Well, I did it! The 2012 Smuttynose Half Marathon is in the books!
It was an emotional roller coaster for the whole 13.1 miles. I was up. I was down. I was all around.
Let’s start from the beginning. The forecast was calling for a chance of rain on Saturday. Ron was going back and forth about bringing the whole crew down to Hampton for the race. Not too fun for him to be chasing 2 toddlers in the rain while trying to divert them from the beach and a really fun playground.
On one hand, I’d rather they all stayed home and stayed dry. But on the other hand, it’s so nice to see their smiling faces out on the race course even if it is once. Just knowing that someone out there is cheering me on helps so much. In the end, Ron decided to take the chance. That meant I didn’t have to leave at the butt crack of dawn to get down there to find a parking spot. Yay!
Once we got to Hampton, we split up since I needed to find a port a potty ASAP and only had 15 minutes to spare before the start. Hurried kisses before I jogged off in search of a short line (ha ha!). I came across one of the beach bath houses first. There was a line but not too bad. Bonus that it wasn’t a port a potty! Are those things ever clean? Yuck! The line moved quickly (great job ladies!) and I jogged the remaining 1/4 mile or so to the start.
This race had the same start time for the marathon and half. There was about 5000 runners/walkers all lined up ready to go.
This was actually one of the biggest races I’ve ever done. I was feeling a little claustrophobic waiting for the start but I did appreciate all the bodies around to keep me warm. 🙂 By this time it had started to drizzle, too. No big deal. I like running in a light rain.
Within a few minutes we were off! The first mile was a loop going south that then turned us around past the start again. A little strange especially since the side roads in Hampton aren’t very wide. It caused quite a bit of a bottleneck with plenty of people making mad dashes around each other. Once we were back on the main road, it was much better. There were a lot of spectators so I was trying to keep an eye out for my crew. Around mile 2-3, I spotted them and they actually saw me this time!
Little did I know that I was also entering a wet t-shirt contest during the race! Bad move on wearing white. 😉
Seeing them made me so happy even if it was for a few seconds. I appreciate my support crew so much!!
Things were going along great. My legs felt light. My knee was pain free. Around mile 4, I started thinking about how this race was supposed to be THE ONE. My first marathon. Of course, I started to tear up. Am I the only one who gets emotional during races? I think I’ve shed a tear during every half marathon I’ve ever done! What can I say, running is my therapy where I just let it all out. 🙂 About 2 miles down the road, I was moved to tears again when I saw a woman pushing a large jogging stroller with her special needs child in it. She looked like she was struggling but was determined. Such love, strength and devotion to do something like that. Proof that I should be THANKFUL for the ability to run no matter what the distance it is.
From mile 6-10, I was still feeling great. At the last minute, I had decided to run with music, something I haven’t done in years. Listening to my ancient playlist really helped push me along. How ironic that I had “I’m Only Happy When It Rains” by Garbage on it? Speaking of the rain, it was coming down more steadily and I was getting chilled. My quads were starting to feel super tight at mile 11 to the point of having to stop to stretch. It didn’t really help much but I knew I didn’t have much distance left so I tried to push past it.
Once I finished I was toast. My legs were cramping up so much that I couldn’t even stretch. I grabbed some food and soon found my crew. We were all cold and wet. That’s the thing about running in the rain – it’s fine while you are moving. Once you stop, you are miserable. The thought of the post race Smuttynose beers and lobster rolls were enough to make me want to vomit. I had Ron snap once picture and then I wanted to leave. All I could think of was blasting the heat in the car to warm up. So we hoofed it to the car where I promptly took my wet Mizuno’s and socks off. Having wet feet is the worst! I think all feet are gross but I just had to share my prune toes!
I need a manicure, too.
I crossed the finish line at 1:55. Not my best time but good enough for taking most of July and all of August off to let my knee rehab. This was a test for the ol’ knee. I think she’s good to go! My next half marathon is November 11, 6 weeks away. My confidence is back. Time to get back to tempo and speed training! Let’s do this!