On Saturday, Ryan, my friend Holly, and I woke up at 5 a.m. to drive to Georgia to run my first half-marathon. That’s 13.1 miles. I’ve been training for the past three months. I was sleepy, carbed-up, over-caffeinated, and nervous as hell. Here we are before the race.
The race was in Boston, GA – a small, country town with just a few main streets. The race was also small with around 200 people. Many of the runners drove up from Tallahassee and were part of the Track Club I’m a member of. It was a beautiful out and back course. The first three miles were pastoral. It was nice to run next to pastures of cows and fields of cotton. A farmer’s tractor even crossed the race route in front of me. The next three or so miles were filled with more cotton fields and forest with lots of water features. The shirt, which is quite cute, has a cow on it.
One year ago I ran my first 5k. After running this half, I’d still say that getting through those 3.1 miles was the toughest run I’ve ever done. I ran straight through and finished in around 45 minutes. I remember getting my race photos and crying because I looked awful. All of that hard work for a photo I couldn’t show anyone. Now, I’m used to bad race photos. It’s part of being a runner.
Here I am a few feet from the finish line. This is by far the best race photo I’ve ever taken, and it’s still pretty awful. I overworked myself leading up to the race, which is a rookie mistake. I got nervous about the race and exercised every day this week, sometimes twice a day. It showed on race day. My second mistake was booking it for the first six miles. I finished my first six miles in 1 hour 15 minutes, which is more than 10 minutes faster than my 10k time in March. By mile seven, I was exhausted. I trekked through the next few miles, stopping a little too much to walk, which honestly, really disappoints me. I know I can run 13 miles straight through. But some days, even race days, you have a bad run. I picked up speed during the last mile and a half. I was ready to have it over.
I finished in 2 hours and 41 minutes. Which is a little slower than I was hoping for. Here’s Holly rocking it. She finished twenty minutes before me.
Here we are after the race. Tired, sweaty, and ready for more coffee.