I decided to run a half marathon with Kacey and Ashley (different Ashley- I roomed with her and she was also on the team my freshman year). We agreed to stick together, Kacey definitely had more in him but was really kind and hung back with us :) it really helped me, he was chatting it up with everyone around us even through the end so that kept me distracted. I love the running community- everyone’s so friendly
We all hadn’t trained for it and just made it our goal to finish under 2 hours. I didn’t want to race it out of fear of crashing and burning. So I just ran it at a comfortable pace. We really just ran it for fun :) Ashley and I decided on going 8:30 pace, maybe faster. I knew I’d be able to hold 8:30s and at least finish, so it helped me to relax. I wasn’t registered for the race so I ghosted it. About 3 minutes before the start of the race I ran the first quarter mile and then stopped to wait for the crowd. I spotted Ashley and Kacey after the gun went off and started back up once they got to me. We were running with the 1:50 pacer and talked with her for a bit. After about a half mile Ashley, Kacey and I had picked it up without really meaning to, but we all felt comfortable at the pace we were running. First mile was 7:58, then we picked it up a tiny bit more and came through the second mile at 7:41. I was a little nervous because it was a faster pace than I’d expected to go and was worried I’d hit a wall and die at the end, but it did feel pretty comfortable so I just went with it.
The next couple miles seemed to fly by, it just felt so good. We were passing people and catching up to the next pacer. I took a couple water cups from the different water stations, the first one nearly choking on because I forgot how to chug and run at the same time. But by the third I got it :) We were under 7:50 pace for the first 6 miles.
Around 7.5 in a good hill came up and after running on flat pavement for a few miles it looked daunting. I just went off of feel. Kacey was about 10m in front of me at the top and Ashley about 20m behind me. We grouped back up and enjoyed the slight downhill. Then another hill, this one less steep but longer. Grouped back up again at the top. At this point Kacey was chatting with a guy we’d caught up to that was from Washington, in Utah to see family. It distracted me :)
9 miles in I was getting tired. Just over 2 miles left, I was struggling. About a mile left, I hit a mental barrier. My legs were dead. I stopped for about a minute and tried to motivate myself to finish and run this last mile. A guy passed me right when I stopped and said, “You’re almost done! Take a walk for a sec and keep going!” I said okay and did just that hahaha :)
So at the last turn into the finish chute I veered out into the road to run right past those standing and cheering. I got some weird looks, but I wasn’t wearing a bib so no one said anything. The course was short about .1, so I ran until my watch said 13.1. I was dead afterwards. Ashley and I could hardly walk for a solid 15 minutes, but we walked for over a mile after so now I can walk at a normal pace :)
It was a fun experience! First half marathon in the books :) next time I’ll actually train for one and race it!