8 Jennifer Johnson 152 58 30 2:10:27 9:58 Bowling Green KY
I did it!!!! I am an official half-marathoner (not mini marathoner...that doesn't sound as prestigious)! And according to the info above, I came in 8th in my age group (out of 17) and finished with a time of 2 hours 10 minutes and 27 seconds. Not too shabby for my first half!!!
So let's break it down. Obviously there was no running the day before. Friday was a pretty chill day...I ended up eating dinner later than I wanted to, but it was delish! Potatoes and carrots roasted in the oven and portabella mushrooms sauteed on the stove. Top it all off with a bowl of fruit...delish!
One of the reasons why we ate so late, is because we were trying to drive the race course....I say trying because I was navigator. If you all know me at all, you know that directions are my strong point. What I did get out of the part of the course that we did drive, was that is was going to be a little hilly. Remember when I said "the course is fairly flat"...LIAR! It wasn't crazy hill city, but there were definitely more inclines than I would have liked. Anyway...on to race day.
I glumly announced that we couldn't go anywhere until my stomach had calmed down a bit...but I knew that we were up against the clock. Roads started shutting down at 7:30 and that's when racers moved towards the starting line. I ended up going once more before we headed out.
The ride there I felt like a bundle of nerves...my stomach was off, I hadn't eaten hardly anything, I didn't feel hydrated enough...I was trying not to get down before I even started. Remember, one of my goals was to finish physically and emotionally strong! I used the bathroom at the race about 4 times (one time USING the bathroom) and excitedly made my way to the starting line when they called for us.
The race itself was pretty uneventful. I prayed throughout the whole entire thing! I had horrible side stitches during the first 1/2 mile to mile, and thank God He took them away! I'm guessing those are related to USING the bathroom. I had to reign my pace in during the first 2 miles, but after that I was good until we got toward the end of the race. I enjoyed my music, I enjoyed the miles, I enjoyed the sun not shining and the gentle wind blowing (sounds like a country song huh?). Life was good...well as good as it can be running 13.1 miles. Things were good until around mile 11.5...I know right...I was RIGHT there! Totally the end in sight. But my body was just plain 'ole TIRED! My side stitches were returning, my sweat was turning to salt...literally, salt, and my pace was slowing waaay down. I kept praying and kept telling myself that I had this. I hate to admit it, but I did stop and walk twice during those last couple of miles. I got my second (or third, fourth, or fifth) wind, and ended up finishing strong!
Do I wish I hadn't have walked at the end? Yes. Do I wish my time would have been closer to 2:00? Yes. Do I wish I hadn't had to USE the bathroom so many times before the race? OH YES!!!! But...am I proud of what I did? Absolutely. Am I convinced my hard training paid off? You bet. Am I proud as heck to be able to say I ran a half-marathon? Yes 'mam!