Finisher!

We did it! We finished our first ever half marathon! It was a pretty chilly morning but our toes quickly thawed once we began running. Here we are at the start all the way in the back with the 12+ minute milers.

race01

Mark and I ran together for the first mile, mainly so I could help hold him back to prevent him from starting off at too quick of a pace. Eventually he broke away and said he’d meet me at the finish line, then it was time to go to work. The first couple miles flew by since the crowd was still rather thick but people slowly thinned out and I was able to focus more on getting into my interval rhythm.

race03

In the weeks prior to the race we had considered driving the race route to scope out the hill we knew we would have to climb but we decided to keep it a surprise. I’m kind of glad we did because otherwise I might have been a little nervous…I mean, this hill was pretty sizable. At about mile 5 we began our ascent and didn’t see much of a break for a good 2 miles. After one last steep stretch of road we reached the top and were greeted with a beautiful view of the foggy valley below. It was breathtaking. While running up above the fog we were warmed by the sun and as we descended again, into the fog, the temperature dropped back down at least 10 degrees {a much welcomed refresher after the climb}.

race02

My initial time goal was 2:45:00 but after crossing the half way point I knew I could make it in 2:40:00 as long as I stayed conscious of my pace. So with a new goal in mind I jogged the entire backside of the hill, skipping my intervals for a couple miles while I had the energy, and made an attempt to pass someone new on each run interval. It was kind of fun because I generally stayed with the same 10-15 people for most of the race; I passed them, then they passed me, and so on.

As I crossed the finish line the timer read 2:40:39 which made me sad since I was just over my goal but after looking up my official time according to the GPS chip in my bib I had finished in 2:39:09! Because we started so far back we didn’t cross the official start line for a full minute and a half after the gun.

Britney race results

Though my finish time, pace and overall placement isn’t anything too impressive, I am super proud of myself {and my hub} for accomplishing this. We worked really hard to train and there were plenty of times when neither Mark nor I wanted to go out and run but we encouraged each other and found a way to get it done.

Mark’s goal was to finish in under 2 hours but thanks to his knee pain flaring up again after mile 7 he came in at 2:12:27; not too shabby at all, he did awesome! Since he finished before me he was there cheering me on at the finish line :)

race04

After the race we hung out at our group’s tent for a little while chatting with our friends and taking advantage of some free Chick-fil-a sandwiches. Then we headed home to an ice bath and LOTS of stretching.

What a great experience, and I got to share it all with my hub :)

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