I did it! I can't believe it but I managed to complete a Half Marathon and I didn't do too bad. 2:04:20 was my chip time and 2:05:28 was my gun time which averages out at 9.5 ish minutes per mile (I was so glad to get across the finish line that I didn't pay that close attention). My goal was to stay under 2:10 so I am pretty okay with how I did. I wish I could have done better but I really hit a wall between mile 11 and 12 and was just ready to be done.
I was so nervous before the race; I was worried I was going to get there and throw up because I was nervous. It was chilly morning and a lot windier than I expected but I was glad that I still wore shorts and a t-shirt because there were spots where it was pretty warm. The wind sucked (!) especially on the last big hill we were running and on the last mile. I hate running into the wind. Otherwise the course wasn't bad and I have run most of it at various times since I have lived here. Oh and my feet! I know I have mentioned problems with my feet and shoes but it wasn't so bad today. They hurt a little but they hurt more last week on my 12 miler than they did today. I was so pleased!
I did learn two things that I will keep in mind for next time. One: I am going to carry a water bottle while training so come race day I don't have to stop at the water stations. The first two stops, I spilled gatorade all over myself and tried to drink while running and wound up coughing and sputtering. I also think I drank way more than I needed to. While training, I drank enough but not too much and during the race I wound up giving myself a stomachache which was a big part of my slowing down in the last two miles. The second thing I learned is that I will bring headphones and an ipod for the race. I think it really would have motivated me more and frankly, I started to get bored at some points. I don't normally run with music because I run at like 4:30/5:00 in the morning when it's still dark. I don't like not being able to hear what's going on around me but if I do a half marathon again, I will definitely have music.
Overall, I am so glad I did it! I almost gave up several times during my training but it's nice to be able to say that I finished. I was exhausted and sore afterwards but it was worth it. I won't be doing another half this year but who knows what next year will bring!