My year-and-a-half half-marathon hiatus came to an end on Sunday in Little Rock. For those of you just checking in to see how badly I embarrassed myself … HA! Joke’s on you! I surprised even myself and pulled off a decent time!
My 2nd fastest half-marathon of my 11
My 3rd fastest half-marathon of my 11
Earning me what is probably my coolest medal to date…
And now for the rest of the story, which is most likely only interesting to me…
First off, MAJOR PROPS to the volunteers and race director! The volunteers were awesome for being out there in crappy weather conditions, but they were all in such good spirits and seemed genuinely happy to be there. And the race director… bless her heart for having to make that horrible decision to call the race and pull runners from the course. Awful decision to have to make, but the right decision nonetheless. Safety first.
My mom and I were staying with her friend in Cabot, which is only about a 20-minute drive from the start line, so that made for a super easy race morning. For the 8:00 start, we left her house at 7:15. They dropped me off about a block from the start, and I was standing in my starting corral by 7:45. PERFECT. Well, perfect except for the weather. I was kind of underdressed to just be standing still. I only packed a tank top and shorts since the forecast showed 50 at the race start. I didn’t think the rain and wind were supposed to start until later! WOOPS! haha When I was getting dressed that morning, I decided to forego the tank top I had brought and instead wore the super dorky race shirt. At least it had short sleeves. I was FUH-REEZING in the rain and wind until my wave crossed the start line at about 8:15, but I was comfortable once we got going except for my hands. As the temperature dropped, my hands went numb from the cold. I didn’t bring any gloves, so I was trying to warm them up one at a time by wrapping one then the other with the garbage bag I’d gotten from a volunteer at the start line. (Again, KUDOS to the race peeps for thinking of us unprepared folks and supplying garbage bags for makeshift ponchos!)
I didn’t really havee a plan going into the race. I knew I was grossly undertrained only having run 10 miles… once… SLOWLY… so I didn’t really have any expectations or a race plan other than just run until I couldn’t run anymore. So I started off at what felt like a pretty conservative pace (which ended up being faster than what I expected conservative to feel like) and held onto that pace until around mile 11 when I had to start walking parts of the longer hills. I completely surprised myself by crossing the finish line in 2:14. Never expected that at all. Not that it’s a spectacular time or anything… it’s several minutes off my personal best, but for where I’m at right now, I’ll happily take it!
|Borrowed from sportphoto.com
I was pretty spent after the race and beyond ready for a long warm shower. My weather app showed 50 with a feels like of 50 at the start and 38 feels like 26 at the finish. Thank GOD the rain held off though! It rained pretty steadily on me for just a few minutes somewhere around the middle, but then it slacked back off to a drizzle again. I was so happy to get my hands on a space blanket at the finish line! I made my way through the finisher’s area and called my mom to let them know I was ready for them to come pick me up. They’re they worst spectators ever. Haha They chose to have breakfast in a warm, dry restaurant rather than stand out in the cold rain! (Hence the lack of photos.) Weenies. We headed back to Cabot, and by the time I got out of the shower it was pouring. I felt soooo bad for the people still out on the course. I knew they had to be miserable. It wasn’t until later in the day that I learned that they had called the race at that point due to the lightning, cold, and impending ice. Mom and I loaded up and headed home, and that’s when the TRUE test of endurance began…
TO BE CONTINUED