I planned on running the Thanksgiving Point Half Marathon this spring since
I ran it last year and loved it. I love that it's only 10 minutes from my house.
But of course, I waited a little too long to start training. Adam had even talked about running it too. We were both kind of waiting for better weather, or for our treadmill to get fixed, or any other excuse.
Then a few weeks ago I realized I better get going.
I started running a few days a week and then kicked it up to 6 and 8 milers. And I figured I was ready. So I went to sign up the day before and (surprise!) they closed registration on Wednesday.
I was bummed because I felt ready and excited.
As I was searching for a way to get in (a neighbor who works there? A friend who can't run and I can use her number?) I looked at the weather forecast, which called for COLD and SNOW. Why was I doing this again?
I finally found someone--with the help of the neighborhood running girls-- who couldn't make the run, so I bought a number from Carrie. And I was set!
So I woke to snow covering the ground. Brrr.
I had on a t-shirt, a long sleeve t-shirt, and a fleece long sleeve. Then I wore my warm hat and gloves almost the entire race. I ran into my friend, Marci at the start, which was fun because veryone else seemed to be there with someone. It started about 5 minutes late, but we were off!
And we could see our breath.
And it was freezing.
And then it started to SNOW.
It snowed for maybe the first three miles. And on the first water stop, I didn't slow down enough and splashed a cup of freezing cold water in my eye. It was pretty funny and cold.
I used my Garmin watch for the first time too, so it told me when I went a mile and told me my time. My fastest mile was 8:30, I was excited about that as I'm usually a 10 min miler.
The sun would come out for little bits and it would warm up, and then it felt like it dropped 10 degrees. Up, down, up, down. I kept taking my gloves off, and then putting them on. I hate having cold hands and ears while running! I kept all my shirts on the entire time.
The course was lovely-- all over the Thanksgiving Point property which includes a golf course, beautiful gardens, dirt paths, and lots and lots of HILLS. People were grumbling the whole time on the hills, but I liked running down them. It's funny how in a race you kind of take note of the people around you, who run about the same time as you. You pass them, and then they pass you and then you try to win them in the end. ;)
I tried to take in all the beauty of the course, and a deer even pounced about 10 feet in front of me and another runner on the golf course. Cool.
The miles started flipping by, but I was especially excited to get to 7- over halfway there! I also thought mile 10 was pretty cool- only 3 miles left! There were fun cheering sections at the top of long hills- so those were great motivation. And there were tons of water stops- which I used every one. I even decided to eat a little goo- which just confirmed that I still hate the stuff- blech! I did have some chomps before the race which were better but gah! Can't they make them a better flavor/consistency?
Anyway- about mile 11 1/2, the pacer for the 2:05 finish caught up to me. And passed me. If you're trying to stay at a certain time- these guys help you know where you're at. I started out with the 2:10 pacer and had almost caught the 2:00 pacer a couple of times, but here I was, at the end of the race with the 2:05 guy. And then I got excited! Because I've run a couple halfs and my times have been 2:14, 2:07, and 2:10. And here I was at 2:05. Granted, all courses are different, but I didn't care. I was excited and feeling pretty good, but man, that last mile seemed long.
I could hear the cheers and see the finish and I was excited for Adam and the boys to be there. I kicked it up a notch and passed that 2:05 pacer and finished at 2:04! Super cool. I was happy, even if I couldn't see my family yet.
I got some water and fruit and was stretching when Adam came with the boys. The boys all looked at me crazy like "what is our mom doing in this crazy place with all these people and with a big red face? Oooo- a medal!"
The boys got some after race snacks too and then we let them play on the bounce houses. And then my body started to FREEZE. Sweat + freezing temps don't mesh. I tried putting my hat on and my hair down like a big matted blanket scarf, but I had to go. So I made the boys come to my car first to take a pic, because guess who didn't even bring a camera? Haha! Oh well. I'm sure the boys will see me run sometime. And maybe I'll put E in charge of the camera? And next time I want the boys to run the one miler... too bad they were sick with strep all last week.
I love a half. I think it's a great distance. And I think everyone should try it once! (If you like to run.)
Tonight Adam's family put a little "You are special" plate at my spot for dinner, with flowers and a little banner. They are the best. Thanks guys!