Yesterday marked my first official half marathon. I have completed a virtual half marathon with US Road Running in June in order to make sure I was prepared for the one where I’m racing with other people. Things didn’t go quite as I expected and I’m not sure what happened to make it so, but please join me for the recap.
July 24th is the day Utah became a state, so it’s a state holiday, and it seemed like the Handcart Half Marathon would be a good test for myself. It has a decent route that runs for a good portion along a beautiful trail parallel to Legacy Highway, an environmental area filled with water birds and dragonflies (dragonflies are very important to my family, we consider them to be symbols of my grandmother and I had a few show up just when I needed a little extra push).
I was up at 3:30 AM to prepare, fuel and drive to Bountiful.
I enjoyed my usual long run breakfast of a banana and a bagel with peanut butter. A very small cup of coffee and water.
I headed out around 4:30 for the half hour drive to the South Davis Recreation Center (hosts for the half). I was there early for packet pick up and to relax for a little while before the event started. I picked up my bib #24, my shirt, and the other swag for the race and returned to my car to prepare my belt and water bottle.
Around 6:00 I went to the start to watch the early option races (for people who thought they would take over 4 hours to finish) head out. I sat around on the benches, talked to a few folks and enjoyed a brief sprinkle of rain. It was very, very hot. 86′ at 6:00 AM, so the cold rain was welcome.
At 6:30 they lined us up and set us off with a fire from a cannon.
See me (in the center area with a blue Team Run Disney shirt)
My start out goal was to stay somewhere between the 2:30 and 2:45 Pacer…which I did for about half of the race.
I started out too fast and I decided to change my intervals…which I think was my first mistake. Thinking this was a race I upped my intervals from 30:30 to 1:30/:30. That was a bad idea I think. All of my long runs had been with the 30:30 and I’d done well. I think my brain was in an “I have to compete” mode instead of a “I just need to finish mode.”
We were off through the streets of Bountiful and headed west toward the Legacy Trail.
I was great until about mile 5 when I realized the 1:30/:30 interval was going to be too much for me. I had to stop my Garmin and reset the intervals to 30:30. Which helped significantly on the mental realm.
But by mile 8 I was seriously hurting after a big hill.
Something was wrong with my feet, a soreness which I have never experienced on any of my long runs before. All of my long runs before I felt good, I felt like I could finish strong, something was definitely not going right with this run.
I knew my feet pain was affecting my stride and form, I felt myself leaning forward more then I should have toward the end and I just wanted to stop. I wanted to be done, I was close to crying my feet were in such bad shape. But I didn’t. I reached the 10 mile mark and the adorable boys there (kids) were so cute and cheered me on as I filled my water bottle back up to the top (did I mention it was hot?).
From that point on I just focused on each interval of 3o seconds and didn’t take any more pictures. I had to keep telling myself, just get through the next 30 seconds. And honestly after mile 10, I started walking much more then running. At mile 12 I must have got a second wind, topped off my water, and started trusting the intervals again. I passed a few people, which shocked me and finished the last curve with a run over the finish line. I was just so happy to be done I couldn’t help but smile. And I got a little emotional as the volunteers gave me my medal. I’d done it. I hurt like hell, I wanted to stop, but I kept going.
I grabbed a bagel and refilled my water bottle, sent some pics to my husband and mom, Instagram and headed over to the pancake breakfast which I devoured. I was starving and the pancakes, eggs, ham and OJ hit the spot.
Later I enjoyed my beer.
I have 2 more half marathons lined up for August, with a week rest between them. I’m worried about both of them and need to rethink what I did before and during this race to make sure I’m ready for these. One is completely downhill and does have a set time in which you have to reach the mouth of the canyon or be picked up (because they are closing the road).
I would appreciate any advice from other runners on how to reflect on this race and figure out what happened to my feet.
These are unofficial results, I’m a little confused as Map My Run had different results. 228 out of 242 runners. I’m a little concerned over the distance too, I know I did a little bit of weaving but that seems like a lot of extra mileage to me.
All I keep telling myself is that I finished, I pushed through some pain and discomfort to get to the end. That in and of itself is a major accomplishment.
||228 / 242
||134 / 146