Ever since last year's Halloween Half I have been looking forward to running it again. Holly and I were assigned the 1:40 pace group which was going to be perfect...I thought! After taking an entire week off of running after the NWM and then having a week of not so good runs I was more than a little nervous. Usually a 1:40 half marathon would be a nice comfortable run for me (I haven't run one that slow other than pacing for YEARS). I knew, however, that this race was going to be different. I tried to get the "pace master" to switch us to the 1:45 group but he didn't go for it, oh well.
Friday morning we went to the packet pick up which was A LOT better than last years, hallelujah!! I did everything possible to set myself up for a good run. I did the P90X stretch DVD, had my Zipfizz concoction, properly carbo loaded and made sure to get plenty of sleep.
Jorge and Holly picked me up at 5:10 and we headed to the mall to get on the Le Bus! We climbed onto Le Bus and as we were walking to our seats I spotted Skip...YAY!! If you want free entertainment hang out with Skip :) We weren't near him on the bus but don't worry we could still hear him. We were some of the first to get into the huge heated tent at the starting line. That meant a good 2 hours plus of being entertained by our bouncing buddy!
Skip, Holly and I argued about whose legs were the skinniest...I would have to say that Skip's are the winner!!! Holly's were a close 2nd or vice versa, they both have skeleton legs ;)
After we were entertained with a costume contest and partook of Paul's Swedish Fish, thank you Paul (not that he reads this or even knows who I am) we were off. Did I mention that it was FREEZING? Yes, FREEZING! I was running on 2 blocks of ice disguised as feet for at least 6 miles. Then I got really warm and wanted to rip my blouse off!!
They changed the course quite a bit this year. Instead of 6ish miles straight downhill we did a little less than 3 down Sundance. I was just fine running our pace downhill but as soon as we flattened out I pooped out. I knew I wasn't ready to keep such a pace...I'm smarter ;)
We were a little ahead of pace so I made Holly slow down which was a BIG mistake, actually I probably would have killed over had I not, but it messed us up. At about mile 6 or so we had to run up a NEVER ENDING hill...rude! We got to run down it but whatever, I was tired and just wanted to be done. I kept trying to get Holly to leave me but she refused! I kept seeing us getting further and further behind schedule. Holly pointed out that we didn't have ANY followers and that it didn't really matter if we came in late. Then again I am a little OCD and a bit of a perfectionist and I DIDN'T want to come in late. As I think back I should have just been the "unofficial" 1:45 pacer and taken it down a notch...next time ;)
We were at about mile 12 when Holly said my mantra "Strong.Steady.Smooth!!" She said it at just the right moment, sometimes I forget about my trusty little mantra. We turned onto the home stretch and went for it. When I crossed the finish line my name came up on the screen and it said 1:40:01...YAY!!! We did it! My official time says 1:40:17 but I will just go with what I saw on the screen :) We were both sure that we were going to be a couple minutes off so 17 seconds slow was amazing to me.
Our families were there to cheer us on and I loved it. This years race wasn't all that I had built it up to be in my little brain. It wasn't the races fault, it was my fault! I knew that my body was still recovering from 26.2 miles. That's a long ways to run ya' know?!? I also expected a much faster course, that will teach me to look at the race course ahead of time!
Although I struggled through a good portion of this race I absolutely loved it. It's always fun to see the crazy costumes that people come up with. It was sad that we didn't get to have any followers but realistically I don't think I would have been able to talk to them anyways!