The day began earlier than I initially planned - a terrible thunderstorm woke me up around 2:15 a.m. I drifted in and out of sleep until my alarms went off at 4:30 a.m. I got up and ate my normal pre-race meal - peanut butter and jelly on wheat and an orange. After everyone was up and ready to go, we left my parents house in Beaufort around 5 a.m. The race was in Jacksonville, at the high school, and was about an hour drive from my parents. Thank goodness for my Daddy being willing to drive!
We got to Jacksonville High School just after 6 a.m. and met up with my running buddies. I was so happy to have them there with me. I had planned to do this half all along, but the training was a lot easier and the anxiety was a lot less once they signed up to join me.
|The girls before the race!|
(from left: me, Sarah, Alisha, and Shruthi)
After the pretty inspiring opening ceremony, we lined up at the half start. There were about 350 people registered for the half marathon. It was obvious from the very beginning that we were going to be a lot slower than 99% of the people in front of us. I stuck my ear bud in my ear and turned on the playlist that the hubs created for running and we were off! Very early after crossing the start line, we decided to embrace being slow and the likelihood that we would probably be last. This was totally cool with me - the point of this race was to stay on my feet and finish.
The bulk of the route was through neighborhoods. We were definitely offered the scenic (and not so scenic) tour of Jacksonville. If I had to give one complaint about the whole route, it would have been the 2.5 to 3 miles on Gum Branch Road. It sucked, big time - cars speeding by, no shade to speak of, etc.
We finished the race in 3:08:12 - 318 through 321 of 322 finishers. Am I upset about our time? Absolutely not. Why? Because I did it. Sarah and I started the NC Roadrunners Club Women's Beginner Running Program on July 24 - less than a year ago. I think Sarah would agree that if you told us we would finish a half marathon 10 months after starting to run, we would have laughed uncontrollably.
The feeling of finishing was so awesome. There is no way to describe how I felt. I was so happy, exhausted, and ready for the next adventure. While I am definitely not ready to run a half next week, I am ready to sign up for another one. I love the feeling I get when I am done. So great...
|The hubs and I after the race|
|Picture from the day after the race|