This morning, I ran my sixth half marathon. (Race recaps of the first five here.)
Not only was it my sixth half-marathon (in just over 13 months), but it was my third in three weeks. I did the NYC Half two weeks ago and the National Half last weekend. Originally, I was just signed up for the NYC Half, but I ended up running three when I realized all of my blogger buddies were running DC and that I could get a free entry for today’s race. (Thomas’ gave me a free entry and free bagels, and I gave them my undying love for carbs.)
Thankfully, this morning started a little later than the last two races. I woke up at 6am and really wondered what the hell I was doing. Three half-marathons in three weeks? Really, Theodora? I really contemplated rolling back over and going back to sleep, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to fall back asleep, and, oh yeah, that I’d be letting myself and Thomas’ down.
I ran into my corner bodega to grab a Luna bar and a banana and hopped a cab up to Columbus Circle.
Have you noticed most of my pictures lately already have a bite taken out? Yeah, running makes you hungry.
Katie was going to pace me for the first half, and then Erica for the second. Because she’s amazing like that.
We met up with Tina and hopped into the third corral. (Yes, I wore the same shirt I’ve worn for the last two races. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.) The race was incredibly crowded in the first mile, and it made me both a little angry and a little anxious. Around mile two, we managed to break free and run faster. My mile 2 and 3 splits were both under 9:00! After mile 3, my legs started feeling like lead, and I needed to take some walk breaks. Katie was really amazing, and kept talking to me and motivating me. When I began, I thought I might try to break 2:00 and she kept trying to motivate me. Around mile 3-4, I ripped off the pace band and decided I just wanted to finish and she was awesome about that, too. I “Think of what you’ve done in the past few weeks.” I am so glad she was with me for the first half, because I was having such a rough time, I almost started crying and walked right off the course. I knew I wasn’t going to hit the time I want so badly, and my legs were incredibly tired. Right before we split up, she gave me one of her margarita shot bloks, and I fell in love. (With the blok. Sorry, Katie.)
At mile 6, I ripped into my chocolate outrage Gu, and miles 6-9 went much better. I saw Jess and Ali at mile 6ish, too, and seeing them put a huge smile on my face. Right after I hit the 9-mile mark, though, my legs decided they were done. Again, I really wanted to start crying and walk off the course, but I pushed hard, knowing that I had conquered this distance before and could do it again. Knowing that I’d see Ali and Jess again helped a lot, too. That, and wanting the bling at the end. I ended up finishing at 2:08–not a PR, but still faster than the last half I did before this series of three.
I honestly can’t remember ever wanting a race to be over as badly as I wanted it to be over today. There wasn’t much pretty or glorious about this race, other than that I dug deep and ran until I couldn’t run any more. I’m really proud of myself (and Tina!! She did the same crazy thing!) for accomplishing running three races in a row, and I’m also really glad to be done and run some shorter-distance races and get back to strength training, classes, and other forms of exercise.
Thanks to Ali for this awesome picture near the finish!