The inaugural Lakeland Red Ribbon Half Marathon benefitting the InnerAct Alliance drug prevention nonprofit agency went off without a hitch!
My finishing time was 2:26 and forty something seconds. So on a hilly, humid and hotter than ideal course, I took about 11 minutes off my previous half marathon time. I beat my goal of 2:30. I'm proud and happy!
No, it wasn't good enough to place in my age group. I'd have needed to run it about 10 minutes faster for a speed award, but I'll value my pretty red finishers medal nonetheless.
I ran almost all of it in run 3 minutes, walk 1 minute. For about the first 2 miles I ran with the 2:30 pace group, but they were going too slow on the downhills for me, so I went my pace. An experienced marathoner from our group was ahead so I caught up with her for several miles. Around mile 7 I developed a stitch in my right side. I took my walk breaks with my arms in the air trying to get the oxygen all the way to the bottom of the lung. Brenda, the marathoner, suggested breathing on alternate leg beats and I tried. I slowed a bit and the stitch relaxed. I threw in 2 extra walk minutes in the hilliest areas. Then I felt fresh and raring to go until mile 11. At that point it became an effort. I'd only run that distance or more 3 times this year and much slower. So part of it was my training and fitness level, but part of it was the hot sun beating down and the increasing heat. Also, my stomach felt like I'd drunk too much water so at the water stops I started throwing it on my head and that felt great! I did make myself still sip a little.
I was really glad to finish the race. I didn't have the leg cramps I had after my first half, but my back was hurting. Perhaps I didn't run quite as upright as I need to. I found a curb in the shade and sat a while, stretching my back. After I got my medal, I went back to the finish line to cheer in others from our group, including the angel who gave me a ride this morning. She was the last one of our group to finish at 3:16. It was her first half marathon and no one stayed with her. I felt a little guilty. She was disappointed and I felt for her. She'll be running at the Women's Half Marathon 15 days from today. That course is flat and I bet she'll do better. She has a group she's running with; I'm running with ONEKIDSMOM and her cousin. It's going to be fun!
So I did it! I finished the HM in an upright position with a smile on my face and wanting to do it again. And I got my PR. Great experience right here in my home town.
I didn't get any pictures on my own camera, but many different people did get pictures of me. Will post some later, I'm sure. But here are some pictures some of my other friends posted:
Sarah and Vince. Sarah paced the 2:30 pace group.
Brenda, on the left, is the marathoner who encouraged me mile 6-7. She finished about 2:24, as did Yvonne on the right.
Runners from the Galloway group at the finish.
Beginning of the race. I'm in there not far behind the 2:30 signs, but I can't find me.
Leah paced the 2:37 group. For training, I ran with her often.