Did you happen to hear that shout of glee (wwhhheeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!) around 9:03am EST yesterday morning? That was me, finishing my first half marathon (yes, I’ve run two full marathons before even one half). In under 2 hours. Seriously.

Starting at the beginning: On Saturday I met Jena and Sherry up at Clearwater Beach for lunch and sunning. Unfortunately, only the lunch part (Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill- yum!) panned out, with the sunning turning out to be more of a sandblasting with the high winds. Once we were over the exfoliation we headed back to Casa Motivational Miles to get cleaned up before picking up our bibs and shirts. I ended up making the girls go over the Sunshine Skyway 4 times over the course of the weekend because thre’s no better way to get over your fears than face them right? Just kidding girls, I didn’t intentionally traumatize you, it just worked out that way. 😉

After our guests were fed, we hung around chatting before turning in early for the night with a 5am wake up call. In the morning I ate my typical oatmeal with peanut butter and banana and washed it down with coffee and water. Oddly enough, we lost track of time and left the house 20 minutes later than we had planned! It all worked out ok since it was a smaller race with plenty of parking. We had more than enough time to grab our chips, use the port-o-potty and stretch before the race.

The three of us started off together with our strategy being to attempt a 9:20-9:30 pace. I really had no idea what kind of pace I could hold for a half and I honestly thought that I was being ambitious when I told Jena 9:20ish a week before the race. It turns out my legs wanted to go faster (they were bored with all that Marathon training ;-)) and after 3 miles I stopped fighting it and took off with the hope that I wasn’t overdoing it. The splits (I accidentally forgot to reset my watch after my 3 mile run on Friday so I had to make these myself in excel):

Chip time was 1:58:11. 10th in my age group!

I was definitely pushing myself, with my heart rate hovering around 180bpm the majority of the race (ignore the first 3 miles, the half starts at that giant dip):

Even though I was pushing to the point of discomfort I was really enjoying myself. This was a Halloween race and a lot of people dressed up. Myself, Jena and Sherry included.

Sherry, Me, Jena (after the race). Of course my tutu is pink!

I kept my eye on the time, knowing that if I could just keep pushing I could break 2 hours. There was a lot of grunting in the last mile and I’m really thankful that the guy running next to me was really encouraging rather than just thinking I was a weirdo. Like the Marathon I ran two weeks ago, I really think CrossFit played a huge role in getting me across the finish line strong and with determination. That and I knew there was an awesome medal waiting for me:

After Sherry and Jena finished (unfortunately Sherry didn’t have the same great experience but I know that she’s going to show the half marathon distance who’s boss when we run the Women’s Half in November!) we discovered that all the good eats were gone so we went to Cracker Barrel instead. I got their new seasonal apple streusel french toast and it was aaamazing!

Overall I had a great race and a lot of fun with my friends. I really enjoyed the half marathon distance and am so thankful my first experience was so positive. I’ve crossed another goal off my list (sub-2hr half marathon) and am really looking forward to the next half in November.

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