Let me start by saying I made a lot of really good decisions in my training for this half marathon, but doing a shuttled wine tour with 18 other young females the day before my race proooobbbably wasn’t the best one of them all. My game plan was to go a bit easy and to drink lots of water in between the wineries- I managed to accomplish one out of the two, at least. Actually, I am not even sure I can claim that, as there were a few points on the bus that we busted out the bottles- oops.
I am still glad I did it. We visited 4 wineries and a distillery- L. Mawby was a clear favorite, and the distillery a crazy but fun last-minute choice. We ended the day at hostess Katie’s house and munched on snacks that everyone brought. I made dried cherry gorgonzola dip (gorg, cream cheese, roasted walnuts & dried cherries- nuked. so easy) and cream cheese pumpkin bread. We did some pretty serious chowing after all of that wine..
Anyway- needless to say the night before the race I had a serrrious headache. Couple that with pre-race anxiety, and I did not get much sleep. It was an absolute downpour Saturday night and I thought that I would be waking up to the rain as well, but when I woke up and it was clear I felt a lot more confident and ready.
My awesome chauffeur drove me to the start, where my roommate Molly had already registered me & picked up my race bag. As we waited in line (porta, then race) it started to rain-hard. But what choice do you have at that point?! 🙂
My first mile I clipped along at a 7:50 pace, which I thought I would never in a million years be able to keep up. However, I just kept picking people ahead of me I wanted to make my targets to pass, and I kept myself along. I thought as long as a quick pace felt okay I would keep it up, and at least I would have had started strong even if I faded later. I also knew I needed to take advantage of the huge downhill slide during the middle of the first half, but it was hard because it was so wet and slippery.
Cars were allowed on the road, and so my cheerleader buddy drove to a few different points to encourage me on. It was also nice because I was able to hand off my jacket to him as well as my gummies near the end.
A woman in her 30s kept pace with me for most of the time, and after the huge hill (mom and dad pulled up to cheer me through the end of that one), we were right beside each other. However, I knew that if I pushed through the last 2.5 miles, I could have her beat. It definitely helped me to keep my butt in gear knowing someone was at my heels, but at the time I wished she wasn’t!
Mile 12 was my fastest pace at 7 mins, and mile 13 was 7:24. A guy passed me right at the end, which pulled me out of the top 10 and I placed 11th overall- 3rd female, 2nd in my age division. I finished with a time of 1:39:58, which was way above my goal time. It is shockinghow motivating a race can be and what your body can really do when you push it.
Molly had a lot of difficulty catching her breath when she finished, and I was absolutely freezing, so we didn’t get a picture after, but we did snap one before!
I won some sort of award for being in the top 3 of my age group, but I didn’t stick around to find out. I was wet and freezing and had brunch on the brain!
My parents, Mr. Pilot and I celebrated with a Foothills brunch, and I tried to top it off with a nice afternoon snooze, but to no avail. I am the worst napper- I always think about what else I should be doing at that moment!
So where will I go from here with racing? I am not too sure. My time honestly exceeded my expectations by a long shot, and I don’t know if I can top it. On the other hand, this course was VERY hilly, so I am curious to see how a more flat course would affect things.
For the rest of this fall I will just be doing some fun runs (probably Turkey Trot, maybe Zombie run..), and we will see about doing Bayshore next year. Pilot thinks he is going to convince me to do a marathon after he does the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. at the end of the month, but I don’t know that I want to spend the amount of time it would take to train for a full marathon.
Who knows- all I know is I am so relieved to have accomplished this goal, and I am so happy to have running be a part of my life. I am grateful to Molly for giving me the encouragement to sign up, and to my training buddy for going for a few long runs with me and encouraging me through. It certainly helps to have someone motivating you to get out there rather than enticing you to skip it to spend that time with them instead.
On to the next goal!