Heather and I woke up excited and ready to get going at 5:30am to get to the half marathon. We wanted to get there early enough to take the bus to the start (we were told the busses would stop at about 6:45am). I knew the weather was going to be about 60 degrees by the time we were really running- so longer shorts, tank top and long sleeve (thin) running shirt were thrown on and a cup of coffee was inhaled.
I tried to eat a bagel and peanut butter, but my god did that taste like sawdust. It was the last thing in the world I wanted to eat. I had about a bite before I gave up and just drank more water. Heather and I packed up the car and hit the road by about 5:45am. We arrived in downtown albany in the riverfront parking garage by about 6:30. We put on gloves (best idea ever) and our throw away sweatshirts and tucked away our fuel and water bottles and made our way to the bus.
After the warm bus trip to the start, we made our way off the bus and met up with Jen. Heather and I were so lucky to run this course with Jen! She has run the race a few times and knew exactly what to expect. She also volunteered to be our pacer, which was amazing. I know for a fact that without Jen I would have started out insanely fast and would have most likely decided to stop in at a bar for a nap somewhere along mile 8-10. After about 100 pee stops it was time to line up! After ditching my sweatshirt it was time to get moving! One thing that caught my off guard was how FAST the race started. Not complaining at all, but in most races that I have done there is usually a national anthem or something signalling the beginning of the race. Here is was more like…3..2..1..! GO!
The first 2-3 miles were a bit congested with a little weaving. We managed to run the first 5 or so miles at a 10:05ish (not official) pace. This seemed fast for us. We were hoping to stay somewhere in between 10:15-10:40 for pace for the entire race, so having this speedier pace was okay but a little nerve wracking. We didn’t want to burn ourselves out! Mile 5 or so I took a few of my Honey Stinger chews and drank a bit of water. At this point during the race we were running on a straight away for quite a long time. It wasn’t very interesting, but it was nice and flat and the miles flew by. By the time we made it back onto the running trail we were just over mile 8. At this point I just kept thinking ONLY 5 MORE MILES! It seemed like nothing compared to what we had already ran, but man I was feeling tired. We kept trucking along at a decent pace until about mile 10. At mile 10 we were pooped. At this point we started to break off a bit from each other. Mostly we just slingshot each other with walk breaks and running for the last three miles.
That last mile was killer. Actually, the last half a mile or so is killer. At that point I was so ready for it to be done! There were more spectators at this point, so it kept me going. The finish just seemed so far away! Eventually I saw the finish in sight so I kept moving (albeit rather slowly…) and then I was done! Huzzah! I hobbled off the course and grabbed a water bottle and saw Jen and Heather cross together.
Official time: 2:19:12 (10:38/ mile)
Overall place: 597
Division Place: 28 (for females 25-29)
It was such an amazing race! I managed to take 5 minutes and 52 seconds off of my previous half marathon time, so I couldn’t be happier. I felt really good after the race and was just so excited.
After having such a craptastic training for this I didn’t have high hopes for myself. My knee held up and my back felt great. Even writing this now (the morning after) I am feeling pretty good. Usual tightness that will be foam rolled into oblivion. I would definitely recommend this course to anyone local who is looking for their next half marathon!
Photos 3 & 6 via Heather on Instagram