Race Recap: Marine Corp Half Marathon

Before the race, we went to Orlando for Halloween Horror Nights for Brian’s best friend’s birthday. Ryan turned 30 and spends every year in Disney, going to a theme park or many theme parks. We went with him, and we had fun! I love going to scary houses, and it had been a while since we had gone to Halloween Horror Nights so I was totally down for it.

But that Saturday, afterward…that was our half marathon. And I knew, going into it that I was very much not prepared like I was last year.

We got our gear together the night before and both Brian and I were thinking…this is stupid. He hasn’t been running nearly as much as I have, and I just didn’t feel prepared. I hadn’t really run in two weeks due to personal reasons, and I felt heavy and gross. I wasn’t sure how strong I was going to be, even after Brian’s words of encouragement.

“You aren’t weak. Someone who runs as much as you do, given the bullshit of this year isn’t weak. You are strong,” he said to me. It made me smile.

While preparing for the race, I found Brian’s old Air Force shirts. Two of them. SCORE! We decided to wear them during the race. We cut the sleeves off, and I cut the neck out of the one I would be wearing, then grabbed some ribbon to tie up the extra material on the sleeves. That, plus my shorts, my tutu, my runner belt, and my multi colored shoes (still colored from the Color Me Rad) I was physically prepared…

We arrived at the start early, like we always do, and sat in the car for a while just listening to music. I felt pretty confident because I had a good nights sleep and then Brian made me eat half of a pumpkin bagel (uh, YUM!) to get some carbs in and I kept my mind off of the run by focusing on the music. I have this thing with sabotaging myself and that sucks so I was trying my damndest to not do that again especially with how unprepared I felt. It was warm, but overcast so the heat wasn’t beating down on us, which made for a nice morning.

I ran into Kat early on, and we hung out till Tiffany came up to us. I knew I was going to run the first bit with Tiffany because she has a good, steady pace that would not let me die over the bridges. Since our usual bridge run was the first three miles, I wanted to not kill myself by pushing too hard over them. Kat had a time she wanted to make so she took off with Brian, who also has a faster pace than I do.

We did a decent job after the gun went off, and kept a decent pace up. The 5k mark was slower than I would have liked, but I enjoy running with Tiffany so I didn’t mind it so much. I stuck with her, even though she kept telling me to take off, because we liked each others company. We started the Galloway  method after the bridges (run 2, walk 1) and I made her run faster on the run portions, she made me walk slower on the walk portions.

We were able to get a 1:15 6 mile mark, which made me happy because that was my standard pace.

Me and my Dreamboat. Finishers.

But then the sun came out, the clouds went away, and it hot super hot and humid. Everyone died then. I left Tiffany, pulled off my shirt, and pushed as hard as I could to get as close to my goal time as I possibly could. It was just so hot out.

I crossed the finish line at 1:51:59, 7 minutes faster than last years race, but 10 minutes slower than my last half marathon. Kat told me that she missed her goal of 1:58 as well because when the heat came out it made it rough for her. That kind of makes me feel better, but the truth is, I really wanted to make that 2:40 goal.

Tiffany DID make her goal time, finishing up under 3 hours. Eric, who ran his first half, did a great job as well. I think his time was in the 2:25 range. After the race, we sat around and cooled off, tried to get some sweat off of us and then headed out. I didn’t really feel sore till the next day, and the pain I did feel was in my hammies and my ankles.

I didn’t finish as strong as I wanted, but I finished. And in the words of my friend and co-worker Chrissy I went out and ran it, when most people would have just sat on the couch. That’s a reason to celebrate.