02:53:10.38 was the finish time. The process to get here was extensive and hesitant!
Six months ago, I started physical therapy on my foot and hip. The injury caused limping, poor balance, and frequent pain. Over time, muscles were re-built and exercise increased. There was no true training for this race as my endurance was very low. Nothing could go wrong with this preparation, right? Ha! The tri coach and I are working on building endurance and doing that through increased swimming mostly.
The race started after a day long snowfall so the stadium start was icy and roads were wet, and even icy at points. It was a brisk 34 degrees but sunny! Many hung out on the stadium side that had sun and the ice had melted. Many started the race in layers including me! Pockets had Honey Stinger Vanilla Energy Gels and Organic Waffle Gingersnaps for me to munch on during the race.
After the start, it was time to keep myself in check as I had 13.1 miles to get through. The course cut-off was 4 hours so I needed to finish prior to that. Listening to my body was key, so I knew I would do a mix of run and walk with no pre-set schedule. I walked all hills going up. As I passed police officers, I would ask if it was all downhill from that point. They all said it was! But it really didn’t. LOL.
Running mile after mile, self-doubts entered my mind…can I do this, is it too soon to try this distance, maybe I should pull out of the race, etc. There were many blocks that there were no sideline cheerleaders and my music wasn’t working so I definitely played mind games. But, I passed the halfway mark, then the mile marker showing the furthest I had ever done and started thinking, I could do this! In my head, I started saying things like I only have a 5k yet to go and sideline cheerleaders came out with hilarious signs.
That finish line never looked so good! However, to get there, one had to run alongside the river, and go over a wooden bridge. Up to this point, I ran for 4 minutes, then walk for 4 minutes. At other times, I would do a 2/2 option but as I turned into the stadium, I knew I needed to run that last bit. Crossing the finish line involved no hoopla and a volunteer handing me my medal.
The race is now done and I am kind of in disbelief that I actually completed the half-marathon. The physical therapist released me from PT just two days later but it took additional days for my legs to heal. The legs take a lot longer to heal than I anticipated! The hunger also lasted a few days. On to training for the next race. And to those who want me to now train for a marathon? Not happening! 🙂