Sunday morning I woke up a good 10 minutes before my 6:58 AM alarm went off. As a non-morning person this would normally annoy me. Not on race day, though! I was anxious and ready to get all geared up for my race! My hubby on the other hand was not so anxious ;)
An hour later we walked/biked down the street to the race start. There was not much happening, though. The full marathoners had just taken off at 8:00 AM and the half marathoners were just showing up. There was no big hoopla going on, so the hubby took a picture of me by the pond pre-race.
The time finally came for us to get lined up at the start line. There were no seperate waves or anything. We all just lined up together. So I made my way to what I thought was about the middle. I didn't want to slow down or be in the way of the really fast runners, but I also didn't want to get slowed down by the people slower than me. I was really hoping that I wasn't the slowest!
9:00 AM rolled around and the people ahead of me started moving! The race had begun!! It took a few minutes to file through the herd and get into a pace. I wanted to go faster, but kept myself at about an 11 minute mile. The first mile was all about holding myself back from going faster and finding a rhythm. Then at mile 1.5, I saw my hubby and handed off my jacket (which I had taken off just before I saw him).
At about mile 4, the song "Applause" by Lady Gaga (which I had just added to my playlist the day before) started playing and there were a few spectators cheering us on. It was perfect timing! I started feeling more and more pumped up! I needed to hold back my pace again at that point. Still holding steady at just over an 11 minute mile. I ate my first packet of gu to keep my energy up.
Everything was going great until about 5.5 miles in when the big hill up Amity to Federal Way came into sight. (Up about 45 feet in about 0.43 miles according to my Garmin!) I slowed my pace down to prepare for it. I kept my head down and looked at the ground to help my mind believe it was flat ground. (Thank you Christina for the advice!) I dug in and made my way up that hill without walking and barely slowing my pace!
Up that hill and just around the corner a ways at mile 6.25 was my hubby waiting for me cheering me on again! After that tough climb, it was really great to see him! I got re-energized by his cheering me on!
At mile 7, I ate my second packet of gu to keep my energy up. I didn't feel like I needed it yet, though. I felt I was keeping a nice steady pace and was loving the scenery. I just felt like this was turning out to be a really nice run!
Between miles 8 and 9, though, my right shoulder started to hurt a bit. I put my arms down and shook them out a little. This helped a bunch. Then my left thigh felt a bit sore. I just pushed through that soreness and it went away pretty quickly.
After mile 9 was the turn onto Protest and a nice downhill part! I knew that my hubby was waiting for me at the bottom of the hill with fresh water and another gu packet (which I ate right at mile 10).
As I came off of the green belt to cross the street near the finish line, I noticed the crowds of spectators. My adrenaline pumped in! I had just skipped songs to get to a high energy song (Overcomer) and was ready to finish this race strong! I picked up my pace and rounded the corner to the finish trying to spot my hubby in the crowd. As I hit the finish line, I threw my hands up into the air! I had just accomplished what I had been working so hard for...I ran a half marathon!
"No half times, no time outs, no substitutions. It must be the only true sport"