The best thing about marathon training is the confidence builder. Last year when the Cow Town half marathon was coming up I remember thinking, “I need to start training for this race.” I began running more and more around November and then come February I headed out to the race and finished at my regular 2:22 finish.
This past summer my friend Tiffany and I decided to run the full marathon. We began our training at the end of October and have done really well. We have 4 weeks left in our program…I’m thrilled.
On Thursday, Jan 24th Tiffany texted me while I was at work, “There’s a half marathon at Lake Benbrook on Saturday you wanna run that instead of our scheduled 14 miles?” I thought, “Sure why not.” How cool for one to think, “I’ll just enter a half marathon race this weekend.” Rather than, months before, “I need to start training for a half marathon.”
Friday, Jan 25 I went to Fort Worth Running Company and registered for the race, (online registration had closed). I got my bib number, my d-tag, and my race shirt, “sweet.” Well I can’t go into a running store without buying something, even if it’s just socks or something. I got a hand held water bottle with a strap since I figured my fuel belt is over kill for “just a half marathon” at this point. I mean how crazy, I was that confident.
Tiffany and I were texting back and forth coming up with some goals for this run. Should we try to PR? Take it slow and easy? What was the game plan? We decided to try and PR, especially since on my 13.1 miles training run, I broke my PR by a little over half, (2:10)!
Saturday morning I sent Tiffany a “wake up text” at 6:30am. She told me it might rain and I decided to wear a tech shirt rather than a tank top, so I had to un pin my number….re pin…so much for getting everything ready the night before right? I ate my usual, oatmeal with honey, drank 12 oz of water, took my antihistimine, and other “anti meds” , poured my coffee in my travel mug and headed out. Erik was driving, which was great since I didn’t know exactly where Lake Benbrook was.
I met Tiffany at the park, and brr it was a little colder than anticipated, other runners were in their ear muffs and gloves, we had on short sleeve tech shirts and capris. Oh well we knew we’d warm up after mile 1 or 2.
Now the potty line (for the second time) and the line was long this time. Race started at 8:30am and it was 8:25am I was still about 6 people away from getting into a stall. Finally, my turn! It’s 8:30! Oh well I had to go, Tiffany went ahead to the start, but took it slow, I caught up with her and off we were.
Mile 1-3 my calves were burning like crazy, felt like when I would put the treadmill on an incline to do hill work. Tiffany said her hip was hurting but she was feeling ok. There was a black lab running the race with us, no leash, his owner would call him every now and then. The dog was cute but quite a distraction. He cut off a runner at one point and she almost tripped over him! “He could have put him on a leash at least.” Tiffany said. “Yeah really.” “They should make it a rule, no dogs without leashes!” and on and on we went for about a mile about this and that. Into our first three miles we came up to a gate looking thing and a volunteer saying, “Watch your step.” As runners hopped over what looked like spikes…wait spikes? In the middle of a half marathon course are you kidding me? Hmmm…”That’s a liability” “We sign waivers so there is not liablity.” “Oh right” So on we continued chatting about this and that…”Is your bottle leaking?” Tiffany asked. “No” as I tipped mine upside down. “My hand is all wet and so is my shirt.” Ugh…Tiffany dumped her bottle out while we were still running, “I’ll regret that later.” Mile 4 and our first walk break for 1 minute and we proceeded, my calves were numb, and I was feeling my runner’s high…We got to the “Nice Hill” that we had heard about. “We got this!” “We’ve done this pushing a stroller.” Behind us we heard this lady gasping for air…it was annoying to say the least. It reminded me of Hawkeye when he pulled me through the Turkey Trot and was choking himself on his collar. “Why would you sprint up a hill?” Tiffany asked more rhetorical then anything else. I gave her a knowing glance. She said, “Then you waste all your energy for the end.”
We continued running and I found my cadence. There was an older man who came up running along side us. Tiffany asked, “How long you’ve been running?” “Since 1989, half marathons are the distances I do now.” Wow! Iwas so impressed, “Keep it up you’re doing great!” Mile 6 water stop, we paused and “Oh this is the turn around…hahaha.” We paused, drank our water, turned around, and continued running. Mile 8, we took one more walk break and then decided to pick up the pace. Mile 9-10 or so we ran a 7:50min mile. Walk break for 1 minute and we were off mile 10-11 at a steady 9:15 or so pace. All of the sudden, Tiffany started, “You’re a shotgun – bang! What’s up with that thang? (of course I joined in) I wanna know how does it hang?Straight up, wait up, hold up, Mr. Lover….Shoop shoop ba-doop.” Yeah I needed that…”That’s called delirious ” She said.
There was one point I can’t remember exactly when but we were in the middle of our half closer to the latter half when all of the sudden three deer came running across the course from one side to another! They came so fast, one runner that was ahead actually stopped to let the deer cross! The funniest thing and so unexpected!
One more walk break and off we went…mile 12-13 8:30min pace I remember feeling so good just go go go go go run ida run! We passed mile marker 13 and I let out a AARRGGHH!!! POINT ONE!!! Tiffany let out a ARRRGGGHHH and the guy just a few feet in front of us, chuckled and did the same thing. I glanced up at the clock as we were coming up to the finish, our clock time 2:06.
Tiffany’s Garmin clocked us at 2:05 for 13.3 miles (she started her garmin just as she crossed the start). My Garmin clocked us at 2:03 for 13.1 miles (I started my Garmin a few tenths later). We both got our PR and we ran hard. It was a challenging course, inclined and hilly.