family and did a little shopping the night before as well. I had been keeping an eye on the forecast for the day and was not looking forward to the chilly temperatures they were calling for at the start of the race. I bought some long running pants and made sure to pack my jacket. Thankfully, the race t-shirts were long-sleeved as well.

The race started on time at 7:00. I was feeling pretty good. I was running around a 9:00/mile pace for most of the beginning. It wasn't until mile 6 that my foot started to hurt. (I'd been dealing with some foot pain during my training, but nothing that severe.) I pushed through and was still able to stay at the same pace. Between mile 9 and 10, I started having some pretty severe knee pain. It didn't feel like a pain in my muscles. It honestly felt like my bones were hurting. I had no choice but to back off. So, the women that I had been pushing myself to keep up with kept getting further and further ahead of me, until I could no longer see them. I was averaging around a 10:00/mile pace at this point. I was disappointed, but started taking pictures of the mile markers and texting them to people.
I pushed myself right to the end and even sprinted across the finish line. I never had to walk, which I was relieved about. 

My official time was 2 hours, 4 minutes and 41 seconds, which I was VERY happy about!! My GPS app said my distance was 13.33 miles and after talking to others that ran the race, I'm pretty sure it was definitely longer than 13.1 miles. My final average pace ended up at 9:21/mile, which this first time was ecstatic about!! I was so emotional crossing the finish line. I guess it was just the fact that something that I had been working so hard and so long for, was finally over. 

Seeing my family at the finish line was one of the best sights I have ever seen!!

So now, the race is over and I'm faced with the decisions about whether to stop with this one, or continue on and try to beat my time next year. We'll have to see about that one. What  looking forward to the most at this point, is the massage that I have scheduled on Friday!! I can't wait!!

So long for today...

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