Sunday, May 1st, 2011 I ran in the New Jersey Half Marathon at Long Branch. This was my second half marathon, and I’m proud to say I did significantly better than my last! My boyfriend, Chris, ran it too. This was his first time, and let it be known, he kicked butt!
So let me ramble a bit about my experience running this half marathon. Well first of all, we woke up at 5 a.m. to drive down to Long Branch and get there in time. The race started at 8:30 a.m. but I wanted to make sure I had ample time to digest breakfast before getting my run on. No one likes cramps. Due to horrific traffic, however, we got there just in time for the race to start. I guess that was a good thing though, because it gave me less time to actually think about the running, which prevented me from getting even worse butterflies than I already had. I used the port-a-potty right before (always a must!) to ensure I would be 100% comfortable for the duration of the run. (I have a small bladder…TMI?)
So the race starts and, oh my gosh, I felt great! I trotted along at an easy pace for the first few miles in order to conserve as much energy as I could. Mile 3 approached quickly and I was still feeling good. The mile 5 marker appeared so I put a little pep in my step. Well my friends, as I approached mile marker 6, I thought it said mile 8, so when I actually realized it was mile 6, I kind of wanted to sit on the curb and just watch the rest of the runners. But I didn’t. I prevailed. And found a running buddy!
Sometime I wonder if other people do this too, but at some point during the race I’ll pick a running buddy, but they don’t know they’re my running buddy. Get it? So I picked this guy with an American flag shirt. He seemed to consistently be running ahead of me, which was great motivation for me. So, I based my pace off of his. I’d pass him, then he’d pass me, and then I’d pass him, and, well, I’m not sure, but I think he’d get pissed that I passed him, so he’d pass me. This went on until mile 10, when I thought my legs were going to fall off of my body and American flag man ran way ahead of me.
Let me talk about mile 10 for a moment. Mile 10, I despise you. I thought you’d be mile 11, I still had 3.1 more miles to go, and my legs hated me. But still, I went on, and left mile 10 behind.
I finally hit mile 11 and the time said “2:06″ and I thought, “Oh, darn, I’m running so much slower than last time!” but then, I realized I was looking at the full marathon time, and my time was actually 1:37! I didn’t think my little legs could run so fast, but they were going at a speed that was new to me! I then saw a sign on a car saying “You only have 1 1/2 more miles!” I ran and ran and ran and finally, after I seriously thought my legs had gone completely numb, crossed the finish line. VICTORY!
I crossed that finish line with a chip time of 1:45:35!!!! BOOYAHHHHHH. My first half I finished with a chip time of 1:54:29. I know my time for this wasn’t the best, but running a 8:03 mile is freakin’ awesome for me! I came in 20th place out of the 378 girls in my age group.
I’m not sure, but I think half marathons are becoming an addiction for me. I had so much fun at this half and I honestly can’t wait to do another one. Preferably ones at the beach. It was a beautiful day so Chris and I had lunch on the boardwalk and then sat on the beach for a while. Perfect way to end 13.1 miles!