Monday, May 21, 2012

day 21: weekend recap, marine corps historic half 2012

This past weekend, John and I drove to Fredericksburg, Virginia with another couple (and their baby) to run the Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon.  I ran my first half a year and a half ago and had no intention of running another.  But time heals all wounds, and lo and behold, here we are again.  My first race was a really hard course, a very small crowd and incredibly anti-climatic - which all made the experience a little meh, to say the least.

After lots of research, I decided to run the Marine Corps Historic Half, because I loved the idea of running to support the troops and being awarded by a Marine with a finisher's medal at the finish.  There were thousands of runners and hundreds of Marines.  It was really inspiring/emotional to hear why certain people were running this race.  Some had loved ones overseas.  Some had lost loved ones overseas.  Seeing SO MANY people come together in support was such an incredible experience.  I even chose to run without any music just so I could soak it all in.  I was shocked at how fast the time went by!

The weather was gorgeous, but warmed up quickly.  I'm not great a running in the hot sun and haven't had much training in those conditions so far this year.  I also managed to get a pinched nerve in my neck that morning, so had to make an emergency trip to WalMart and ran most of the race with a Tiger Balm patch on.  Luckily, once I got going, I forgot about the pain and just powered through.  Definitely not ideal, though.

I did manage to finish just a couple of minutes before my previous time, but more importantly, I finished super pumped about running another one.  And learning to run it faster!  Which is more than I can say for my first experience.  I also didn't cry at mile 12 this time ... so, there's that.

Have you ever run a half marathon?  Any ones in particular that you would recommend?

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And they're off!  It took 10 minutes for all the runners to cross the starting line.  It was about 5-6 minutes until I crossed.  I've never run in such a big race before, and it was AMAZING!

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This was at mile 10.  Also known as the start of the hardest 3 miles of my life - 2 of which were UPHILL!  I was feeling pretty great, though.  At this point, I kept thinking that it was only mile 9 - everything gets a little muddled in the middle.  I didn't run with any music, but there was so much going on throughout the course that the time went by really fast!

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The finish is in sight!  It's so fitting that the top photo is so blurry, because that's exactly how I felt at the time.  I spent the last mile chanting to myself "left, right, left right, left, right ..."

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