The Harbor Lights Half Marathon was held in Norfolk, VA. With this race series was a 5k, Half Marathon, and Get Lit Challenge for those who want to run both!
I opted for the half-marathon only. My fantastic fiance was kind enough to drive me to the race, see me off at the start, and wait for me at the finish line. I don’t know how I got so lucky. The race started at 7:30am, so we got on the road at around 6am. After staying warm in the car for awhile, Michael and I headed out to the start area. I went to do gear check and they didn’t have a spot for my bib number…odd. I had a minor freakout that I accidentally registered for the wrong race, but I didn’t. Michael put my stuff in the car and waited out most of the race in starbucks 🙂 I even found Hollie there!
I had been obsessively checking the weather and while it was going to be in the 40s at the start, it was going to be in the 50s by the time I finished. I opted for short capris and a shortsleeved t-shirt. BAD CHOICE.
I found my friend Diane at the start with the 2:45 pace group. This was her first half and we were gonna stick together the best we could.
I was able to stay with the 2:45 pace group. They were a little fast at the start, but I wanted to stay with them. I was pretty cold at the start, it took me a little while to warm up. I watched Diane pull ahead of the group a little and was excited for her.
Diane left me in the dust (which is totally a good thing). The 2:45 pace group started pulling away but were still in sight. I struggled keeping up with them during all the millions of turns on the course. I ate a few Gatorade chews. I learned my lesson at Crawlin Crab, not getting enough fuel early on.
Had a few more chews. Energy levels felt good and my mental attitude was good. I tried as much as I could to smile at the spectators and thank the many police officers on the course. I realized that even though I had worn my shirt before during a race, for some reason it started chafing my arms. The ONE time I didn’t have glide with me. I rolled up my sleeves in hopes that it would help with the chafing.
These were a little tougher mentally. I took a few walk breaks and tried to just dig in and push through until the 10 mile mark. More chews! I didn’t thank any police officers. I was too focused.
My left quad/hip flexor started seizing up. I tried to push through it but had to take a few walk breaks. I think I realized at this point how cold I really was. The temperatures were not where they should be, and it was overcast, so no warmth from the sun. I was regretting not wearing my long sleeved shirt. And holy chafing. I seriously contemplating ditching my shirt, but that wouldn’t help with the fact that I was cold. More chews!
This was also a time to thank all the police officers. It was a good distraction from the pain train. I got kind of emotional because a lot of them responded to my thank you with a “you are doing a great job, keep it up!”
I was ready to be done. I was trying to finish under 3 hours, but I couldn’t seem to get my legs to cooperate. It was really hard seeing the finish line and all the runners that had already finished. My feet hurt, my quad/hip flexor hurt and I just couldn’t seem to move as fast as my brain wanted me to! I saw my friend Catherine and stopped for a hug because I just couldn’t resist an extra little boost! I hit the 13.1 mile mark at exactly 3 hours. However, because of all the turns on the course, it was actually longer. I hit the finish line at 13.24 miles and 3:01:51.
I gathered a few high fives from Diane and her family right before I crossed the finish line.
I found Michael at the finish line. I got my medal, water, gatorade, pretzels and awesome space blanket thingie to keep me warm. Did I mention I was cold? We found Diane and her family. She ROCKED it! Finished in 2:44:xx! I’m so proud of her. SO PROUD.
Michael and I stayed around for awhile and got a beer. I was too cold to enjoy myself so we headed home for a day of relaxation and recovery!
I’m ok with my time. It was about 5 minutes slower than my fastest (Shamrock) but about 13 minutes faster than my slowest (Crawlin Crab). I’m pretty proud of myself for pushing through a lot of mental blocks. I think this was absolutely my best race mentally. Victory!
My overall thoughts:
1. Next time, wear the long sleeves.
2. My fueling was MUCH better.
3. Say thanks to more volunteers…they have a hard job.
4. Train better!
5. One word: GLIDE.
Did you race this weekend? Have you ever made poor wardrobe choices for a race?