|The cute shirt that came with our race packet!|
For the second year in a row, Columbus hosted the USATF Half Marathon Championship. As long as I've lived in Columbus, I've never run the Cap City Half. I registered last year, when registration was super cheap, in hopes that I could use it as an opportunity to PR. That was before I decided to run a marathon the week before! LOL. I knew I would have no desire to run 13.1 a week later, so I decided to downgrade to the quarter marathon.
SMART DECISION! We ended up having horrible weather. Fortunately, it did not rain while I was running. It was pretty warm and humid, but the rain held off for a while. Sadly, they had to stop the race as I was walking to my car to leave. It started to downpour along with lightning. I felt so horrible for my friends. Many of them had to stop anywhere between 8 and 12.3 miles of the half. I can't even imagine how that would feel. I want to barf just thinking about it.
I went into this race feeling no pressure at all. Hell, I just ran a marathon. Who cares how I do?! After a tough recovery run earlier in the week (3.1 miles @ 10:16/mile), I decided that my goal would be to break 1 hour. Ha! It seemed like it would be challenging at the time. I mean, run more than 6 miles at 9:09 pace? It seemed lofty at the time. A couple of days later, I ran a 4 miler with some ladies in Westerville. I had a much better result and felt really good (8:54 pace). After this run, I decided that I would try to break the 55 minute mark.
|My CRC AT teammates (and friends)...[ME, Elizabeth, Tracey]|
When I arrived, I found the CRC AT tent, met some of my CRC teammates, and set off for my warm up. About a half mile into my warm up, I stumbled upon Marion and Jackie! Yay!! We finished the warm up together and headed to our corral.
We set off up Front Street and through the Arena District before heading towards Olentangy River Road. The course was not hilly per se, but it did feel like it had the occasional incline. I had no intention to look at my watch during the race, and planned to run based on feel. Mile 1 was probably my favorite because a lot of my friends were in the same corral, and I eventually saw all of them. Based on who I was running by, I thought maybe I went out a little fast. I felt ok, so I just went with it. Unfortunately, I was around a girl that was freaking out about the clock at the mile marker. She asked the person beside her what the mile split was and I heard the girl yell out "7:40" while another person yelled "7:47." My Garmin later told me mile 1 was [7:40]. Whichever it was, I knew I would need to chill out a bit for the next one if I was going to survive the race. Mile 2 clocked in at [7:30]. I didn't know at the time that this was a big oopsy.
My legs felt good the entire race (well, until the last half mile), but I couldn't get my breathing controlled. I'm not sure if it had something to do with the humidity, but it was difficult to breath properly. We turned on 3rd where we hit mile 3 [7:58] and then on High Street to stroll through the Short North. I remember being around 3.5 miles when we made the turn on High Street. I passed a couple of girls on that stretch of 3rd, so it had me pumped up as I made the turn. We also met up with the elites at this point. They were on the other side of the street running the half. I was able to cheer them on as I was running. SO much fun! I even passed a couple more girls! Mile 4 clocked in at [7:56].
We took a short detour onto Long Street before hitting the next mile as we turned onto 4th. I was so happy to see mile 5 [7:50]...almost finished!! It was about this time that I decided to look at my watch. Because I wasn't checking my splits or looking at the clocks on the course, I had no clue what to expect. I wanted to see my overall time with a mile to go. That would allow me to estimate my potential finish time.
As I hit 5.55 miles, I realized I had a chance to break 52 minutes! What?! I was thrilled. I just kept telling myself that I only had ONE MILE TO GO. All I needed to do was bust ass to the finish. Mile 6 was [7:44]. This is when it all hit me. My body wanted to quit! I only had a half mile left, but it was the worst half mile EVER! The last 0.4 miles was up High Street to the finish. It felt like such a long stretch!! I could see the finish, but I couldn't seem to get closer to it. UGH. I sort of blanked out at this point. Rumor has it that I had friends cheering for me, but I just wasn't coherent. I do recall hearing my name a few times, but had no ability to look at who it was. My average pace for the last 0.6 was, shockingly, [7:39]. Based on how I felt in that section, I would not have guessed I was moving at that pace.
|CRC snapped an action shot of me running the final stretch. Totally in the zone.|
I finally crossed the finish line, heard my name, and saw my friend, Jessie. I'm sure I knew the others there, but nothing registered...just Jessie's smiling face. All I could do was keep walking. I snagged some water, my medal, and just kept walking. I might have barfed doing anything else. I finally looked at my watch to see if I was able to break 52 minutes:
(11th female overall, 3rd in my age group)
|My race stats.|
Woo Hoo! I couldn't believe it. All I could think about was how much I wanted to avoid racing for several weeks! I enjoyed the long walk from the finish line to the celebration area. I was by myself since most of my friends were running the half. I grabbed my free pizza and marg, enjoyed some tunes from the live band, and made my way to the CRC tent to celebrate with some of the coaches.
|The earliest I've ever had a marg.|
I really enjoyed my first Cap City experience and look forward to, hopefully, running the half one year!
|My church running family. They're all pretty hard core.|