First 1/2 marathon in the books!

½ Marathon in the books!

I would love to say I thoroughly enjoyed my very first marathon. came really close. I mean really.  I had a blast with the ladies from BGR.  I think if you’re gonna do a something like a your first ½ marathon then make it special.   I wanted to make it special with the whole family involved.   It was also great running with some ladies who also traveled to be there.  While we had some challenges going to Columbus, OH 1) my Michigan Alum hubby not wanting to be in enemy territory and 2) what was supposed to be a three hour trip taking over 5 hours.  We did get  there.  I was nervous and cranky because my pasta  meal was later then I wanted and I was tired.  I also went to bed later than planned.

The Start

Got there super early.   Earlier they I like to get to race.   I used to travel a lot in my career and before 9/11 we use to say there’s two types of travelers:  One who gets  to the airport super early and waits patiently at the gate and 2) the one who arrives at the gate as the plane is boarding and waltzing on in.  I was from the latter group and that can be said for races.  I was there by 630am for an 8am start.  I hated the waiting.  Sigh.

I was in the back on Corral E and it was nice not to be bunched up with elite/faster runners.  Us slow pokes in the back were gonna have way more fun.

Us in the corrals along the river

The race started about 20 minutes after 8am.  The elite runners were at Mile 5 by the time us slowskis started.    I forgot to count for the rolling start.  There were about 13,000 of us.  This was one of the most organized races I’ve ever attended.  I’ve been in bigger races (Detroit Turkey Trot) and that was ½ as organized as the Columbus Cap City Half.  37 bands and 18 DJs lined the course!  At least 11 water stations and they even had porto-pottys(not one but four) at every other mile.  Chocolate and champagne at the end..nothing better.   Wow.

I have to admit I was struggling from Mile 2-5.  I think it was the humidity and heat, I’ve been training in a balmy 30-40 degrees so race day was 63 degrees which was downright stifling to me.  I changed my outfit right up until that morning.  Additionally, being in a hotel I didn’t think to bring something for breakfast AND I left before the free hotel breakfast started.  I had some McD’s oatmeal tie me over, not a great substitute.

When I realized the time, I texted Hubby to let him know that I wasn’t going to be at  Mile 9 at the time I planned.  I was in the OSU area which had livelier spectators and a drumline that help me through the next couple of miles.  I know being a UMich alum I’m biased but from what saw of the campus it definitely wasn’t Ann Arbor but pleasant nonetheless.  I took a GU break, and more importantly I changed my playlist.  I had been listening to an audiobook and it was at a lull in the book and it translated to a lull in running.  By Mile 7 I was getting my groove back, thanks to Kirk Franklin and Beyonce.

I was to see my family at Mile 9 but I didn’t.  I didn’t mind because I didn’t like that area that much and hoped I see them closer to one of the more scenic areas of Columbus that I knew was coming up.  To my surprise at around Mile 10 I saw them.  It was the first time they have been at one of my races.  I’ve been in about 7-8 races over the last two years so this was great.    That and a quick peck on the cheek from Hubby gave me another gear to continue.

I thought about the next 3 miles wondered if these were going to be the longest but they weren’t.  I was getting giddy about finishing and I know my times picked up.  My pace was almost thwarted by a 3 block stint on cobblestone.  Quaint, yes but not so good for runners.  Many of us gingerly continued across.

The last mile has an incline that you can see off in the distance and I had been warned it was coming.  I wanted to run it but I ended up walking it with purpose and was greeted by a big chicken lady near the top.  At that point the finish line was right there.  I took this pic before and said to myself that when I see it again..I’m going for it.  I finished strong and did better than my time goal: under 3 hours!  By 7 seconds!  This was great especially since at Mile 2 I was thinking that I’d finish in 3:30 because of the way I felt.

I did it.  Done and done.  I have lots of lessons I’ve learned in the race and in the training. I’ll share those later.  I planned my race and I ran the plan.

Pre race pic

Pros:  Well organized race. Great spectators. (I like that my bib had my name printed on it)  They cheered for me which was great.

Cons: temperature was a little warm but at least it wasn’t raining and a long drive back home than same night meant extra stiff and sore legs.

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6 Responses to First 1/2 marathon in the books!

  1. Michelle says:

    Congratulations on completing your first half marathon, Melissa!

  2. Dawn says:

    I want to go to Disney next February

    • Josiane says:

      i used to be this way. i’ve gotten a LOT more mlleow about my running/my goals/my “failures”. it’s no fun to be so uptight about it! it’s not like we are getting paid for this right?yes it is good to have expectations of ourselves and to aim high for goals. but don’t wallow in a ditch over a ‘bad’ race there will always be bad ones! (i say ‘bad’ cause a 1:31 is freakin awesome) hope you can find peace soon! you are an amazing runner jesse.

  3. fadil says:

    Hey! Enjoy your 17 minute PR! Take it from me who’ve run 20+ half mahrnaots, one day you’ll regret not enjoying this massive PR, because one day, even a minute or 30 second PR will be so so hard to come by! So yeah, be happy that you kicked butt, be happy you got a great time, and be happy that you left some room to do even better the next time!

  4. Monita says:

    You and the Family look great! Glad you had an awesome time!

  5. Congratulations on completing your first half-marathon. Are you ready for the next? 🙂

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