This weekend was Half Marathon #8 that almost wasn't. My poor little doggy had back surgery the week before and our trip almost had to be cancelled. Luckily everything worked out in our favor and we still got to make the trip to Providence to visit friends and for me to run my first race after turning 29. I really wanted to rock this race, but my workouts haven't been the greatest lately. I was starting to get back on track until the doggy got sick and I had to put running aside for several days to take care of him.
I decided on the trip up to Rhode Island that I would just run for the fun of it. Our friends live outside of the city in Warwick, so I hadn't seen that much of Providence before. It would be a great sightseeing race. I didn't really worry about carb loading or cutting back on drinking or anything else I would have normally done before a race. I even stayed up until midnight Saturday night!
Sunday morning, I woke before the alarm and started my routine. I even left the house earlier than planned and started the 15 minute trek to Providence. I found street parking downtown, finished my Click protein drink and ditched my sweats before walking to the start. It was cold and sunny, so I knew I'd warm up fast once the race started.
Since I just planned on running and not really racing, I lined up in the middle of the 9 minute group. For the first time in any race I've done, everyone lined up correctly! I never saw anyone walking except for on a few of the hills. It was so nice not to do any dodging! After the first mile, I looked down at my Garmin and noticed I'd completed it in 8:46 - really fast for the first mile. But I thought, I feel really good - why not run how I feel and just ignore the Garmin? So I did. I didn't look at my watch again until mile 6, which was under 55 minutes.
I felt great! I just ran on feel and nothing else. I took one GU at mile 7 and a Powerbar Gel (yuck!) at mile 11. The hills were not as challenging as I expected, just long. There were two that were really steep, but short. I never walked once during this race. I started with a water bottle in hand that I carried and sipped from until mile 8 when I threw it away. After that, I stole sips from the water stations, but refused to walk for them. I always walk through water stations, so this was new to me.
I started to get pretty fatigued after mile 11. I knew I could finish, but my legs were getting really tired. I flipped through songs on my Shuffle searching for something that would power me through. I finally gave up and settled on something Destiny's Child. I really need to work on my running playlists! Right before I turned the corner to see the finish line, "Taking Care of Business" came on - how appropriate.
Me, Hubby and the Rhodies - it was their first spectating experience!
I might be a year older, but I just crushed my PR!
It almost feels like a dream, like it never happened, but then I look at the awesome medal and smile all over again!