As I may or may not have done a good job reminding you over the past several weeks, I’d been training for a half marathon this weekend. That’s running 13.1 miles, straight.
I started this plan on New Years Day when I ran ~8 miles with Felicity. It proved to myself that I was ready to train to run distances again, and that I could take the baby with me when I did it.
But my training went way downhill after that. We all caught a cold later that month. Felicity was waking up more during the night. And the weather was, shall we say, not mild. There were a lot of weeks where I only ran once. There were not many weeks where I ran more than 3 miles at a time.
But HUZZAH I ran a half-marathon yesterday anyway!
And you know what? It was so liberating to just run it for the sake of it. My first half-marathon was this same race four years ago. Here’s all the things that a “seasoned” serious racer would never do but I did anyway:
Carb load with McDonalds.
We had to drive down to Auburn at 6 p.m. the night before with an infant who needed to get to bed. So, I’m sorry, it was dinner on the road.
Get a less-than-perfect night’s sleep.
Hah! Like anything less than that was an option. After the baby refused to sleep in her pack-n-play at memere’s house, I asked her father to take her for the 1-2 a.m. hour so I could get some? sleep.
Run without a watch.
Derp. I’m going to blame mom-brain for leaving that at the house.
Then run without a fully charged phone …
… so I have no data from my splits after mile 9. Also, I didn’t have a charger. #mombrain
I brought no fuel for the race.
This was a mistake on my last half-marathon, which feels like a million years ago, though it was only the summer before last. Ideally for a half-marathon I’d have 3 gels to down on the course, and for this one it didn’t even occur to me until I was driving there.
But enough with the negativity!
Because I had a great time. Like, in the sense of the race and in the sense of the time I ran it.
You know what’s nice about being at the bottom? Like, totally unprepared? That it only goes up from there. And so I started the race really slow, like marathon pace slow.
I hadn’t run long in like, years, so I had no idea how I would feel at mile 10. I figured that 2:30 was an optimistic pace for this race, so I put myself with the 3:00 pacer. Isn’t that walking? Whatever.
My awesome co-worker and friend Pat trained with me all this season and we ran together for the first 7 miles. At that time he felt good, and he took off. And a little while later (mile 9ish) I felt good, so I took off.
My slowest half-marathon before this was a bad case of cramps at the Old Port Half Marathon in 2011, which was my second half. I think I ran 2:17, and I was 15 pounds lighter and training for a marathon. This race was 2:20, and I’m sure I did that well because I paced myself so slow in the beginning, and I have 1000s of miles of running experience, even if I not many of those miles have happened recently.
After the race, I went back to my mother-in-laws and kissed the baby and took a nap. Because grandmothers are wonderful, right?
Can’t wait to do this all again in a few months at the Black Bear Half Marathon.