Last Saturday, I ran my first half marathon! I will try not to bore you with too many details. Since it was my first half all the details seem important to me. My official time was 2:44:22, for those of you who are none runners...yes the seconds matter, at least they do to serious runners and if they make or break a new PR (personal record).
The race was the Tom King Half Marathon. It starts at LP Field and ends inside the stadium on the 50 yard line - which was awesome! The course was very flat - ideal for my first or any half really.
I ran with Joe & Gail. We started at the very back. And for most of the first 2 miles we had a police and ambulance escort right behind us! For clarification, it probably would have been with us longer, but around mile 2 we entered onto the greenway trail. Our first 6 miles were probably way too fast, but as you can imagine, it's hard to slow down when you are being tailed by an ambulance.
Joe & Gail are exactly the kind of people you want running with you! They are motivating and supportive. They told me stories and helped keep my mind off of all the ugly things my legs were trying to tell my brain. We ran 3/1 intervals for the first 10 miles. After much begging on my part we ran the last 3 miles doing 2/1 intervals.
Mark, Jesse & Matthew came out to cheer for me. They were the best cheerleaders I could ask for. I saw them at the very beginning of the race and when I came onto the field at end. When I saw them at the end, I immediately teared up. They still had their signs they'd made, but had added air horns and the champagne bottle confetti poppers to their celebratory arsenal! Seeing them made the end of the race even sweeter!
Gail set a new PR and so did Joe's wife Karen (who is way faster than we are). I'm convinced Joe also could have set a PR, but he stayed with us and never even mentioned it. Carol met us at mile 11 or so and finished the race with us, which added some motivation. The Fleet Feet waterstop at mile 12 was awesome! Drew is full of energy and some of it must have rubbed off, because I had an extra spark after the stop. A friend of mine from high school, Daniel, was also at that waterstop. I was so excited to see him, I must have looked like I was going to attack him as I ran to hug him.
Here we all are at the end of the race!
Finishing the race, felt so good. It's amazing what you can train your body to do. Now that all the soreness is gone and the desperate moments in the race have mostly faded, I'm so glad I did it! Bring on the Country Music Half!