Sorry this post is coming a little later than I anticipated, but my husband surprised me with a day off at the spa so I was away from my computer all day! Not sorry one bit 🙂 Catching you up now, though!
The Soaring Wings Half Marathon was this past weekend, and boy was it a tough one. Here’s how it all went down…
Soaring Wings Half Marathon 2014 Recap
I went to the expo Friday night, and tried to ignore the elevation map. This course is actually my half marathon PR (1:58), so I’m familiar with the course, and remember there being hills last year. But, I don’t remember the hills being something I necessarily hated. Also, last year at the start it was in the 40’s. Oh, if only.
I laid out my outfit, and you’ll notice that my outfit included shorts and a tank top! At the END OF OCTOBER! That’s right ya’ll, Saturday’s race was HOT. At the start, it was in the low 60’s, and by the time we finished, it was about 80, if not higher than 80. Woof! And when you’re running 13.1 miles, 80 feels a bit more like 90. I decided to carry my hand-held water bottle as well, which I’ve NEVER done, but I just had this feeling that this race I was going to need it. I also ran in my new Mizuno Wave Riders, and will be reviewing them tomorrow or Wednesday!
Race day morning, Adam and I drove up to Conway, and were there with about 15 minutes to spare.
We snapped a quick, sweat-free pic, and I jogged over to the porta-potty line, then headed to the starting line.
I started off between the 1:55 and 2:00 corral, and figured I’d try to stay cautiously optimistic and see how things went!
I stayed right behind the 1:55 pacer for about the first 7 miles. Then after that it got ugly – the wheels fell off and the heat hit me HARD. It was one of the first times during a half marathon that I remember looking at my watch and thinking, “I’m ONLY at mile 8??!! 5 more miles???” Usually the miles fly by! I’ve never been so excited to be done with a race, how bad is that?? Totally not like myself at all! I don’t think it was due to a lack in training or cardio shape, but rather a number of other factors combined. It was about 20 degrees warmer than anyone anticipated, my energy level was already deteriorated from having a cold for three days leading up to the race, then add in a hilly course, and things are exponentially harder! So frustrating, but I know I wasn’t the only one who had a tough time with this race. Around mile 7, I passed a runner who had apparently passed out and the medic/ambulance were tending to her on the side of the road. Pretty scary!
I finished in 2:04:23 / 2:04:24, 9:26/mi average pace.
Here are my splits:
Mile 1- 8:38
Yep, no salvaging this one after mile 8. Ha! I pretty much decided to just have fun, sing along to my music, and not die before I got to the finish line.
I actually was walking briefly through one of the last few water stops, when the lady next to me looked at me and said, “you look so familiar, what is your name?” To which I replied, “Sarah…?” And she said, “Do you write a blog?” And I said, “YES!” and she said, “I’ve read your blog!” And I said, “No way!! That is awesome!! I’ll have to give you a shoutout in my recap!” So, lady in the blue shirt, this is your shoutout! I’m so sorry I didn’t have the energy to get your name! And I’m so sorry you saw me at my WORST! Ha!
Ok, here are a few pictures from the race photographers…
These first two I’m pretty sure were taken at mile 12, at the top of the last hill. (Whoever the race director is that plans a big hill at mile 12 is cray cray.) I look like I’m in so much pain! Not so much pain, but more so just a hot and foggy feeling. I had gatorade in my water bottle and drank almost the entire thing over the course of the race, plus water at every other stop, and still felt icky.
Annnnd here we are at the finish. I picked it up a little for the last mile, and was honestly pretty excited to see the time because I really thought I was doing way worse! Thank goodness I was closer to the 2 hour mark than I thought I was or I would have been quite a bit more disappointed! And really not even disappointed, but just annoyed more than anything. Meh, oh well!
All in all though, enough negative thoughts, let’s be positive! I really am so happy I was able to pull through the race, and still meet my C goal. Not every race will be amazing, not every race will be easy, and not every race will give you the warm fuzzies. It’s the hard races that make you appreciate the good ones and keep you motivated to do better next time! But, I did it, had fun, and am still proud of myself! Each time I do a long race, I come away with several lessons learned about myself. I walk away feeling strong, powerful, and confident that I can do anything I put my mind to.
Half #7 done and run!!! WOOHOO!!!
Adam positioned himself right at the last turn, so it was a nice surprise and pick-me-up as I was heading into the finisher chute. That sweet husband of mine. He’s the best.
I’m leaning more and more towards gearing my focus for the Walt Disney World Marathon more towards having fun, and completing it feeling good, rather than a very serious time. But that could change tomorrow. Who knows! I’ve got an idea of the time I’d like to meet, but we’ll see!
When’s the last hard race you ran? Are you training for a marathon later this winter? What did you do this weekend?