This morning I ran the City of Oaks Half Marathon in Raleigh. I was a bit nervous about finishing within the race time limit of three and a half hours, but I decided to go for it. It was a beautiful morning to be out running, and I was looking forward to seeing some people from the Galloway training group there. George went with me too, and gave me a great pep talk before the race started.
Some of the Galloway group runners met up at a predetermined spot before the race, and it was fun to see them. I came across even more of them on the race course, which was encouraging! A number of Gallowayers also volunteered at a couple of different water tables, and others were scattered along the course to cheer people on. That was a great pick-me-up, especially in the later miles!
I really enjoyed the course, eventhough it had some hills! It started on the NC State campus, and went through parts of downtown, around the capitol area of Raleigh, down Hillsborough St. on different legs, past St. Mary's School (my high school alma mater) and Meredith College, and down around the NC State Vet School, before heading back to the Centennial Campus of NC State. Not too far from the finish line, I spotted our local CBS affiliate station, WRAL, which was kinda neat to see, too.
I used the run-walk-run method I learned from training with the Galloway group through the summer. I started out running 2 minutes and walking 1 minute, then repeating, but decided to scale it back to running 1 and walking 1 minute, and that worked out well for most of the race. Sometimes I ran extra or a little less, depending on water and porta-john stops. Once my feet started hurting and my legs got tired, I knew that I could last for a minute's worth of running, at least!
The porta-johns were a life-saver, by the way. I ended up stopping at every available one! While I was thankful for them, I don't want to have to use another one for a long time to come! I hope that my innards settle down for the next half marathon I do. I'll definitely try to alter how I eat/drink in the couple of days prior to the next half marathon.
The plantar fasciitis in my left foot really started bothering me the last couple of miles, so I did a lot more walking. When I got within the last mile or so, I started running more. Seeing the finish line ahead of me was such a relief, like a magnet pulling me toward the time clock!
George had our digital camera, and spotted me in the white shirt and shorts in the background. Audrey, an acquainance from ERUUF (who I didn't even know was in the race) is in the black shirt in the forefront!
I was sooo tired!
Still heading toward the finish line, I was on autopliot by this point!
George happened to catch my gun time of 3 hours, 22 minutes, 52 seconds on the big clock. Official results are already posted, and my chip time was 3:19:24. I was back in the pack at the beginning of the race, so it took me three minutes and change to cross the starting line.
After the race, I saw Susan, the Junior League friend that I ran with in last December's Jingle Bell Run. She's the one who let me know about the Galloway training program in Raleigh that I joined (so did she), so it was fun to see her during and after today's race. I also saw Audrey from ERUUF, as well as Suzanne from Team in Training, whom I met on last weekend's long run on the American Tobacco Trail (she was manning a TNT water stop), after the race, and it was fun to have hugs and congratulations all around after the race!
After the excitement of finishing, getting my finisher's medal, and getting some water, I remembered how exhausted I was! It was a challenge walking to the car, and I was thankful George was there to drive us home!
I've been working toward this goal for so long. Now I'm feeling a little bit of "What's next?!" I definitely want to do another half marathon. Maybe there's a full marathon in my future. But first things first--more rest, and more water!