I know this is sort of late but midterms and papers have been keeping me super busy!
So I did it… I ran the half marathon! Taking those weeks off from running beforehand definitely didn’t help my performance at all.. but I had a lot less knee pain than I did during the Sun Run in April.
I was up super early at 5am and was out the door by 5:45. I left a bit early because I had no idea where I was going and left time to get lost and find parking. Which was a really good idea. By the time I found my way and parking as close to the main area as I could it was about 6:45 and there was already a lot of people standing around and a live band playing. The line for each porta-potty was already about 20 people long!
By 7:30 – the start time – it was already super hot without a cloud in the sky and I was thinking, “what have I gotten myself into?!” But we were off!
The first about 5 kms was just an out and back and by the time I was at about 1.5km people were already running back! I think the top woman finished in about 1:13!
During this first 2.5 kms it was pretty okay. We were running along the shady side of the road and although it was getting hotter at least we were in the shade. But that all changed as soon as we turned around and started running up the opposite side of the road. Kms 2.5 to about 6 were in the hot hot sun! There was no shade at all for this stretch and all I could think was how much further there was to go.
But thankfully kms 6 to 8 were in the shade running along a street that passed through some super tall trees. You know that cool, moist air that is in the woods that is just super refreshing? That’s what kms 6 to 8 were and it was great.
Then the dreaded km 8 to 9 came up. This was the 100m drop in elevation that had me worried the entire time leading up to this run.. and I was right to worry. I slowed my pace and the length of my stride to be able to at least keep running but little spurts of pain started to shoot through my knee so I ended up having to walk this part. I figured it was better to baby it then and at least still be able to run the rest rather than power through the downhill pain and end up walking the rest of the run.
Running with the sun blaring down and the temperature only going up and watching the time on my watch as I was running, I decided to aim for 7min/km. And at the 10km check point I was at exactly 1:10! Even with having walked that 1 km!
I held a pretty steady pace up until about the 13 or 14th km. At this point I was so hot and thirsty all I could think about was water – but there was none anywhere. One thing I learned from this run is I will not be running another half without a water belt!
Around the 17th km my legs were super tired and my knee started to tense up and get painful. I ended up doing a few minutes of walking here and there from about km 15 onwards.
I ended up finishing in 2:40. I’m a bit disappointed I missed my goal by 10 minutes but that just leaves a lot of room for improvement for next time!