I’m a little late to the recap party, but I’ve been waiting on pictures (and still waiting for some… Mom… JK!). I haven’t quite mastered the art of carrying my own camera for 13.1 miles so I had to rely on J and my Mom for any pictures other than what I packed and ate.
The morning started way too early when my alarm went on at 4:40 am. I kid you not, the most pain I experienced from running my first half was the excruciating headache that rolled in around 11:00 from not having any coffee. Seriously awful. I had laid out all my stuff the night before so I wouldn’t forget anything:
Ipod, Garmin, nuun, ear warmers, Clif Bar, Clif Shotblocks, Spibelt, Zensah Calf Sleeves
I ended up leaving the nuun because I wasn’t planning to carry my handheld. I ate the Blueberry Clif Bar for breakfast and packed the Shotbloks in my Spibelt along with some chapstick and tissues (which I never ended up using either).
My Dad and I left the house at 5:30 and made the hour+ drive to Pomona. When we got there is was so stinking cold. I have never been so grateful that I threw an extra jacket in my car at the last minute. My Dad had also brought us each a pair of gloves from the 99 Cent store so we could ditch them if it got too warm.
After finding the (real! flush! clean!) bathrooms, we picked up our packets and I got to meet the speedy, awesome Danica who was greeting everyone at the registration tables.
We got our stuff and headed back to the car to wait and warm up.
I was so glad to not have the twist-tie chip timers that we always get in 5ks. For some reason, those things drive me crazy trying to put them on.
We headed out at 7:40 to line up for the 8:00 start time. I saw Jason and my Mom right away as we took off running.
The first couple miles went by super fast as we headed out toward an airport and ran along the speedway. It was nice and flat and I was feeling great right off the bat. I ditched my gloves at Mile 2. It wasn’t hot but it was SUPER sunny. There were moments that I definitely regretted not bringing my sunglasses.
Our goal was to run the first 5 miles at a 10 minute pace and try not to walk at all until at least mile 7. I’m happy to say we were spot on with those goals and looking back we both think we could have gone even faster to start off, but we were being extra cautious for our first attempt at a half. Our splits were:
5k: 32:57 (10:37 pace)
7.2 miles: 1:12:19 (10:03 pace)
Looking back at the splits, I know we could have run a bit faster, but I’ll just remember that in the next race 🙂
I think I took a cup of water at every other aid station after mile 3. It wasn’t hot out so I never found myself very thirsty. They had Powerade at every other aid station, but I never took any because I was afraid it would wreak havoc on my stomach the way Gatorade does. I also didn’t take any Shotblocks until almost mile 10. I was feeling really good and was so afraid to do anything that might throw me off.
The course was more scenic than I’d anticipated. There was a big lake that we spent most of the race running around and the scenery changed quite a bit so I felt like my mind was always occupied and it was easy to not focus solely on the distance.
I lost my Dad right at mile 10 when his knee started hurting. I barely remember coming out of the hill portion of the race but next thing I knew I was running along a fence and heading back onto the speedway. I remember checking my Garmin at some point during mile 11 and realizing that I wasn’t just going to make my fake goal of 2:30, but I was going to crush it and finish the half in uner 2:20 with time to spare! The 12th mile flew by while I savored how amazing it felt to be back running on flat pavement (like I said before, and everyone else who ran it has said, this course was hilly). As I headed into the 13th mile, that was the first time in the race that I really started to feel like I was just straight done. I was nearing that point where all I wanted to do was stop running and lie down. My right hip was really tight and my arches were getting sore and worst of all I could tell the lack of coffee was starting to affect me. No joke, I’m a legit coffee addict. Right when I felt like I was going to have to start crawling to the finish, I saw Jason running along the side of the road cheering me on. It gave me the BIGGEST boost of energy and I threw him a thumbs up and tried to speed up a bit.
Finally, I rounded that last corner and as the finish line came into view, the crowd support became out of control! I had no desire to slow down when everyone around me was cheering and yelling “Great job!” and “Almost there!”
I also saw my Mom cheering me on just a few yards from the finish and that was SO motivating!
I crossed the finish line and saw a 2:18:XX on the clock so I knew I had accomplished my secret goal that I refused to tell anyone and broke 2:20 by at least a minute and half. I WAS SO HAPPY!
I funneled into the finisher’s area where the volunteers handed me my medal, space blanket, water, a granola bar, banana and cereal. I only ended up eatinga couple bites of banana and chugging the water. I gave the rest to my little charity case who scarfed down the cereal like he hadn’t eaten for days. After we finally found my Dad, we took a couple pictures then headed out.
Don’t worry, I’m aware that my ear warmers make me look like a total goof, but they kept my ears from falling off so I’m going to keep wearing them.
We hit up Denny’s for lunch since we were all starving. I made the mega mistake of not getting coffee because my stomach was a little queasy. This decision came to haunt me an hour later in the form of a horrible, pounding migraine. We headed home and ended up getting stopped on the freeway for 30 minutes because of a bad accident. When we finally got home, I showered and passed out for 2 hours before heading to Jason’s for a victory dinner and drinks.
Each slice of that pizza is bigger than my face! SOOOOO Good!
Overall, I think the Holiday Half was a great experience or my first half marathon. It was organized, easy to get our packets, and as stress free as I can imagine a first half being.
I’m definitely looking forward to running another soon, and Sarah told me that it gets way easier on flat courses with a lot of crowd support so I’ll be in search of one of those ASAP. I’m also considering running the Pacific Half in Agoura since it won’t require me to wake up ridiculously early and drive an hour+. And, as an added bonus, it ends walking distance from this slice of heaven:
Is anyone else planning to run any of the Great Race of Agoura runs?
What’s your favorite half marathon? I need more fun ones to run ASAP! I loved it and now I think I’m going to be hooked!