I have officially been running long enough now to run a second annual race. This was my first half marathon last year and to make the second annual race a little bit more exciting my niece was running it with me this year. When I say with I mean running the race not along side me.
We actually started off our preparation last night with a small shopping spree to make sure she had everything she needed for the race and then lots of carbs at Nothin' But Noodles. I have heard people talk about how good this restaurant was but I have never eaten there....and they were not lying. It was absolutely delicious. We both got chicken and pasta dishes and they both had such a different flavor, but both tasty.
Then we slumbered at my house. We just made an entire night of it. I know how nervous I was before this race last year so I walked her through my obsessive getting ready for race day just to make sure we had everything packed and ready to go so we could sleep to the absolute last second and not have to be up super duper early.
At 6 am we were up and getting ready. She ate breakfast while I obsessively applied my Body Glide. I made her skinny little butt put it on too because it does not matter what size you are, it has to do with your clothes eating you through the race.
We made it to Lynchburg and got to packet pick up....and then time to wait for the race.
It was cold at the start line but warmed up quickly.
When we got to the start line we say my sisters and niece, her mom, aunt and sister, and got to talk for just a bit before the race started. Then it was off to run.
I was a bit nervous because I knew I was not ready for this race like I should have been. I know I am in better condition than I was last year but I have not run to be ready for 13.1. I started off at a modest pace. Emma stayed with me for about a half a mile but I needed her to run her race. I know I cannot keep her pace but I honestly thought she would pitter out about 8 or 9 miles into the run but boy was I wrong.
When I got to the end of mile 4 I called her and she was about a mile ahead of me. When I called her at mile 9 she was at 11 and going strong, so obviously I was not going to catch her anytime soon. Yes, I talk on my cell phone a lot during a race because it can get lonely out there....we will get to that in a minute.
Mile 4 is the hardest part of this race by far. It is called Whiskey Ridge, it could be because the hill is in Lynchburg or the fact that when you get to the top of it you NEED a shot of Whiskey!!!!
Yes, I take pictures while running too. I wish this picture had been just a bit better. If you notice at the upper right hand side of the picture the hill curves and gets just a bit steeper. Just for the fun of it you know.
From this point on it is mostly flat and downhill, so basically 9 long miles. I talked on the phone a little bit more but mostly I was just alone. Lots of alone time means lots of time to think, and lets get real there is a lot of stuff on my mind. So I cried. Mile 5 tears.
I saw my sisters again at mile 6 and was able to stay composed a little bit. One of my sisters said she got a little choked up as well which made me feel a little bit better. I am not much of a crier so I felt so stupid running around the back roads of Lynchburg. Oh and yet again they had some classic signs.
This sign apparently cracked up quite a few runners and a cop or two.
I have no pictures of them holding the signs, I have very few pictures this year because the little photographer from last year was running the race!
I spoke to my niece again when I got to mile 9 just to check on her. She was about 2 miles in front of me at this point and said she was doing good. That made me cry again. I was so proud of her. She has not run like she needed to but she has the willpower of an ox so I knew she would finish, I just wanted it to be a good experience and not something that she would never want to do again.
The last time I talked to her she was just finished with the race and I could hear the smile on her face...and yes I cried yet again. Just so you know, when you are running and you spontaneously start sobbing: 1. People look at you really funny. 2. You will begin to hyperventilate and it takes forever to catch your breath back. Not pleasant!!!!!!!
About mile 11 I was ready to be done. I had slowed way down between mile 5-10, could be the lack of preparation or could be the constant hyperventilation but I was ready to be done. I was running so hard and seemed like I was getting no where. Once I hit mile 12 I could smell the finish line. I ran the rest of the way in looking forward to being done.
I could see the finish line but about 25 feet in front of it was the chip reader that technically ends the race, so when I crossed it I stopped running....it was not the finish time so I lost a few seconds but I was not going to set a PR today so I just jogged the rest of the way in. I finished in under 3 hours, I think my time was 2:57. My niece finished at 2:27.
I know you are going to be shocked but I cried at the finish line too. I was not expecting a half marathon to be this emotional. I told my sister it was just too much time alone. I got composed and was able to shop around the square just a bit before I had to head out.
I'm Sooooooo Proud of this girl!!!!!!
It is now that I am understanding the joy of being properly trained to run 13 miles. I was able to do it, and do it easier than last year, but because I had not one long run leading up to the run my legs are paying for it now. My knee held up remarkably well, my hips and ankles not so much. Everything hurts.
I have enjoyed the last few hours laying down with my feet up and ice on every square inch of my body. I'm still hurting and walking around like a 90 year old woman but I have that runners high that just wont quit. All in all it was a great race!