This morning I did something I’ve always wanted to do, but often doubted my own ability to do. I (very slowly) ran a half marathon!! I’m no expert at race recaps, and frankly my mind was so frazzled I don’t remember much before the race. Brent, loving, supportive husband that he is, got up at 5:30am and drove with me to downtown Fort Wayne. We checked out where the finish would be (in the middle of Fort Wayne’s professional baseball stadium) before heading down to the starting line.
It was so early, and so dark, and I was so incredibly nervous. I knew my training was lacking, and I actually doubted whether I would be able to finish the entire distance.
Sporting my bib number and my timing chip. Still super super nervous.
Once I got into my corral at the starting line, my nerves kicked into overdrive and I got the same feeling in the pit of my stomach that I get while climbing up to the top of a steep drop on a rollercoaster.
One the race started, I moved with the masses, very slowly, toward the actual starting line. Away we go!
This recap has a positive ending, but it was a rough road to get there. I was feeling rough kind of from the get go and it definitely got worse as I went on.
I will say the first five miles were easiest. I knew I would be slow, but I was pretty happy with my time of under an hour at the 5 mile mark. I was still feeling sluggish and miserable, but I began to think I’d be able to finish. I was walking through all the water stations, on advice from Hal Higdon and because my legs were thanking me for it.
Miles 6-8 sucked. Hard. No other way to say it. My knees hurt; my hips hurt; and my attitude was pretty poor. My thought process went something like this:
God Vic, this sucks. What made you think you could do this? Shit I think there’s still another mile and half until the next water station. At least I’m not one of those poor people in line for the porta-potty. Man this sucks. Oh geez, look at this old guy power walking past me. How embarrassing. Why are these course marshalls telling me I’m almost done?! I’m nowhere near done!
After mile 8 I was just surprised to still be moving. Seriously I did not even run more than 8 miles in my training for this race. I wasn’t lying when I said my training fell apart.
Once I hit mile 10, my attitude improved slightly. My legs hated me by that point, but walking through those stations was nearly as hard as jogging, so I figured I may as well keep jogging. The last 5K my new thought process was:
Why are these people stopping to walk? Don’t they know we have less than 3 miles left? Oh thank god now we only have 2 miles left. No point in stopping now. I can do this. I am totally doing this!!
The mile between 12 and 13 was pretty brutal. It felt like the single longest mile of my life. I was convinced they had misplaced a mile marker or something. I was so desperate to be done, I started tearing up. The way the race was set up, you run into the stadium and around the warning track and finish on the middle of the field. Once I got into the stadium I was smiling and holding back tears. I finally saw Brent cheering for me!
I gave it everything I had the last 0.1 mile. I even passed a few people the last minute or two.
I felt so hot and a bit dizzy and faint when I finished. I walked around in a daze while someone put a medal around my neck and cut off the timing chip. I was definitely shedding tears at this point, especially once I realized my dead legs had to carry me up stairs to get out of the stadium.
I got to Brent and the first words out of my mouth were, “Did you see me pass that guy at the end?” followed by “I just want to sit down and cry a little.”
I finished with a little over a 12 minute mile pace, and I was so happy about it. I run slow to begin, always have, always will, but that combined with my lack of running the past few weeks made me worry I wouldn’t even be able to finish under 3 hours. I kept telling Brent how proud of myself I was. I also called my mom and dad. I figured after watching me struggle with cross country and track all through junior high and high school they’d be proud I finished, and of course they were. 🙂
I wish I could have relaxed the rest of the day, but I have two huge exams hanging over my head one Monday and Tuesday so I had to get to work. I’m so glad I got the chance to run this race though, and I’m really looking forward to running the 10K with Brent in October!
Congrats to everyone who ran races today, and good luck to those with races tomorrow!!