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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

13.13 Miles

One more off the bucket list- I ran my first half marathon in West Haven Saturday with Miss Jillian Murphy.  Thanks to Jill, we were able to grab our packets the day before, where I found out I was runner number 1- what luck!

  The weather was perfect, cool and sunny with a good breeze.  We were told the course was 4 miles flat, 5 miles of rolling hills, and 4 miles flat again- sounded fair.  The scenery was decent, we finally made it through the por-o-pottie line, and we headed to the start line... the front of the start line.  As I am surrounded by professionals Jill gives me some last minute advice... Stay Right.  Stay Right I did as runners with 7 minute miles flew past me, faithfully sticking to 9:30 miles.  The first few miles went by quick and easy and then the "rolling hills" came along.  Let me start by saying there was nothing ROLLING about these hills.  They went up, and up, and up, and turned a corner, and went up, only to provide a sharp and immediate downhill at the end of the five miles, that truthfully hurt almost as much as the uphill.

(This was the start of the hills that never ended)

I continued on, and at mile 8.5 I decided to refuel with some goo.  When they say never try something new on race day- they are right.  One mouthfull of that "vanilla goo" which tasted and looked like vanilla frosting nearly resulted in some new lawn decor for the West Haven residents.  I spent the next few miles trying to spit out the remaining taste of frosting- NEVER again.

By the time I saw mile 11, I decided I would probably never run a marathon- not a fair statement because I had just run 11 miles, 5 of brutal hills, and nearly threw up....but my body had enough and the last 2 miles felt like a marathon in itself.  By the time I hit mile 12 I wanted to scream in excitement.

The last mile was flat (thank god) but brutal- I had to keep telling myself, One Foot In Front Of The Other.  Every time I turned a corner I thought - Okay it has to end this had to be the end, nope, another long stretch, and another turn, and finally... the finish line.  Being runner number 1 I was greeted by a crowd which was an exciting finish.  I was also greeted with a metal, some warm clothes, and coconut water, thanks to Jill.  Jill ran her hardest and fasted 1/2 marathon with a time of 1:46 while I ran my first with a time of 2:07.  

While I am pretty happy with my finish, the competitive edge in me wants to take 10 minutes off that time.  I am on the watch for another local half marathon for the redemption of the West Haven hills.  I guess they are right, while your are running the race you swear never again.  The next day you are planning your next race.  


Shortly after this photo we went inside to treat ourselves to some water and snacks, stopping one last time at the results board.  We hopped in the car, grabbed a coffee and popped a few extra strength Tylenol- When I got home, I did what any girl would do, threw myself on the couch,  turned on the tv, rolled up my compression socks, and ordered a pizza.  

No rest for the wicked though, 1/2 marathon training is over but Ragnar training has to start immediately-  I have the hardest legs, 9.5, 9, and 6 miles.  Time to start running "double days" with back to back nines... gulp.....

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