Sunday, November 27, 2011
Well, I completed my first half marathon. And it was much, MUCH harder than I ever EVER imagined. Despite all my training, I was very disappointed with my time overall. And the course was MUCH more difficult than I had ever imagined.
The course was listed on the website to be "moderately hilly." I didn't train for a lot of hills, but I knew I'd be okay with some moderate ups-and-downs throughout. Well...the number of hills during this race was pretty incredible. I mean, we are talking a LOT of hills. At first, the hills weren't bad at all! I was doing just fine and feeling pretty good. This led to me cruising along until Mile 6 or so, when suddenly there was a straight up hill and was followed by several more long, steep hills. I pretty much lost all momentum after running up the super steep first hill and the rest of my run COMPLETELY suffered for it. I actually ended up doing quite a bit of walk/run-ing for the rest of the race because my body just shut down after that hill. It sucked!
The scenery was pretty nice, but it was basically pouring and windy the entire run. It was very, very difficult to be soaked to the bone and but still be attempting to plod along towards the finish.
I talked with several other people and they were pretty surprised at how many hills there were in the course. There were a couple miles straight of just gradual/moderate incline and it was insanely hard. I don't think I would run this race again because I just didn't appreciate the fact that they called it "moderately hilly" when it was actually pretty dang hilly. Not San Fransisco hills by any means, but hilly. Far more than I expected.
Overall, I am proud that I finished, but I am very, VERY disappointed in my race timing of 2:40:30. I knew I could do much better than that and I am actually shocked that my time was so terrible. I was actually pretty down about it after the race and ended up crying. I know it's a great accomplishment to just finish (especially for my first HM ever), but I can't seem to get over the fact that I am embarrassed and feel as though I actually "failed" this race.
My friend who I came with finished in 2:11. I have no clue how she did that. We pretty much trained together and she didn't have a lot of experience with hills either. She is taller than me and has a longer gait, so I expected to finish behind her anyway, but I was shocked that she was able to maintain such an impressive pace (even after she told me how hard and hilly she thought the course was). I am very proud of her, but it really was a sucky feeling to know how much better she did on this race and how much I....well, kind of sucked at it.
I guess the only thing I can do is rest a bit and then get back on track for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon in January. Hopefully that should be a bit flatter and maybe I can stay in a better groove for that one. We'll see.