I still can't believe that I was able to run a half marathon. It's unbelievable and I feel the same way Lynn does. I'm so proud of myself and I can't believe I went from barely being a runner at all to running a whole 13.1 miles! Secondly, I still can't get over what an intense feeling it was to have endured the pain to get to the finish AND reach a life goal.
When I first took off, I wasn't really sure what I was doing. I felt like I was going pretty steady and was too scared to go too slow. I then realized that I was passing quite a few people from my corral and heading up to the 4th corral and thought to myself, "I hope I don't burn out." I had never really paced myself since this was my first long race. I was afraid if I started off to fast, I'd be hating myself later. I didn't burn out however, I kept my pace pretty steady the whole race. I think the competition was in my heart. There were a few people in the half that I had my eyes on, two girls who had run this half before (they were decked out in shamrock half marathon gear from a previous year), one older lady who kept flying by me, another girl in a yellow tank, and a girl with a "best in the world" shirt
with a Duke Blue Devils logo. I made sure anytime I grabbed water or slowed in the least, that I caught back up to them or passed them. Luckily they kept the same pace throughout the race, and I kept up with them!
VA beach was a beautiful run. The woods were great, the beach, the lighthouses, everything. And the best part was of course the FLATNESS! I love running on flat roads and trails so this was perfect for me. I'd been training on flat trails, but at a slower pace. I had probably never run more than a mile at even a 9:30 pace. Usually while training I would stop several times to walk or drink water. This was SO different. The adrenaline and the temperature just made me want to keep moving. It was definitely a mental game, but I don't remember thinking how hard it would be or how much distance I had left (which is what I usually do during long runs). Even when it was over I was shocked how fast it went by! Near the end was the part where I pushed myself the most. The girl in the Duke shirt had pushed past me just a little bit, and I took off. I was not going
to let a Dukie beat me!
In the end, I finished in 2 hour
s and 2 minutes and a 9:19 pace. I also finished top 25% in my category which I think is an accomplishment in itself considering this is supposed
to be when you're in your prime! The speedy lady at the end said she was pacing with me too and what an inspiration I was, which was so flattering since this was my first Half and I was pacing with her! I look forward to another half very soon - hopefully in May before foot surgery. I figure it won't be as flat as this, and am prepping myself for a much longer time due to hills. Then it will be rehabilitation which will be another awesome milestone for me (or so I am trying to see it that way).
Until then, I'm looking forward to completing the 10 miler! Yes, completing.... months ago I didn't think this would be possible either! The hills are really going to be a physical and mental challenge but I am looking forward to it!
And last but not least, a very special thanks to Lynn. I love her to death and so happy we could go on this journey together. I will always remember this! If it weren't for her making the commitment to this race together, and pushing each other to complete our training, I would have never accomplished this goal!