Sunday, October 23, 2011

Third Time was the Charm for a Half!

I've FINALLY completed my first half marathon! It was the third one I'd registered for, but the first time I even got to the starting line.

Attempt 1: Found out I was expecting and between the rough first trimester and the non-walker friendly course time limit I bowed out.

Attempt 2: I was on track after completing a summer 10K for a fall half post-baby. Then the worst tummy bug struck my little boy and then myself and I bowed out.

Attempt 3: This time I once again kept up the training after the summer 10K, but I didn't tell ANYONE until I registered for it less than month ahead of time (which is completely last minute for me). And this time I made it to both the starting and finish lines!

I ran Atlanta 13.1. We started out in the dark on a VERY cold early October morning. We first went though some really beautiful neighborhoods that I've never been in before and other than the speed bumps that were challenging to see in the rising sun, it was great. I hit the 10K mark at 59:59, which is the best I've done for that distance since college. I was feeling pretty great about how things were going and pumped to see the top 20ish men and top 3 women heading into the last mile, which was a huge plus to the out and back nature of the last part of the course. Then I made a mistake by skipping a water station going into a very hilly neighborhood and park. I felt rough until the last mile and then it hit me that I was going to surpass my time goal and my pride helped me float to the finish line.

I am so proud of this finish. Even more so than my marathon. It feels like a true accomplishment to have found the time to train while working full time, having a horrible commute, and taking care of an active toddler. I really had no huge time goal. I thought it would be great to do it faster than my fastest split in the marathon (2:20ish), but I also wanted to just enjoy the run. I had a great time and think it's a fun distance and was proud to finish quicker than I thought I would at 2:09:25! The only downside was that I underestimated myself and so my hubby and son missed my finish because they were still parking the car. But I did get to share some post-race snacks with my little man.

Lessons learned: Don't skip water stations and I should emphasize hills more during training.

Here is the breakdown.
Chip time: 2:09:25 (instant PR!)
Overall: 1322/2490
Female: 529/1334
Age Group: 100/250

1. 10:11
2. 9:58
3. 9:31
4. 9:09
5. 9:57
6. 9:26
7. 9:27
8. 9:35
9. 9:49
10. 11:01
11. 10:53
12. 9:34
13. 9:33