Sunday, September 15, 2013

Broadway Bridge Half Marathon Recap

Hi friends!

Last Sunday I ran my second half marathon. I'll get a few important things out of the way:

1. I did not beat my first half marathon time.
2. I did not complete the race without walking.
3. I'm still actually really happy with this run.

I'll start at the beginning.

Going into race weekend, I didn't feel awesome. I didn't make it through my 11-mile training run, quitting early and walking home after six miles. So the most I'd run in this training cycle was 10 miles, and I'd been plagued by a series of tough long runs.

But I didn't feel awful, either -- I was hoping for cool weather seeing as the race started at seven sharp, literally four minutes after sunrise, and I was proud of myself for figuring out a way to keep hydrating the night before even though I went to KU's first football game.

My mom and little sister came up for the race, my older sister was there, Pat got to be there this time, and my new friend Michelle came as well.

My dad wasn't able to make it to this one -- he had to work and take care of my grandma. But he started texting me like a week before cheering for me!

The night before we all stayed at my older sister's apartment and I really just had a good time with all of them in town. So I went into the race in a great mood.

With Pat, right before the start

Waving as I ran past Pat right after the start
 I started out pretty strong, I think. I was keeping a great pace through the first 6 miles.

I saw my family/supporters right around the 6 mile mark and I was doing great -- I'd run through the first aid station and managed to get some water down at the second while running. They were so awesome! My family made signs, and so did Michelle and they saw me coming and started cheering.

Michelle and my sisters had both made signs! My sisters made an Office themed one, which was the one showing at this point. :)
A la Dwight's "It is your birthday"
My pace picked up by like a minute and a half when I saw them! It was so great to have all of them there!

Between 7 and 8 miles was where things started to get difficult. I got to a brutal hill and NO ONE, in front or behind me, was running up the hill -- every single person was walking. That was the first time I walked, but I ended up walking quite a bit through the race.

It got pretty hot -- I saw a bank sign that said 86 degrees at one point, and Pat said he saw it get up to at least 84. There were so many hills -- any time I talked to other runners on the course, it was about the wicked hills. By the time I saw my supporters again around 10 miles, I already knew I couldn't beat my previous time. At that point I was pretty disappointed and almost wanted to stop. But I got some water from Pat and ran off again.

I walked a lot in the last 5k, which was another thing I didn't want to do. But there were a TON of people walking. The course was really difficult, it was really hot -- and I just don't feel bad about walking. Even though my big goal was to not walk, there will be other races.
This one, I was glad to finish.

My strategy became to run any time it was flat or downhill. I was able to run about the last mile and a half -- my GPS actually says I ran 13.5, so a little bit extra once you count in all the wide turns and stuff.

I saw my family one more time right before my GPS hit 13.1! They had inherited a sign from someone else and were right before a downhill/flat stretch to the actual finish line. So really, they saw me finish my half marathon, even though they didn't quite make it to the finish line in time.
The closest sign was the inherited one :)
The other side of the sign my sisters made :)
I finished in 2:44:47 -- 22.5 minutes slower than my first half marathon. But, I finished, and I actually had a lot of fun and am proud just to have finished this one -- it was SUCH a hard course. I also was able to avoid some of the stomach issues I had the first time, although this time I had some pretty serious chaffing issues and was apparently bleeding on my leg for a lot of the course.
The only decent photo I got from the race people -- not at the finish, though.
My first half marathon was super emotional, I didn't get much sleep the two nights before, and I was just struggling with motivation. This one was really difficult physically -- lots of hills, heat and humidity.

But I've come to realize that there's always going to be something extra -- nothing can ever go perfectly. I think, as much as getting after your goals and achieving that PR, best time, running races is about facing whatever challenges come up -- in the course of training and in the course of the race -- and finishing, beating them down, crossing the finish line.

I got really mad at myself at my first half for not taking a picture with my parents, who were SO AMAZING. So at this race I made everyone take pictures with me.

Michelle and I took one picture on my phone and then I started to feel sick and told Pat to hurry and come take a picture with me -- not realizing that Michelle wanted a picture on her phone too! So we got these two pictures, which pretty much sum up the emotions of running a half for me, I think.

So that's it! That's my second half marathon. When I got to that first awful hill, I had a few minutes where I was convinced I'd never run again. But less than a week later, I've been looking for more races to sign up for. Running just gets in your blood that way, I guess. :)

Thanks for reading, friends!


Kristen said...

Congrats on finishing! Definitely a huge accomplishment!

Kim Scardino said...

Way to go!

Katrin said...

Congratulations, Abbey! You did fantastic! And I love your Dad's messages! So cute! My Dad would do the same I guess. :)

Kate said...

I LOVE all the messages from your Dad. So dang cute!

And I love what you said about the challenges of running. It's always something new, and surviving those challenges really is the ultimate goal.
I would be lying if I said one of the reasons I signed up for the half that I did is because it's in December. Running in heat/humidity really changes the game completely. I wanted my first half to be in cooler weather. It's also one of the few in East TN that doesn't have ridiculous hills. Figured I'd have a better chance of surviving. ;)

Cassy said...

Congrats Abbey! I think being happy with your run overall is the most important thing. I finished my second 5k this weekend and also walked a lot, which I wasn't expecting, so I still think you're a beast!

PS - your dad is the cutest!

The Lady Okie said...

You're so cute! I love all the pictures. That's a pretty good race picture. I have yet to find a good one of me. At least good enough to buy. Congratulations! You did awesome. I love your attitude, and I'm so glad to hear you're already looking for more races :) Makes me excited to run my races this fall!

Breenah A said...

Good job!!!

Kaitlin said...

Way to go!! Also your dad is adorable haha!! Way to be positive about not "beating" your old time. You know I went through a similar experience earlier this summer and you have such a better attitude than I did at first! Every race is a good race because you learn something and hey, tons of people were sitting at home on their butts, so...!

Amy said...

those signs were amazing
AND you were bleeding from chafing and kept going!
DANG GIRL you are a beast!

jaime said...

Congrats on finishing your second half marathon! Running in the heat is awful, and you did great! Love the signs too. :)

Holly said...

The fact that you are still happy with your run even if you didn't hit the goals you wanted makes ME happy!! You did a fabulous job, Abbey, congrats!!! And I love the 'Office' sign hahaha :)

Sarah Grace said...

way to go!!!! so proud of you for overcoming such crazy and unexpected obstacles!


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