RR: NC Half Marathon

This time last year, Shannon and I attended our first Fitastic meeting. It is like a Couch to 5k program through a local running store. When we signed up, I didn’t think I’d be doing more than 5ks for fun. It’s crazy to think a year after that first meeting I’d be running my 6th half marathon.
In the two weeks leading up to this race, every single attempt at running was horrible. I felt tired, weak, and lacked motivation. Although I was still getting out there, I lost the desire to really push myself. I gave up on runs easily and even my cross training felt like too much – I was so frustrated with my body I was almost in tears trying to lift weights. Add to that (or maybe the cause of it?) higher work volume and some sort of bug I picked up in Chicago, I gave myself a lighter week and hoped for a strong race to turn things around.
My first time sleeping in my own bed before a half cost me a 5:10 am wake up. The race was an hour and a half away in High Point, NC and started at 8 am. Looking back I dont know if I’ll drive that far before a run again. My timing was perfect. Packet pick up was quick and I had time to drop my goodie bag back at my car, go to the restroom, and line up with 10 min to spare.
With my horrible week, I didn’t want to feel pressured to start fast so I lined up near the very back of the pack. It was me and the grannies! Once the gun went off, I was shocked at how many people started off walking. Not the grannies around me – people in the middle of the pack were walking at the start! Seriously, if I ever did a race and planned on walking from the start, I’d make sure there was NO ONE behind me. I wasted so much energy running around these people and dodging camera tripods. Boo on weirdo racers!
I’m still getting used to the Garmin. My runs have been so bad I’ve only really used it one time before this race and I forgot to go anything when I crossed the start (too busy dodging everything like I was playing the old Nintendo game Paperboy). I was annoyed because I didn’t have a reference as to when I started. My watch had been on for a few minutes and I didnt remember until about a quarter of a mile later to look at the time.
The course was hilly and I was especially concerned with miles 2-4, 9-10, and 11-12, which featured huge and unforgiving inclines. Miles 2-4 actually weren’t too bad. We were going through a pretty neighborhood with large, well kept lawns. Highlights included running past a guy mowing his lawn (thank you asthma and allergies for not getting upset with that!!) and some people who picked the wrong day for a garage sale. Poor people! Their street was completely closed off and they had obviously gotten up early to drag out all their junk. They were still cheering for everyone so I hope they made some money later!
After the hilly neighborhood we made our way to High Point University, which was a really pretty campus. I felt really good during this section. It a slight down hill most of the way – not enough to hurt but enough to notice it wasnt totally flat. Everything was going great until just before leaving campus a bus decided to pull out into the space in front of me. Huh? Isn’t the bus schedule aware there’s a race going on? I got a nice face full of exhaust fumes, which made me feel like vomiting.
We ran past this fountain and it was just as pretty as the pic on its website.
Turning the corner, the next set of hills also made me want to vomit. These seemed worse than the last set – steeper and longer. Honestly, they defeated me. I started feeling fatigued and weak and I was tempted to DNF but how do you quit a race in a strange city? No way to get back to the finish other than follow the route! I knew I was slowing a lot. I was settling into the shuffle than got me through RnR VA Beach. As much as I tried to straighten up and go, my body just wouldnt listen. It was like like trying to wake up a sleeping child. I’d say “GET UP!!” and it would grumble and moan and try to fall back asleep. We fought each other for the last five miles and in the end it was a draw – I finished the race but my body def fought me on it every step of the way.
This race earns my angry face!!
Time was 2:19:18, my slowest half since VA Beach. I’m more disappointed in how bad I felt than the time. Here are the splits and you can see just how miserable I was at the end!
1   10:46 (includes all my standing around at the start)
2   10:01
3   10:28
4   10:14
5   10:08
6   10:14
7   10:42
8   10:12
9   11:05
10  11:22
11  10:43
12  11:33
13  11:06
I’m going to try my hardest to take it easy this week. People keep telling me to rest and I will try my best to make that happen or at least concentrate on the cross-training activities that seem to make me happier right now. Hopefully I will channel my inner Shera strength soon and get back into the swing of it!

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