So a couple of weeks ago, I went into the rundisney website so I could put in my proof of time from a recent 10k, so I could get a higher corral placement for marathon weekend. This is important because the higher your corral, the more time you get for the race, and the more likely you won't be attacked (swept) by the scary, balloon ladies! I have yet to see the balloon ladies, but just the thought of them strikes fear in my already overly anxious heart.
But on the website, I saw you couldn't use a 10k time, like you could for the Disney Half-Marathons I've done (I should have figured that out months ago). You had to have at least a ten miler! I thought, "Crap." Because my other halfs were fun races, and I ran the whole thing, but I stopped and took my time. So my times weren't usable.
So with the proof of time deadline being October 6th, that left me two weeks to find and run a half-marathon. So I signed up for the Southern Tennessee Power Classic Half-Marathon in Winchester, Tennessee, for October 3rd.
Friday afternoon, I packed up my bags to road trip up to Tennessee. Winchester is an hour and half away, so I ended up renting a hotel room for the night before the race. I went alone because there was really no reason for Adam to come. We didn't want to figure out what to do with Link. I'm a lot more confident in my running than I was when I first started racing, so while I love the support of having someone there with me, it isn't required.
I loved my little road trip though, I blasted my tunes the whole way, car dancing like crazy, and singing at the top of my lungs. I posted this pic on facebook to tell everyone I was doing the #soloyolo.
When I got to Winchester, I headed to pick up my race packet, which was at this old-timey theatre downtown (the Oldham theatre), which was pretty cool ! The town of Winchester is small (a lot like my hometown), and it has a beautiful square area. It was decorated for autumn with all these adorable owls around it. I adore owls, as they are my college mascot. So of course, I had to text a picture of them to my college buddies.
The lady I talked to at the packet pick-up was so sweet! When I showed her my ID, she said she wasn't sure that was me, and I explained to her that I had lost 200 lbs. She was impressed, I don't wear my weight loss on my sleeve, but when someone notices it, I feel a little proud. She told me the local rotary was having a spaghetti dinner really cheap for race participates. So I got a to-go box, and they loaded me up with so much food! I only ate a fourth of it. I spent the rest of the night watching TV in the room.
I had to laugh because in the hotel room I was flipping through channels, and I saw these "teams of contestants" and I thought, "it's The Biggest Loser. I haven't seen this in forever! I'll watch this. " But then I realized everyone was skinny and not crying, and I was watching The Amazing Race.
It was so cold the morning of the race, like 47 degrees! It was also drizzly, but I knew I would be fine once I started running. I felt pretty good when the race started. Fairly quickly I was at the back of the pack, and a police car was following behind me THE WHOLE TIME. Holy anxiety, Batman. Eventually I forgot about him though.
I knew all I could do was run my own race, and not care that I was last!
My first mile time was somewhat slow, and not at all what I wanted if I wanted to get a sub 3:15 race time. This was partly due to having to warm up more and partly due to it being such a hilly course. But my split times decreased for the first 4 miles, and pretty soon I was averaging a 14:30 mile, which I was pleased with.
It rained the entire race! I have never raced in the ran. Sometimes it was sprinkling, sometimes it was raining hard. And sometimes that was downright miserable. I was more concerned about wet socks (and getting blisters) than anything else. But it also felt pretty hard core to run in the rain!
The last mile was really tough, but I ended up passing a few people I had been behind the entire time. I finished strong and never quit running!
I was really pleased with my half-marathon time! I wanted a sub 3:15 race time, and I got that. I was very proud of myself because this was the most physically demanding race I have ever done. As soon as the race was done, I immediately became freezing cold. I was miserable and soaking wet! I couldn't wait to get some dry clothes on. So I stopped at the gas station before I got on the road to go home to change. Being dry for the first time in three and a half hours was heavenly.
When I got home I took my first ever epsom salt bath to try to get rid of some of the soreness. And oh my gosh Epsom salts are the best thing ever. I have taken a bath with them every day since. And every time I take one, I immediately zonk out afterwards, and wake up confused about where I am! It's the best.
I'm so happy with how this half went, and I just can't believe in 100 something days, I'm going to be running a full marathon!!
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