Making Myself Better

So, I ran a half marathon on Saturday after running only 7 times in the month before it.  I had no real goal, but I really wanted an average pace under 10:00/mi.

This was the forecast for race time as of Friday night:

I was thrilled because I knew that would definitely help me out.

We put our jackets on Saturday, walked out the door, and went right back in and took them off. It was much warmer than I expected. And super foggy (=humid). My car said 69o. Our house in only a bit over a mile from the Montgomery Biscuits (yes, that is the name of our minor league team…) baseball stadium, where the race would end and Jeremy would wait for me, but a lot of roads were blocked off, so we weren’t able to get to the parking lots that were supposed to be open. This set us back a few minutes, so I called Pam to let her know I was walking towards the start but that I was leaving my phone with Jeremy.

I dropped my phone in the diaper bag, kissed Jeremy & Ryland for luck, and took off at a speed walk to make sure I’d have time to go to the bathroom before the starting announcements at 6:45.  I got to the line just in time, took a place a ways back from the line, and started scanning the crowd for Pam. I found her!

And the race began…

Miles 0-1.5: I ran with Pam, just below a 10:00 pace. This is the section that was almost entirely uphill. Half the elevation gain of the entire race was in the first 2.5 mi.

Miles 1.5-6.5: I felt good during this time. I kept a pretty conservative pace since I didn’t know how well I’d do when the humidity got to me or how much it would warm up if the sun broke through the fog. 

Miles 6.5-10: I had to poop and had just passed a port-a-let. I frantically looked for another (I thought there would be more along the course), but to no avail. I often have to go during runs, but in my 14 years of running, I’ve never had to go during a race.

At the turnaround just after mile 7, a guy started singing “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger.” I briefly joined in, but couldn’t do the fast part. I said I had the song on my Ipod, but it died. He said he had it on his, but he lost his headphones. Then he said he had to slow down, but for me to finish it out for him. Once I pulled ahead, he noticed my socks and yelled out, “Nice socks!”  Soon after this I saw Pam heading toward the turnaround.

Mile 10-10.75: This had the hardest part of the race: running over the interstate (the steepest hill). I had also gotten goosebumps by this point, but refused to be defeated by the hill and walk. Once it turned downhill, I swallowed my pride and walked.

Mile 10.75-10.95: Walking off the goosebumps. One runner who passed said, “Good job” to me. I told her I had to stop because I got goosebumps, and she said, “Me, too.” I didn’t let that cause me to start running again before I was able.

Miles 10.95-13.1: The goosebumps had started to fade, so I started running again.  I caught up to some who had passed me while walking. I was really feeling tired, but I started pushing harder than I had up to that point since I was so close the end. I finally saw a port-a-let at mile 11, but I wasn’t going to stop that close to the end.  The goosebumps came back, too, but I had less than 2 miles to go at that point, and there were plenty of people around, so I kept pushing. 

Finally we entered the stadium for the home stretch. I passed 4 or 5 more people, but couldn’t quite catch one lady who had been just in front of me the whole time except when I had to walk. She stretched out her arms to fly over the finish line as I tried desperately to catch her. My finish photo will not be cute this year.

And I made it. 2:09:51. 12:24 slower than last year, but still, I made it.

My splits:

You can tell exactly when I was feeling good, when I had to go to the bathroom as thus slowed down, when I slowed even more for the hill and to walk, and how I pushed at the end. I forgot to stop my Garmin, so that’s why it’s a bit longer than the chip time.

37 notes
  1. gettingamyright said: Well done Nikki! A great result you should be proud
  2. tallmormon said: Huge congrats
  3. largesunglasses said: I was getting goosebumps reading this! You did WICKED AWESOME! I love that the baseball team is the Montgomery Biscuits. Also you do tend to have cool sox. Congrats you rocked!
  4. shortmom said: Awesome!!!
  5. tinkerbellrun said: Good job momma!!! :-D
  6. activeinpink said: so ridiculously awesome!
  7. chrystimoreorless said: Great job! Congrats!
  8. straightarrowlife said: Awesome awesome post. You rock for doing it and doing it your best you could this go round. I am in admiration of you!
  9. vifvie said: Congrats! You’re amazing :)
  10. roxannewright said: go nikki!
  11. betternikki posted this
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