I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!
This weekend, I completed my first half marathon in over a year! I’m not sure of my official time or pace yet, but according to my watch I finished at around 1:53 with about an 8:40 pace. Not too bad if you ask me!
Here is a recap of how everything went at the Georgetown to Idaho Springs Half Marathon:
Packet and t-shirt pickup was actually the weekend before at the Runner’s Roost in Denver. The booth was open on Saturday and Sunday, so Brian and I popped over to the Runner’s Roost on Sunday to grab the packet as a quick study break in our day. I couldn’t believe how easy it was! There was absolutely no line and everything was so organized. In and out in no time 🙂
The night before the race I made sure to drink lots of water, charge my iPod and load some new songs on it (thanks for the facebook suggestions!), packed a backpack with snacks (hardboiled eggs, baby food, half a banana), baseball hat, sunscreen, flip flops, and extra water. l also made sure to eat a good dinner and get a good night’s sleep!
New songs I added to my playlist:
Songs that I always include on my half marathon playlist:
I woke up early on race day (around 4:45am) and felt really great and rested!! The weather was supposed to be around 60 degrees at the start of the race so I wore shorts and a tank top with a jacket that I was planning on giving to Brian before starting the race.
We headed over to Noah and Marisa‘s and met up with Marisa’s friend Stephanie. We all piled in the car and headed into the mountains towards Georgetown!
Once we arrived we took the time to use the bathroom, enjoy the beautiful scenery, and talk with the other runners. While I don’t particularly enjoy a bunch of standing around pre-race, I really don’t like feeling rushed so I will get to a race ridiculously early any day 🙂
At about 7:45am (15 minutes until race time) we all headed into our starting positions. While I didn’t have a particular time goal in mind for this race, I felt confident that I could complete it in under 2 hours, so I started with the 1:55 pace group.
While I was starting with this pace group, I mentioned on Friday that I was going to try the run/walk technique during this half marathon.
Jeff Galloway outlines the run/walk technique in great detail in his book, Marathon, but basically by incorporating consistent and short walk breaks into your race you will keep your legs fresher for longer and still be able to achieve your marathon or half marathon finish time goal.
I committed to running and walking in increments of 4 minutes of running and 1 minute of walking for 11 miles of the race, then I would run the last two miles without a break.
Brian was able to snap a pic of me starting the race!
Now, I have to admit that at the beginning I was VERY self conscious and nervous about WALKING only 4 minutes into the race. All of the demons in my mind came out and I felt a tightness in my chest and stomach. I couldn’t help but think that everyone was staring at me, people were going to tell me to get into a slower group, people were going to be mad that I was walking so early, etc etc…
Horrible right? Definitely not the kind of thoughts you want to have as you embark on a long distance race. After the first walk break I got right back into running, took a BIG breath and told the voices in my head to just STOP. I was doing this race for myself, I was stepping to the side while walking, I was being courteous to others and I was running ahead of the 1:55 pace group during the running portions of my race…so I stuck with the run/walk method until mile 11 just as I had planned!
I’ll be honest, I definitely felt fresh and renewed after each walk break!
Here are a couple of pictures of me around mile 6:
Checking my watch telling Brian I am going to walk in 1 minute.
Yep, I felt fresh as a daisy (kind of…) at the 6 mile mark, and during my training runs where I didn’t incorporate walking? Well…I didn’t feel quite as fresh and perky!
I loved the terrain of this course. There was a lot of variety, as portions of the race were on the pavement, gravel, and trails. It was a truly beautiful course!
I finished with a time of around 1:53 (still waiting on the official time!) and honestly felt really good. This was the least tired I have EVER felt after a half marathon.
Racing to the finish
After I crossed the finish line we all waited for Marisa and Stephanie to cross the finish line too!! So amazing. It was so great to be with Marisa as she completed her first EVER half marathon…she totally killed it!
Overall the race was really amazing. It was definitely a smaller-scale race that felt very mom and pop, but the course was beautiful and the logistics of the race were handled very well.
It’s crazy to think that is has been almost two years since I have raced a half marathon, but I’m happy to be back in the game. It’s also pretty darn crazy to think that in a few short months I’ll be running DOUBLE the miles I just completed (and hopefully feeling just as great after!)
Post race, Brian and I came home to clean up, eat lunch (grilled chicken and salad), study throughout the afternoon and have takeout for dinner while watching Orange is the New Black.
Thanks so much for all of your support! It really means so much to me, and I can’t thank you enough for following along. Here’s to the next 13.1 miles!