I did it! The first race of the season is done, and I made it back to my house just before the clouds rolled in and the thunder began to rumble.
Luckily, this morning’s weather was much more runner friendly!
With my family out of town and the BOY holed up in the library, I was on my own this morning. I ate my breakfast in the car as I whizzed over to the high school, where I hopped on the bus to head over to the race.
The parking lot was full of runners waiting in line for the bus and the potty. We really are a unique bunch of people!
I rode over to the park, chatting with some friendly runners on the way. This small community race (only 1200 runners) was an out and back 13.1 mile race along a beautiful forest preserve path. I was able to snap one photo of this adorable authentic barn before stashing my coat and cell phone, making a potty stop, and heading to the start line.
I knew one person running the race, and we got off to a nice strong start, chatting through the first few miles. Around mile 4, I was feeling really strong, and pulled ahead a little bit. I felt great all the way up until the half way point (which was around 55 minutes). After turning around and passing the bright yellow sign that read Mile 8, I hit the wall and crashed into it HARD! Although I knew that this would be a challenging run, I was surprised to BONK so early at friendly and usually fun Mile 8. I was hoping that the last 5 miles would feel better than Thursday’s 5 mile run. Mile 8 was tough, and mile 9 was slow, by mile 10, I was exhausted and day dreaming about a nap. I slowed my pace and concentrated on putting one foot in front of the other. My running form changed to my fatigued posture which usually happens closer to mile 11. With about 2 miles to go, my caffeinated Picky Bar kicked in giving me a little boost. That lasted about a mile before I started to get tired again. Finally, I saw the mile 12 marker, and there were a few of us trudging up the last hill encouraging each other on. I found what I could in terms of a ‘kick’ and finished with whatever energy I had left. I crossed the finish line panting, feeling exhausted all over with an unofficial time of 1:51:20.
Considering how tired I felt, I was impressed and proud of my time. I worked real hard for the entire race and although it wasn’t the PR that I was hoping for, it was a huge mental victory. I pushed myself through fatigue, but didn’t push so hard that I wasn’t able to stand tall to receive my metal.
The Great Western Half Marathon was a fun, well organized, small community race. Everyone was so friendly and I loved how relaxed the starting line was (a complete opposite of the busy downtown races). With sponsors like Great Harvest, the post race food was good. I would highly recommend this race for a new runner or for your first half marathon.
Now that I am back home on my couch with the rain pouring and lightning flashing outside, it is a good day to lay low. I plan on spending some time with my foam roller and catching up on Grey’s Anatomy on DVR.
Up next on my race agenda…The Soldier Field 10 Miler this Memorial Day weekend. I’m looking forward to this lake front run and hoping that my training is a little more consistent over these next few weeks. As for my PR goal of a <1:50:24 half marathon, there are plenty more races this year to get there!
Thanks again for all of your emails, texts, and words of encouragement!