First off, I am so sorry I haven't blogged much lately. I promise I really am going to be posting more now that I am getting used to my new job. I don't want to overload you all with a super long recap all in one post, so I have split it into two parts. I can detail how it went and I also want to dedicate part of the recap to talking about friends/family who supported me. For now, here is part one of my half marathon recap! I'll post part two tomorrow!!
I'm back and alive. I finished my 3rd half marathon this past weekend. It was a very intense experience. This was without a doubt the hardest half I have finished. The Robie Creek half has been called the toughest half in the northwest and I really can see why it earns it name. The morning of the race I wasn't feeling super confident. I figured I could finish but I started really kind of freaking about what time I would get. Let me preface this with something- you see the race goes at a pretty steady incline for 10 miles now, when I would train and do a 10 mile run I would park, run 5 miles, turn around and do 5 back to my car. So I'd do some incline but not near enough. Either way it's hilly but I cannot explain how different 10 miles at steady incline is than 10 miles half and half.
Anyways, the race takes off and starts on a main road. This takes you uphill to a back end type of area. Going up the first part there are tons of people just standing on the side cheering all the runners on. People had everything from "your perspiration is my inspiration" to just holding out donuts. The beginning of the race went well for me. I was about 10 minutes off from my average 10 k pace when I hit mile 6- and that's partly due to stopping for a bathroom and waiting in a hefty line. I wasn't too bummed with this progress though. But around 6.5 miles is when it gets tough. Like, real tough. This is when your body really feels that incline and I became so worn out I literally walked from here until nearly mile 9. Meaning I was doing a steady 22 minute mile for a while.
From mile 6.5 I continued uphill to what's referred to as "the summit". At about mile 7.5 or so the incline gets steeper and stays pretty damn steep until mile 8.5 the tip of the summit. I trained for the summit, ran/hiked it many a time. But after taking a beating from 6 miles of mostly uphill the summit makes or breaks you. I passed a girl on the summit who was in a heap crying. It's rough mentally. Luckily, somewhere around mile 6 I met a woman who probably won't remember me or know that she helped someone. I started talking with a gal who was going about my pace and asked if I could keep pace with her for a while. She said we could make it to the top of the summit together. So we talked and she helped motivate me and push me to the end of that summit. Had I been alone, tears likely would've happened.
In memory of Boston the race had everyone wear ribbons and also to pay tribute by encouraging someone or thanking a volunteer during the race. They wanted everyone to do that with at least 10 people. I know that at least twice that amount of people said kind things to me. The people involved in this race are some of the most kind you will ever see.
So my new friend and I hit the summit and like most people she took off running at the end. I however was exhausted in every way. I couldn't see really anyone in vicinity of me. 4 miles left doesn't seem like much but man does it make a difference for this. I had to work hard and push myself to even keep moving let alone run. I did jog some, in attempt to get it the F over with haha but it was a sad try because a jog was now a 15 minute mile pace really pushing. The details of this are somewhat blurred to me looking back, I know that mile 9-12 were downhill and then one last flat mile. It all kind of looked the same, felt the same, I was just worried about finishing....