Woohoo! I am so glad to be finished with the half marathon! I'm never running again! HA
I wish I had more pictures to share but... It was SO COLD and all I could think from 6 a.m. till "finish-line" a.m. was coffee coffee coffee pancakes pancakes warm warm warm. I hate cold so much!
So, how'd it go?
Confession: I was never able to consistently run further than 8 miles during my training. Don't get me wrong, I tried. I stuck to my training plan, but my body for unknown reasons this time around did not want to cooperate. I kept getting an unbearable side stitch during the first TWO miles of every single long run. I don't know why!! All my "short" speed runs were fine. A 4 mile run followed by 2 miles of speed work didn't bother me, but an 8 mile run would each time result in a side stitch within the first few miles. WHY!? So anyway, I tried 8 miles 3 different times and was only able to do it once, and I tried 10 miles twice and couldn't get further than 8 on either of those, either.
So I went into this race knowing I wasn't going to get a PR. Oh well...
My sister Angela and I agreed to stay together (we discussed it after the gun had gone off, not a very lengthy conversation)... this was a mistake for me. She was MUCH better prepared than I was! This was her first half marathon and she killed it. She also killed me. I kept telling her, "We're going too fast," and she'd say, "We'll walk eventually." Well, liar liar pants on fire, she never walked!
At mile 2 or 3, I had to stop and pee. I blame the side stitch paranoia. I hydrated REALLY well the days leading up this race. I thought maybe I wasn't hydrating well enough and that was what was causing all those side stitches? IDK. So yes, I had to stop very early. And by this point my hands were already crazy numb and useless. I go to take off my shorts and guess what... I had accidentally pinned my race bib through my shirt AND shorts. So I had to get the stupid pin opened, then re-pin it... the whole process took about 5 minutes. My sister was beginning to think I was never coming out of the porta potty.
The next few miles felt really good. No side stitch, lungs felt great (which was surprising since I forgot my inhaler), my legs felt strong... And then...
At mile 8, my legs decided to show me pain that they normally keep hidden. I had KNEE pain so bad I had to LIMP up every hill. I'VE NEVER HAD KNEE PROBLEMS! But it was like all my body parts had a secret meeting without me and decided to make running this race as miserable as possible. EVIL. My hips felt so tight that even walking hurt. It was so frustrating! At this point I graciously bowed out and allowed my sister to run off and leave me. In those last 5 miles she put herself a full 13 MINUTES AHEAD OF ME. Her pace was much faster without me dragging her down. Brat! But no really, I'm super proud of her. Also super jealous.
Maybe it's because I turn 30 this year. Maybe it's because it was cold. Maybe it's because I'm a big baby and I don't handle pain well... But I have vowed to never do another half marathon. And no, I'm not doing a full, either. I used to think I was a runner, but now... maybe I've just been pretending all these years! I mean--regardless of how much I train, my pace has gradually gotten slower and slower over time. My first 5K I ever ran was my fastest. My first half marathon was my fastest. I know that a fast pace isn't what defines a runner, but I am a competitive person, and I'd like to at least beat myself occasionally! You know, the whole, "Today I'll be better than I was yesterday, and tomorrow I'll be better than I am today" kind of thing.
Okay, I'm being dramatic. I am still a runner and I will continue to run, but I think 8 miles is my body's wall. Give me a week or two, I'll change my mind and probably sign up for another half marathon. But as of right now... NEVER AGAIN!
Final time: 2.26.32 (10 minutes slower than PR). Whatever.