Today, I ran the All Women & One Lucky Guy Half Marathon. This was my first half marathon, so my goal was to run the whole thing and (hopefully) finish in under 2:15. Also, yesterday during a short 2 mile run in the dark, I tripped over an uneven sidewalk and was all out of whack. My neck & back hurt, as did my legs. My neck is hurt bad enough that I can't turn my head. So my goal was to finish, not kill myself, learn about racing, and have fun :)
Stretching, because that's what people say you should do before you race.
Now I'm ready to run!
The course for the All Women & One Lucky Guy Half is really beautiful. It takes you around the towns of Newburyport and West Newbury, MA. At around mile 3.5, I ran by these:
Llamas or alpacas? You decide.
I was not running particularly fast. At the end of mile 2, I was running a 9:50 pace. I was happy with that and hoped to maintain it. Then at mile 3.5, I stopped to take pictures of the llama/alpacas. At mile 4, my toes started hurting. At mile 5, I realized I should have had some water in the past 2 hours (and past 2 water stations!). Mile 6 came, and my stomach was cramping. Around mile 8, I thought maybe I should have trained in the direct sunlight. 53 degrees is much warmer at 11:15 AM with the sun high in the sky than it is at 8:15 AM (the latest I usually run). I moved my number off my jacket and on to my tank top around mile 10. That involved walking as well. I took my jacket off at mile 12, and picked up my pace for the last mile. I passed a bunch of people and was quite proud of myself for that :) I would have been a couple seconds faster but I practically tripped over a little girl who came onto the course to "finish" with her mom. Good thing she was cute :)
Me with my medal:
Sorry, ladies! Didn't mean to include you in my moment :) OK, less random people in this one.
My official time was 2:12:33.50. Here are the results. Honestly, I was hoping I could do 10 minute miles, but a 10:08 pace is pretty good. I learned a lot.
Things I need to work on/think about/learn from:
1. Food. I have no idea what to eat before a race/long run. Generally, I do not eat at all prior to my long runs because I wake up and go. On my last long run (17.3 miles 2 weeks ago), I had 2 bites of banana beforehand because I woke up hungry. Then I had 1 bite of a Larabar halfway through. For my pre-race meal, I had a small egg and egg white omelette with spinach and non-dairy cheese, along with celery and almond butter at 6:45 (race was at 10). I had a rice cake at 7:30. My stomach was OK for the race, but not great.
2. Water. I generally don't drink much on my long runs because I drink a large cup of water before I leave. I also run in the dark for at least an hour. I only take water on runs over 100 minutes long, and I have to force myself to drink 16 ounces. At mile 5, I started getting the weird feeling that I get in my head when I'm dehydrated. I do not have a fuel belt, so I had to wait until mile 6.8 to get a drink. I had 2 cups. Then I had a cup at the last 2 stations, along with some of the free gel they were handing out. Post-race today, I am very dehydrated.
3. Clothing. I wore too much of it :) I wore the same tank top I always run in, with running tights and shorts, and a windbreaker. The first issue is my tights are too big, so I have to hike them up. The high waist of the tights contributed to my stomach pain. Then the direct sunlight made me very warm. So I'll have to research better clothing solutions.
But I finished!
And one of my favorite part of races?