Today I did my third half-marathon. 13.1 miles. In rain. And sleet.
But I was (am) well-trained this time. I knew what to eat the past few days (and what not to eat). I knew what to wear this morning, where to park to be close to the finish line, and how to mentally sustain myself when the going got tough.
I finished in 3 hours and 16 minutes (not including my pit stop). According to my nike watch, that’s tied to a chip in my shoe, I actually did 13.3 miles. So I don’t know if the course is longer, or my chip is off :). If I readjust to 13.1 miles, it drops my time to 3 hours 13 minutes!! My personal goal was 3 hours 8 minutes, so I’m still pretty proud of myself.
I had to stop to pee at mile one. I was so frustrated! But it was the only time I had to stop.
I feel like this course is better than the Mini Marathon in May, but the support was not as great. There didn’t seem to be, well, enough. I quit seeing port a potties after mile 6 (and I did look at a few points). The water stops were shutting down as the last of the walkers (that’d be me) came through. There were no gel packets or shot blocks where there were supposed to be.
Around mile 9 I had my normal “I’m gonna cry” moment. I repeated over and over to myself, “I am strong. I am beautiful. I am capable. I am powerful.” I have no idea where that came from, but it helped. One of the Team in Training coaches walked a bit with me around mile 10, reminding me that I only had a 5k left, which is like nothing. Around mile 11 the cursing in my head began. Just where is mile 12? 🙂
As I neared the finish line, it began to sleet. Ice pellets in my eye and down the back of my neck. Then I saw Keith and Little Man. I did cry then, partly out of relief that it was almost over and partly because I felt so guilty they were out in the freezing cold rain/sleet.
But I finished. I got my medal and one of those space blankets (which made me feel like a real athlete!), some chocolate milk and a nice knit beanie to wear in future cold events. We checked in with the TNT tent, grabbed LM some gatorade and a few oreos and hit the road.
I am sitting here now feeling not too bad. I am so glad I trained. Period. But I am also glad I trained with Team in Training. I made friends, I improved my time by 32 minutes from May (today’s “official” time: 3:17:41). I was able to drive myself home and not limp too terribly to the car.
Now, let’s see if I can shave off another 30 minutes next May!