Yep folks, that's how long it took me to run my half marathon on Sunday. 1 hour, 58 minutes, and 22.8 seconds. Needless to say, I was thrilled that I finished well within my goal of 2 hours and 10 minutes.
Justin and I were on the bus heading to the start at 8:15am and ended up having to wait there, outside in the shade of a mountain in the cold air for just over an hour with about 80 other folks. This was actually all right with me...yes, it was cold, but it gave us time to get to know a few fellow runners. A camaraderie was quickly being established and strangers were wishing luck to their new friends.
At the sound of the horn, we were off. I had positioned myself in the middle of the 146 runners, thinking that was about right. Turns out I should have placed myself about a quarter of the way back from the front, as I had to weave around many of the people in front of me. I was soon passing the 1 mile marker at 7 minutes, 39 seconds! I was astonished that I was running that fast, and not winded at all, so I kept it up for the next 2.5 miles. Then I was on pavement and the gradual downhill was mostly over. I noticed around mile 5 that I was having more difficulty breathing, but not too bad. Miles 6 through 9 were pretty smooth sailing, with the next couple a bit more difficult. The last mile and a half was the worst, but I knew that I could do it. I walked more than I did during my training, due to shortness of breath, which I think was adrenaline induced.
This photo was taken within 10 minutes of me completing the race. I'm still in recovery mode, as all I wanted to do was drink water and get my shoes off! I'm happy to say that I suffered only a minor blister on my big toe. However, on our way to the hot springs to soak, I got a terrible stomach ache that eventually went away, but throughout it's duration, I was certain I was going to die. On Monday and Tuesday, my upper legs hurt more than they ever have. Icy Hot was a necessity and did ease some of my pain. Today, I have a little bit of soreness, but am able to run up and down the stairs at work without "ouch, ouch..." every step of the way.
After enough water, it was time to celebrate with a beer! I had finished 7th in my age group (30-39), I was the 22nd woman to complete the half marathon, and I finished 46th out of 146 runners. Not bad for my first race!
Of course, now the only thing to train for is a Full Marathon. My plan is to run P.F. Chang's Rock 'N Roll Arizona with Mindy in January 2010.
Bring it on!