This past Saturday I ran the Showdown Half Marathon. It was my very first half, and I can’t tell you how proud of myself I am. It was honestly THE hardest thing I’ve ever done physically. After the race, we had to head out of town for a birthday dinner and didn’t get home until late, so the last couple of days, I have basically just been getting plenty of rest and haven’t even turned my computer on until now.
After a fitful four hours of sleep Friday night, I got up to get ready to head over to Fairview where the race was being held. Again, I owe my husband big time because he also had to get up early. I ate two hard boiled eggs that I had prepared the night before and drank 1 1/2 cups of coffee. After we arrived at the race site, I also ate a Power Bar Harvest Energy Bar (not the best ingredient-wise, but they are great at providing me with energy and I don’t eat them often). Basically, the same thing I ate last year before my 15k race. A good rule when fueling for your race: stick with what you know won’t bother your stomach. You really don’t want any “surprises” while out on the course.
I had picked up my race packet the night before, so all I had to do was put on my bib and wait until time to line up. A pre-race pic…
I gotta be honest. My training leading up to this race hadn’t gone well at all. My pace had slowed since last year, and I really wasn’t sure if I was really ready to tackle a half, but I went ahead and signed up for this race. There were three reasons for my decision:
1. Location, Location, Location. Fairvew is only about a 15-20 minute drive from my house. Most of the races that take place in the DFW area are at least twice as far away.
2. Weather. Mid-October weather in Texas usually means that the temps are lower, but not freezing cold yet, so it’s a good time to do a race.
3. Race Swag!! The swag from this race was pretty awesome. Gender specific tech shirt, cap, beautiful (HEAVY) medal, and towel.The race theme was built around the big Texas-OU game that took place that day. You got to choose which color of medal and shirt you wanted based on your favorite team. I just chose the neutral color because I thought that medal was the prettiest one.
This race also had pacers running along with us, and boy, did that help! I lined up with the 2:10 pace group just before the start of the race. I’ll be honest, I was a complete mess of nerves just before we started. My legs were actually shaking! The race started in a shopping center, then headed out into some nearby neighborhoods. As we ran, my nervousness kind of eased away. I was feeling pretty good, and was able to keep up with the 2:10 pace group.
The temps were in the low seventies, but it was pretty humid, so I made sure to stop for water more often than I normally would have. The volunteers at the aid stations were so friendly and encouraging. The spectators were few and far between, but they were awesome! These races are run mostly by volunteers. They get up super early to put out signs and help get things set up for these races, which I find very admirable.
Around mile eight, I had a Strawberry flavored Honey Stingers energy gel at a water station. It was around mile nine that I began to pick up my pace a little bit, and moved ahead of the 2:10 pacers. I was beginning to feel a little tired, but still felt okay. Then, just after I passed the mile 11 mark, I hit a major wall. I’ve read about other runners experiencing this, but this was the first time I’ve ever felt it. A wave of nausea swept over me and I had to stop and walk for a minute. I was so frustrated with myself. I was so close to the finish line, and now this?
Fortunately, the wave of nausea left as quickly as it hit, and I pushed myself to start running again. I only walked for about a minute, but I was still a little disappointed with myself. It took everything I had in me to finish those last two miles. There was no way that I was going to just walk in to the finish line.
My official time 2:07:44
I won’t say that I finished strong, but I did manage to finish with a smile on my face and the knowledge that I had pushed through and finished what I set out to do!