I ran my 7th half marathon this past Saturday! I spent the last 10 weeks training, so I felt good about the race! It is hard to explain the excitement and adrenalin of a race unless you have experienced it yourself. I love the feeling so much, and look forward to it every time! Nothing quite like getting up at 3:30 in the morning to get going for a run.
Once we got up to the race start line we had just enough time to get stretched, taped, and use the restroom before we had to get lined up! My knee, hip, and IT band were sore all through training, so I used KT tape for this race for the first time. It seriously made all the difference! I don't really get how it works... but it WORKS!
The race started at 6:30. We started off at a really good 9 minute mile pace. We trained at a 10 minute mile pace, so this was pushing! At about mile 2 we had fallen into our own personal paces and separated. It is hard to run a race alone! I have experienced both running with someone by my side the whole race, and running alone the whole race, and running alone takes a lot more mental strength for me. My goal was to keep the 9 minute mile 2 hour finish pacer in sight. If you have never run a race with pacers you are missing out. They are amazing! They give runners signs that have the pace you want to keep throughout the race so you can just run with them and not worry about how your time is doing. This race ended up having a lot more rolling hills and steep inclines that I had anticipated, so my energy was expended a little quicker than I planned.
By the time I reached mile 9 I was so tired! The thoughts that were going through my mind were not positive, and I was talking myself into every step. I pulled out my phone and took a picture of this mile marker so I wouldn't forget what I felt when seeing MILE 9. 4.1 more to go!!
Another struggle I had with this race was the crowd support. In past races there were a lot more people lining the streets cheering us on, and that made such a big difference! There was seriously no one on this course. My husband and my mom were waiting for me around mile 7 to take pictures and cheer me on. This picture expression explains perfectly how I was feeling at this moment. (kill me now).
The other day my dad asked me why I enjoy this kind of sport. I found some quotes that explain perfectly. Running is 100% mental, and there is nothing like silencing that voice telling you to quit. Pushing through to a finish line that feels like it will never come.
I found this quote on www.neverseriousblog.com. Love it!
This is me rounding the corner to the finish line. It was about the only place in the race with a crowd cheering us on. I had to push myself harder to keep running towards this finish than I ever have! I was literally talking out loud and telling myself I could do it over and over.
In the distance crossing the finish line. My time is up on the screen! 2 hours, 1 minute, and 21 seconds. I wanted to get just under 2 hours for this race, but I was good with this time because as I mentioned before, this race had a lot more hills than I had anticipated.
Getting my stretch on after the race. For some reason this is always hard for me to do. I get so distracted by all of the finish line excitement that I forget to put the time in to stretching and then I regret it (right now), because I can't walk normal. Stairs are not my friend today. But I did get a foam roller, and that has made a huge difference! I totally recommend using one of these for tight legs and hips. It does not feel pleasant but is so worth it.
Group shot of us after the race. Kate (in the middle) who did the half with me, and Krystal (in black) who did the 5k. We were hoping to finish with her, but they changed the course last minute so the 5k didn't join in with the half marathoners.
Here is a close up of the medal we got after finishing!
Note: I love the sports bra I was wearing! Its from Victoria's Secret. Their athletic line is awesome, especially the sports bras. For girls with a chest, they are so supportive!
I hope you guys have a wonderful Monday! Thanks for reading!