Yesterday was my fifth half marathon. I was chasing a new PR of 2:45. I had thought about 2:45 last year but I was too chicken to actually pin it to my back. This year, I went for it. Here are some things that I learned along the way.
First things first, the night before the race I met up with the Black Girls Run Group for a pre race meet/dinner event. It was a blast until I realized that I was too broke to eat. So I was lucky to enjoy a cupcake and a slice of cake. Next year I hope to pay in advance lol. I don’t know what it is but being around people who are eating and you aren’t is no small feat. We shared a lot of laughs, I won a new race belt(which I needed), and we took a few pictures.
I usually don’t sleep a lot before a big race(ok never). I ate one chewy bar. So bright and early I met up with a friend who was running his first half and we walked to the race start. I met up with the ladies and we chatting and took pre race pics. I ate a banana and one set of jellies(they are like performance jellybellys). We finally go to our corrals. Myself and another lady decide that we will just jump in the corral ahead of us(still the same pace). We dance, we laugh, we get warmed up. I get my watch set and off we go. I see John Bingham at the start and I give him a high five. I had missed him at the Expo.
Mile one I see the 2:45 pacers and I think they are going too slow. So I coast ahead of them. I hit the first hill and I fly down. I see a friend from church and keep going. I do a decent 10 min mile(according to my Timex). I keep going.
Mile two just zipping along
Mile three yes, finally a water station. I walk through.
Mile 4 Still coasting and feeling good.
Mile 5 I feel really good about things
Mile 6 I literally sing Chris Brown songs to get through the Trinity Hills. As I get up the huge hill I look down and notice that people ran over a bag of gummy bears. I love gummy bears. So of course I circle and pick them up. I eat half of the gummy bears and save the rest.
Mile 7 Still zooming
Mile 8 I feel a little something in my foot(a blister forming), I ignore it
Mile 9 I feel good. My stomach is starting to talk back just a tad
Mile 10 I’m determined. I’m trying to ignore my stomach. I see a guy and ask him what pace he is at. He mentions that he is at 2:45 and I think he is joking because of the 2:45 pinned to my back. No, he says, I am actually at 2:43.
Mile 11 I’m still determined but halfway through I see a portapotty. Of course I have to go.
Mile 12 I made a huge mistake. The pitstop hurt me. So I am frustrated.
Mile 13 Yay! I finally make it, my watch says 2:54. I later find out that my official time is 2:57. I didn’t make the time I wanted but I still PR’d by three minutes.
I look at my watch and decide to go to church. As I walk down a side street to get to church, I see a motorcade with Meb Keflezighi(one of my running heros). I scream out Meb! The motorcade stops and I run over to it. I ask Meb if I can give him a hug and he says yes! Then a camera guy gets off of the motorcade and records the whole thing and takes pictures. It turns out to be the best day ever! I told Meb that he was awesome and he told me that I was awesome! We hug each other once more and off we go.
I make it to church and everyone is so excited that people mention that they want to participate next year. Yay!
After church my friend and I go out to eat and I wore my medal to the restaurant because I was too tired to take it off. I go home take a shower and go to the library. I don’t make any headway with my code. I talk to a friend who gives me some tips and I head home.
So with races, just like with life, sometimes you win sometimes you lose and sometimes you get blessed with the unexpected.