Last year, I was still in recovery mode from my tibial stress fracture, so I didn't get to formally train. I had not run any long distances, just a 10K and few 5 mile runs, but my short runs were going great and I really thought I might be able to knock out a good finish.
It ended up being freakishly humid and hot, very swampy like, and I ran a 2:14:51. I turned on my timer at mile 7 and used the Galloway method and survived.
I signed up for this year a few days after I ran last year, hoping I would be able to kick butt this year!
Yet, here I am again...in recovery mode with no training, so I had zero expectations going in to this.
The course is laid out so I could cut across at several points, and have a short walk back to the car if anything went really wrong.
This year our weather has been great and race morning it was an amazing 32 degrees and 100% humid, but you can't feel it when it is that cool :) The temp was quickly climbing, the humidity dropping, and it was sunny and clear. ❤
It was 54 degrees when I finished.
The course goes through rolling hills in Battlefield Park as a civil war reenactment is happening, and then through old towne, Petersburg.
I took an extra tinkle break and started behind the crowd...the whole crowd. I was 1:40 seconds behind the clock.
The elevation gain was 438 ft. Hilly for sure, but not too crazy ;)
My official time was 2:10:11
I have run that pace when I have trained, so I 'll take the result and be thankful, but the course was short! It bugs me! ٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶
If I had been running this as my very first half, or run a PR, I would have been really ticked. I'd rather run long, than be shorted any day. At the finish line, I chatted with a few runners and their Garmin's were reading 12.92, and 12.90. A few folks heard us talking and they were just a tick less...I was the shortest by far, so again, like my trail race, I must be good at cutting corners (or my Garmin is wearing out) lol
I was too tired to go run to make it up though, my feet were done. The reality is I should probably add a few minutes to this.
So there you go! Now the nitty gritty stuff.
I am icing my feet Saturday afternoon as I type (most) of this.
10:05 9:48 10:19 10:21
The first mile was very crowded, and I felt claustrophobic. That is what I get for starting in the back. There is a lot going on back there! Groups walking the start, lots of strollers, just a thick wall of folks. I passed a lot of people. I did't turn on my timer on until mile 2, I just needed to get to a space that wasn't so crowded. My plan was to use 4 x 1 intervals.
I forgot my gloves, but I had a throw away jacket on, and I let it hang off my shoulders so I could wrap my hands in it. I didn't need the jacket, if I had gloves on, I would have been 100% comfy.
I carried a flimsy water bottle with a Nuun tablet in it, so I could collapse it as I drank.
I ditched my jacket and water bottle around mile three, I did not want to deal with holding anything. I only drank a little of the Nuun; I just wasn't feeling thirsty. Miles three and four are all uphill, no break, 36 ft and 59 ft. Running uphill made me warm enough.
Mentally, I was bouncing all over the place. Happy to sad. I was passing spots on the course remembering how hard it felt last year in the oppressive heat. I marveled at how wonderful I felt in the present. I was sad I wasn't in shape to take full advantage of the great day.
I wished I could run faster and push myself, but I knew that would be a disaster. I stuck with the Galloway method (4 x 1), and tried to replace the frustration over the last three months of injury, with positive things.
Man! It was beautiful out!
9:53 9:45 10:23 10:32
At the mile 6 sign, I was close to an hour (and the mileage was close on my watch). I was elated! I also realized I better slow down. I ate a few jelly beans at this point. A mile later I ate about eight more, and that was it for fuel. I didn't feel like digging in my running belt anymore. I didn't even take out my phone to take pics during this section.
The battle reenactments are fun to watch. This section is shady, you can smell the gunpowder, dressed up civil war soldiers are everywhere, it is very hilly, very enjoyable, yet the injury frustration kept creeping in...
Mile seven, I started to pray. I was determined to shed the negative and enjoy the run. I thanked God for my family, that I ran a good first half, that the day was perfection, that I was out there moving, and that my feet had given me minimal protesting.
Mile eight takes you out of the battlefield section, and back on busy streets, but runners have their own lane to run. I felt a boost as I passed the spot where I saw my hubby on the course last year. I told Kenny to stay home in bed this year, his foot has been hurting quite a bit lately, and I didn't want him to have to stand around. Just passing the spot made me smile though.
9:43 10:49 10:37 10:37 and I finished running with a 9:15 pace...
I started praying for my hubby when I thought about him, and I was so engrossed in my thoughts, I ran right through my walk break :)
This part of the course is really busy. There is traffic on the roads, and the course goes through neighborhoods where folks are hanging out, and there are lots of cheerleaders waiting for their runners to pass. I felt a little pressure on the top of my left foot, but it was manageable. The right foot however was feeling tender on the ball, and it is more of problem now than my original injury, so I slowed up. I dismissed that nagging voice that said, "GO!"
I had run a good race to that point, but I needed to let the pace go and ease up, so my feet could chill.
At mile 10, the course gets narrow. I was surrounded by a group of tutu friends, a stroller a couple was pushing, and another group of chatty friends all running in a pack, and it was like a rolling road block. It was good for me! I slowed down. I chatted with one nice tutu runner, and I thought we might stay together, but I lost her after just a few minutes. I also chatted with some men who were interval running (3 x1). We talked, intervals, pace, timer, etc...
I passed the 2:15 pacer and I realized I would beat my time from last year. That made me grin. ㋡
My mantra at this point was progress, walking or running, you are still making progress. I said that to myself several times.
My right foot felt a little better after going easier, so I decided when my watch beeped at mile twelve, it was go time. I was booking along as fast as I could and as I turned the corner toward the finish line. I braced myself to run across the rough cobblestones, but I didn't have to! The finish line was much closer than last year, and I guess that accounts for some of the distance loss. My feet were grateful, because the cobblestones hurt last year, but I was freaked out to see my run shorted.
I chatted with my my fellow interval runners to see how they did, and they said just take the official time and don't worry about it!
Good advice...my feet were tired.
I am proud of my finish, I did the best I could.
I saw my friend Carlton and his wife. (I use to work with him) This was his first ever half!
I drank a bottle of water and walked back to my car.
There was amazing food, but I just didn't want any, I just wanted a shower!
Kenny and I went to Waffle House after my shower, and it was a yummy eggs and cheese recovery meal :)
Like my trail race, I have no regrets about running this event untrained.
I enjoyed it! I would rather try and have to bail, than not try at all.
The Galloway method got me to the end and I felt great other than my feet. My legs were ready to roll!
Here is a link to my finish video :) I love these!
I am ready to take a step back now, and try to weed my way through what next. I do want to run, but I don't want to run always worrying about what kind of damage I am doing.
I wish I knew if they were going to get better than what I feel now, only time will tell.
I appreciate you all hanging with me through this journey. I know you are sick of hearing about my feet, and I am very tired of them as well. Too bad they are attached and I am stuck with 'em.
Thanks for reading! I hope you have a great day ツ
Progress, walking or running, you are still making progress.
What do you think of my new mantra?