56 training sessions
That is what it took to get me ready to run my first half marathon. Many bloggers are able to recap their race kilometer by kilometer. For me, it's not quite all a blur, but there is no way that I can remember what happened at km 2 vs. km 12.
What I do remember is that the locals from Eastern Passage were amazing. Nearly 3000 people over took them for 2 days and all they did is offer their support. With cheering, impromptu water stops and and amazing signs.
I also remember the hills. OMG the hills. Hilary and I had gone out and driven the course the week before, but the perspective of a hill is much different when you approach it on foot after having already run for 2 hours, then it is when you drive up it in a car. One water station was strategically placed half way up a hill and had bunches of kids who ran down to meet me and "helped" me up the hill. And yes, having a 4 year old run circles around me really did help.
The weather turned out to be perfect. During the night we had a huge rain storm, and they had been calling for rain all day Saturday. The rain finished up by 6:00 AM, but the day stayed cloudy and overcast with some fog along the coast. It was cool, with a great breeze coming off the water. Perfect conditions, especially after the past few weeks of heat and humidity.
What I remember most is finishing. As I came around the corner and into the village, the very first person I saw was Hilary. And with less then 500 feet to go, I burst out crying. Ugly, sobbing, bone wracking crying. Except that I still had to keep running. Luckily the end of the course snaked through the village and I had a few seconds to pull myself together before I rounded the final bend and was met with the crowds at the finish line. I wasn't actually "together" but I was able to breath enough to keep going. The next thing I knew, with 100 feet left to go and barely any strength left, a running friend came out of the crowd and ran with me to the finish line, shouting and cheering the whole way. Add to that the race announcer telling everyone that this was my first half and seeing Hilary in front of me..... well, the ugly crying was back pretty quick. I was barely able to hold it together long enough for my friend Mickie (Cap'n Shin Splints) to give me my medal.
After getting my medals (yes two - one for finishing on Saturday, and one because I completed the "Tartan-Twosome" which is running the 5k Friday night and then running again on Saturday), I got to ring the Captain's Bell. Which of of course brought on more crying.
My goal had been a) to finish and b) to try and finish in under 4 hours. And I was able to. My final time was 03:47:00, which is a pace of 10:49/km.
I am a half-marathoner!