Well crap you guys. I did it. I ran the Half Marathon. It took me not one, not two, but three tries to train and run it. Instead of simply posting a photo collage as I'm wont to do, I figured I'll actually share some words about the race. Once upon a time, that was the rule; not the exception.
Our Half was in New Hampshire, so not only did we have to get up early for an 8AM race time, but we had to get up at the crack of dawn (seriously, 4:40AM what?!) and drive two hours to run 13 miles. And then drive 2 hours home. If you looked up "Dedication to proving a point" in the dictionary, you'd see my photo. Sweaty and ugly, but my photo nonetheless.
So Brenda and I ran the race together. Slow and steady, but I have no regrets in hindsight. We made a goal around mile 2 to run at least to mile 4 without taking a break. Just one more crest of the hill we'd say. Again. And then again. We were in mile 8 before we took a quick walk break, and then they were sporadic and short through the rest of the race. In 13 miles of the race, we probably walked less than 1 of the miles combined. We both felt mighty good about that, I'll tell you what. My favorite part of the race were the 13 high-fives we shared at every mile marker.
B and I decided during mile 1 that we'd conserve energy 1) for race photographers and 2) to make sure we were running in front of people we knew. Check and check. Every photographer we saw got a jumping photo. New hardest jumping photo scenario now discovered.
Due to a majorly long line at the port-o-potties, we missed the actual race start. Again, in hindsight--it was a major advantage to us. We picked our pace and didn't have to bob and weave around people we passed or who passed us. We ran a really steady pace on a terribly hilly course. Here's the elevation of one of the hillier Half courses (that felt perpetually on an incline):
So there it was. I trained, I ran, I conquered. Check out my bloody reward to the right there. That bleeding started about mile 6 (or at least is when I first noticed it). It definitely looks worse than it felt, but if you feel the need to send me some "get well" Skittles or cookies, I wouldn't turn them away.
In conclusion, for having run a total of 5 outdoor miles this year pre-race, I feel really solid about my time and the sense of accomplishment I feel. Minimal pain when the race was over, and now I can either quit running all together or just take a few weeks off. Decisions decisions....