I walked my first half marathon today, the Trailbreaker in Waukesha, WI
Today was a dry, but cloudy and somewhat cool day with a high of 52, but if it got much above 45, I would be surprised. Didn't see any hint of sun, but no rain either. Only a little bit of cold wind, so much better than a few days ago was breeze/wind wise.
My "race" started at 9:30 AM and bib/race packet pickup was this morning. I planned to get there at 9 AM and have my hubby drive me. But he had banged up his toe real good (Luckily it doesn't look broken like my son and I have both done in the past two years, me in 2010 and my son in 2011.) and wasn't comfortable wearing shoes. So I had to drive myself, but it is in my town, so that isn't a problem. Only thing was I should have left earlier then, as I knew parking would be a nightmare, that was why I wanted him to drive me. I was there by 9:05 AM, but had to find a spot. The school across the street was a popular parking spot for runners, but a lady from the school started shouting at people pulling in, as the school had some kind of activity, so while I had already gotten out of my car, I went back and moved my car.
But then I had to walk at least half a mile to get to the start spot and the bib pickup table. I picked up my bib, and my timing chip and put them both on. (A bib doesn't work too well with a belt pouch that one moves around. I tore the darn thing up a bit.) Then I had to find a bathroom and my event was starting anytime. The first bathroom I knew of had a line, then the portapotties had an even bigger line. Found another bathroom with no line, quickly went to the bathroom and headed out. I saw a large group of runners starting and I knew my event started at 9:30 and the next wasn't until 10:30, so I asked someone standing there and she said it was the half marathon. So I joined the group and started, passing the start line and the photographer. Was nervous a bit, as I had no idea if I was supposed to be placed or needed to do anything with the timing chip, etc.
The miles went a bit faster than I am used to, if there mile markers were placed correctly. Once I got off the city sidewalks and to the bike trail, I put my ipod shuffle on and listened to my music. We had police directing traffic at all intersections which was nice. I think everyone thought this odd walker with the heavier layers and the big hat was just really weird. Was a bit nervous on the city streets to try and keep at least a runner in front of me whom I could see in case I got turned around or anything. I wanted to see which way I was supposed to be going. Once on the bike trail, I settled in a bit more.
Was fun watching the other half marathoners and marathoners coming back down the trail, as both went up and then back. The marathoners had to climb a huge tower and a large hill on their way too. Some sure looked like they were going to pass out, but most looked really strong and some great leg muscles, etc. Really only a few chunky people, but I like seeing some, as it can be somewhat inspiring to me. Anyone can do a half marathon, if they put their minds to it. (Now I see sunlight, wish we had had some this morning.)
After the turnaround I didn't see as many other people, mostly marathoners passing me. I started to feel a bit alone at that point and well, a bit crazy. I mean who in their right mind decides to WALK a half marathon? But I told myself, yes, at least once outloud, to just keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep going. A few songs came on my ipod that made me sing a tad too. It helped. I wonder if it is somewhat normal to have a down period sometimes during the 8th or 9th mile, as I have noticed on my treadmill during training that that is the hardest time for me. That is not quite close enough to done to say only a little to go, but one is starting to get tired. I could tell I was probably doing a faster pace then I had during training, as my right leg was complaining a bit more than normal. So I kept going.
Around 2 to 3 miles to go, I heard two people talking. The female felt it would be embarrassing to have to walk across the finish line. I do understand the feeling, but wish people didn't have that feeling. Bothered me a tiny bit. My legs kept bugging me a bit, but kept right on going. Nearing the finish line there was two kids who were waiting for someone else who started clapping a bit, which was nice. There really weren't many spectators. I crossed the finish line and was handed a medal and asked if I did the half or marathon and stated I walked the half. She said I had a good pace then, to which I replied I really had no idea. They took the time chip and I went inside and grabbed a banana, some water, etc.
Called my hubby after I sat a few minutes to see if he had come. I had told him to come at 1 PM, but had crossed the finish line at least 10 minutes or so before 1 PM. He answered the phone and had not come, as he still was not feeling very well. I dreaded walking that half mile back to my car to drive home. I slowly walked back to my car and came to the spot where I had stashed my goodie bag, when we crossed near where I had parked and my bag was gone, along with my race t-shirt. So they only thing I have from the race is the medal. Was looking forward to wearing the t-shirt. :(
My official time was 3:12:56 which is an average of a 14:44 minute mile which is quite a bit faster than I was doing the distance during training. So overall had a good day, but a tad annoyed that my goodie bag is gone and I didn't even see what was inside it. I also learned that I need to be earlier to these events in the future. They can be confusing at first. Oh, and glad I had my gloves with me! I kept putting those gloves on all morning, as it was a bit chilly.
Now I am curious on how my eating/calories will turn out for the day. I generally can eat about 1830, but will I need to eat a bit more this evening in order not to feel hungry. Did take a bath and take a pain killer and my legs overall are feeling better. :)