I was a nervous wreck all week as I anticipated running the Rock n Roll 1/2 marathon. The memories of how difficult it'd been last year quite literally turned my stomach in knots. Still, I wanted to do it again and experience that sense of accomplishment that comes with crossing the finish line.
When we picked up our race packets on Thursday night, the excitement of the event started to balance my nerves. Kind of. We had fun stuffing our bags with all the free samples at the expo.
We also visited the fortune teller to receive our race fortune. My fortune, with its talk of my shuttering legs, heaving chest and quivering bowels did not do much to calm my anxieties.
Camille's fortune was similarly bleak. Stephanie, however, received the glowing report of a charmed runner. Camille and I even returned to see if by chance our fortunes could change on the second try but the outcome was no better. Thankfully, none of the dismal predictions occurred on race day.
Race day started at 5:00 am. We dressed in matching shirts in hopes that our "fans" would more easily spot us out on the course. We got lots of cheers for the "pink" team along the way.
Somewhere before the mile 12 marker, we saw our little fan club. It was such a boost to see them holding their signs and cheering us on.
I felt significantly stronger thoroughout the entire race this year. That final mile was still a killer, but I could actually feel my legs beneath me as I crossed the finish line this time.
I finished in 1:51:29, which was a full two minute improvement over last year's time. I averaged an 8:27 mile, finished 706th of all females, 135th in my division and 1802 overall. I guess that's not too bad considering there were 17,593 half marathon finishers.
I'm really lucky to have two running buddies to train and race with. We're so compatible pace-wise and their conversation makes the miles go quickly.
I'm also lucky to have such supportive fans.
Jon not only was there to cheer me on, he was also willing to chauffeur six runners to the starting line at 5:30 in the morning.
I still can't imagine ever doing a full marathon. Just 1/2 of it is really hard! My muscles are sore enough that I wouldn't even want to do that much again anytime soon. But give it a year and I'm quite sure I'll be ready to rock all over again. It's such a great experience!