On Saturday, I ran my third half marathon!
My chip time was 2:27:20. When I saw the results, I realized that I was incredibly close to my half marathon PR of 2:25:43. I never imagined I would come close to a PR at this race, so I wasn’t really trying. Had I known how close I was, I would have pushed myself and PR’d this race! Oh well. I’m amazed that I came so close to a PR on an incredibly hilly course, as my current PR was a flat Houston race.
Overall, the race went very well and much better than I thought it would. I had been checking the weather forecast all week and the chance of rain kept getting higher and higher. When I woke up Saturday morning, it was raining and there was a 90% chance of rain all day. I almost didn’t race because of this, but I didn’t want to throw away all of my training just because of rain!
I spent Friday evening googling “running a half marathon in the rain” and reading everyone’s tips. The best tip I found was to wear a hat to keep rain from getting in your eyes – I was very glad I followed that one! I also wore a “breathable” rain jacket that I happened to have in my closet, but I ended up taking it off within the first two miles because I got too hot (it was about 40-45 degrees outside). Luckily, it only lightly rained for most of the race, with only a couple bursts of harder rain. I was wet at the finish line, but not drenched.
The run itself went pretty well. As I expected, the course was very hilly. The first couple of miles were hard and I wondered why in the world I was running 13.1 miles again. The subsequent miles, up until about mile 8 or 9, were fairly good. I mostly stuck to my 3:1 run:walk ratio that I had trained with, with a few longer walking breaks when I hit steep hills. After mile 9, I was starting to feel sore and tired. The last two miles were brutal because I got an intense pain (which I have since learned is probably piriformis syndrome). I have never gotten a pain like that while running, nevertheless run through a pain like that! Somehow I made it to the finish line. The pain worsened throughout Saturday – walking was very painful and I was limping. On Sunday, the pain had dissipated a bit, and was almost gone when I woke up on Monday. I thought time had healed my wound, but the pain came back after I went for a short run on Tuesday night. I may take a few days off and hope it heals for good!
I enjoyed the race course (except the hills). It was a nice running tour of Winston-Salem. I ran through some beautiful neighborhoods, in addition to some parts of the Wake Forest campus that I had never been to. I was also inspired by many of the other runners out on the course. There were some pretty old people out there giving me a run for my money! At the end of the race, I saw a girl hysterically crying out of happiness for finishing her first half. I wanted to go give her a hug and high five!
As always, I’m glad I accomplished my goal and ran this half marathon. Training wasn’t easy this time (it never is), but the end was worth the means! Even though I question why I am doing it throughout each mile of a half, a few minutes after finishing I begin to think about when I will run my next. I am going to continue trying to meet my personal goal of running a half every year for as long as my body allows me to!