Wow, 2 days later and I'm still trying to put it all together in my mind. So I figure I'll just dive in...
The race was held Saturday morning in Newberry, SC. The pre-race was typical of just about any other race...there were a few options for packet pick-up, so I picked mine up Friday evening in Newberry. It was a nice drive out and I saw a good chunk of the course, so all was good. After we got home and ate dinner, I laid out all of my race stuff per my usual routine:
and tried to get some sleep. I was up around 5:15 the next morning and ate, drank some more water and got ready to go. Once we got to the actual starting location, I started to feel a bit nervous. Thankfully I ran into a friend of mine who was running her first half, so I had someone to chat with before the race started:
Right at 8:00 we were off! There were just over 300 people registered, and it was a good turn out. I started out really really slow...it's been taking me a while to get good and warmed up the past few long runs, so I wanted to make sure my legs were feeling good early on. Unfortunately by going out slow, I made myself a bit nervous and overanxious because I was at the tale end of the runners. I had to really take a few minutes to remind myself that I was in it for the long haul, and that it was too early in to be worried about time and where I would finish. Once I got over that and got warmed up, I was doing pretty good. I passed a few people, played leap frog with some others, and pretty much stayed with the same couple of runners for the duration of the race. The course was really pretty, lots of good scenery, the race organizers did a good job setting up aid stations, marking the course, and in the general set up. I will say, I thought the course was going to be a bit flatter, it felt like all I was doing was running up and then down hills. Of course, the true hill was saved until the very end...around mile 12...a nice, long hill, massive climb...I walked it. There was zero chance I was going to run it that late into the race. Thankfully once you got to the top, there was a pretty continuous down slope to the finish. I was really glad to see my family and friends at the finish line, made the whole thing worth it!
Now...I finished faster than my first half marathon, so I set a new PR for it (and bonus...a new PR for the 10K distance as well!), but I finished at least 10 minutes slower than I thought I would. I was a bit disappointed in that. Actually...I was a lot disappointed. I know I shouldn't be, and I am incredibly proud of myself for going out and running it as well as I did...but in the end...I just wish I had finished a little better. I would 100% run this race again, and I hope they do it again next year. It was a really good experience!
Future plans...I have already signed up for a fall half marathon (Rock n'Roll Savannah), so I have a few months before I even need to really think too hard about that one. There are a few shorter races I'm thinking about signing up for in between. But I have a few issues to work out first...the top one being I need to heal up some! My lovely toe problem (now referring to it as my zombie toe) hasn't really gone away, so need to get that taken care of. In addition to that, I think I'm suffering from some tendinitis in my other foot, and it is incredibly painful...so I'm actually going to bite the bullet and visit the doc. We'll see how that goes. And last...the training plan/program that I've used for both my half marathons is missing something. I have improved, my pace is getting better, and I recover faster from long runs...but something just feels like it is missing. Now...this could be because I haven't been the greatest on keeping up with my cross training and diet. So that's something I will be working to improve. I'm going to peek around a bit and see if I can't find either a different program, or some additional cross training options. And I really really really need to reverse some of my negative food trends! Lots of stuff to think about!