This is me and my big sister immediately before the run in the sea of people waiting to start. We were in corral 25, and it would be another thirty minutes before we even crossed the start line.
This would be the other almost 20,000 people waiting with us to start. I think the amount of people was one of the hardest things for me – it didn’t feel like a run. It felt like a stampede!
We finally began around 8am. The first 3-4 miles were hot as the sun was coming up and the clouds had not yet rolled in. The first 3-4 miles were also a wall of people that I struggled to get around so I could work up to my running pace. It was frustrating, to say the least.
I’m no speed demon, and I was run-walk person with a lot of others… but I can’t tell you how difficult it was to be running at a good pace and then have the person in front of you just STOP to walk. No making their way to the side, no warning… just BAM! And then I’m trying to hurry up and get around them before I plowed them over…
It was so hot and humid – did I mention that already?! November in Texas is pretty unpredictable and while a cold front came in and the temps were in the fifties the day after the race, we ran in mid-70 degree temps with 90% humidity. I was eagerly anticipating every water and gatorade station!
After fighting the mob of people, I felt pretty good again around mile 8 and began lengthening my running intervals so I could make better use of my running time and get around more people. That lasted until I had about a mile and half to go… physically I was exhausted.
And then… thank God for the cheering section! I have no idea who the people were, but their screams of encouragement were what did it for me at the end and gave me the extra push I needed to get to the finish line. I crossed the finish at 2:34 – not a record-breaker by any means, but not too shabby for my first foray into long-distance running after the age of 18!
The finish was what I came for anyway, right? And my big sis – who was celebrating her 38th birthday by torturing us with 13.1 miles!
After spending two days walking like an old lady… I am happy to report that I am feeling good and taking it easy and that it no longer takes me five minutes to get out of a sitting position. Will I ever run another half? Hmmm. Never say never, but for now, this gal’s happy sticking with shorter distances…