This weekend I ran my first half marathon in Fort Worth. I’ve been training for this thing for months and felt pretty confident going into the race. We stayed with some friends that live in the area the night before. They’re like second parents to me. I love the Kerchevals, and we were so blessed to spend some time with them, even for just an evening. It’s so refreshing to stay with someone and leave feeling full and encouraged, and every time I see them I feel ministered to. We are so grateful for them!
So the morning of the race, we have to pack up all our things (which is a lot when you are traveling with a baby) and get out the door in time to get there about 30 min before the race. We were smart and got there Saturday in time to pick up my packet early so we could have some extra time the morning of. Good thing we did too!
Once in the car, I quickly realized I had everything in order, except the address to the race location….awesome. We pulled into a McDonald’s parking lot to look it up online and plug it into the gps, which wouldn’t have been a problem, except for the fact that we left 20 mins later than we wanted to. Oh, and did I mention that I didn’t get time for breakfast? Yep, just a cup of coffee, and an energy gel. So my wonderful husband got us there in record time, dropping me off at the start so I wouldn’t miss it. I had to jump out, find my socks which I had misplaced, put on my bib, and run to the nearest porta potty for some pre-race…ahem…preparation. I snuck in at the back of the pack and managed to tie my shoes right as the gun went off. Whew! Made it. I started slow while I tightened up my race vest and got my ipod set up. In my training runs I’ve been listening to Lord of the Rings, so I continued that through my race.
You’d think all the rushing would get me stressed and nervous about the race, but I went into it just wanting to have fun and finish, so I laughed about how ridiculous I was that morning, and just making it in before the gun went off, and focused on running a good race.
The first 5 miles went by quick, and I kept an easy pace. The last thing I wanted to do was go out too fast and have no juice for the finish, so after mile 5 I picked up the pace a little. It seemed like no time at all before I got to the turn around, which was an awesome sight. It was an out and back course, which was nice because after the turn around each mile closer got me more amped for the finish. Because I got there late I didn’t have time to fill the bladder in my vest, so it’s sole purpose was to hold all my gels at that point. I’m glad I packed extra though. Missing breakfast was not my ideal way to start my first half marathon, so I took gels more frequently than planned so I wouldn’t lose steam, which seemed to work, and made sure to grab water at every water stop. I came in with a finish of 2:29:41, squeaking in just under 2 1/2 hours. I was pretty pleased with my time, and ran the best race I could. Most important of all, I had fun!!! I made sure to high five every little kid holding their hand out along the way, and smiled and had fun with the people cheering all the runners on. I will definitely be running more races!