I finished my 25th half-marathon today!
Thursday morning, I woke up with a sore throat.
Thursday night, I got my period. (It has an awesome way of coming around race day.)
Yesterday morning, I woke up with a completely congested nose.
Last night when I got home from work, some serious sinus pain struck me.
I sat down last night to write an emo post about how I really wanted to run this race, and I really hoped that whatever was going on with my body wouldn’t prevent me from doing so…instead, I spared the Internets and texted Jordan. “Just wanted to give you an early heads-up I might not make it tomorrow – I’m feeling awful.” She was really sweet and told me they’d be okay without me (it was their first), but I still hoped it wouldn’t come to that.
I’d posted this on Instagram and contemplated deleting it when I felt crappy and didn’t think I’d make it.
I’d talked Jordan and Alex (coworkers turned friends) into running this race when registration opened up. They were toying around with the idea of running a half, and I told them they could do it, and I would do it with them. It’s been so much fun hearing how excited they are after conquering a new distance, and it was a great feeling to run with Jordan last week farther than she’d ever run before.
But the idea of walking Bailey to the end of the street last night sounded awful on my painful sinuses, so how the hell was I going to run a half? I tweeted asking for good thoughts for my sinuses – and you people came through!
I woke up at 4am to pee, and miraculously felt much better. Okay! I could do this. After getting ready, I hopped in a cab to meet them near the start so we could walk over together. I fueled with a banana, a banana bread Larabar, and a Propel and found the combo absolutely perfect.
We lined up…and we were off! Within the first mile, Jordan said something about her legs feeling tight from all the standing around. Mine did too, and the feeling didn’t subside until about mile 4. Cool. I was still nervous I’d start feeling crappy again and need to DNF. I thought if I did, I’d do it before Ocean Parkway. Otherwise, I was in it for the long haul.(Because how else would I get home?)
But the long we ran, the better I felt. The ups and downs of Prospect Park were over before I knew it, and we were exiting the park and heading for Ocean Parkway…which I wasn’t a fan of last year. It was long, boring, and I started feeling crappy.
I couldn’t wait for us to hit 10 – it was completely uncharted territory for them. So – I’ll say here that running long distances never feels easy to me, especially since I haven’t really trained a ton recently, but there’s certainly the muscle memory as well as the fact I know I can do it. Earlier in the race, I’d told them how I told Tina a long story over the Queensboro in the 2011 NYC Marathon. I told them if they needed it, I’d be happy to pull it out again. Around mile 10, I asked if they wanted distraction, and they were both all about it.
So, I told them a long story, and before we knew it, we were upon mile 12.
This was probably only the second time I’d worn my Garmin since the marathon, no joke. I can only see two screens at a time – distance and pace, which was kind of good. I just wanted an overall idea of our pace, and I definitely wanted to know what distance we were at. It wasn’t my race to obsess over, and I’d told them not to really set a goal since it was their first, so having an overall idea of pace was perfect. For the first 6-7 miles, we were around a 9:20 or so, but after that, we picked it up to the low 9s, high 8s.
I took a gander over to the time screen, and saw we were around 1:48 at about 11.8. I knew we probably could squeak in under or around 2 hours, but I didn’t want to put any extra pressure on them beyond just enjoying the race.
As soon as we came around the corner to the boardwalk, Jordan started picking it up. Oh woman, it’s on. My goal was to stay even with her or even rabbit her a bit, but ultimately let her come in first. It was their race, not mine. (Alex was right behind us.)
I’m so proud of them, and I had so much fun pacing/keeping them motivated.
We came in just at 2:01:41, and now they want sub-2. They’re hooked. I love it.
Happy weekend, y’all.