The night before the race was a restless one. You know, where you toss and turn and look at the clock to see how many more hours you get to sleep. The night didn’t start with many hours to go to begin with. I believe when I headed to bed I had 5 hours and 44 minutes before getting up at 4:15 a.m. At some point in the night I turned the clock away from me!
At 4:15, when the alarm went off, I was in a dead sleep, of course! lol So, I just rolled out of bed. Got dressed, ate, and headed to a A’s house to head up together with her and T.
We got to Cbus in plenty of time and cought an early bus to the starting line. (Straight course, so you had the option to bus to the starting line before or after the race, depending on where parked your car). On the way up we saw the course being set up for the race.
Once we got to the starting area the waiting began. We met up with other MiTers and hung out, after the tratitional potty stop, until the race started. We watched the elite runners ditch the line and just take a potty where the door just opened up, leaving the poor person that was waiting in line to have to take the next one. Not very sportsman like I must say!
It’s a go: A and I headed towards the starting line and I was still on the fence on how to run this race. I decided to hang with A for a while. She was running a relay and her partner (another) T was jumping in at mile 3.We chatted and had fun and T jumped in just before mile 3. After mile 4 I left them. I felt good and their pace was a bit to slow for me. Their race wasn’t until next weekend, so they were running comfortably.
Waterstops: The course layout showed water stops at every mile between mile 2 and 12. The first water stop, after mile three was poorly set up, it was almost like a “serve yourself station”. At mile four they had run out of water completely and the same held true for mile 5. I was bumming. I didn’t get much water at the first stop.
I didn’t plan on GU-ing at all, planned to rely on Gatorade instead, but did GU at mile 5 for fear of bonking further down the line. Went through the relay exchange area and thought too myself “hopefully they will have water on the second part of the course”. I managed to get a drink out of a water fountain and then saw an impromptu water stop shortly thereafter. “Two cups please!”
To the rescue: The other T’s husband cought me (via car) around mile 7 or 8 and gave me a bottle of gatorade. Yes! I didn’t have to rely on waterstops and their HEED (there wasn’t any Gatorade along the course), but the bottle was a bit heavy in the beginning.
In the past during mile 9 through 13.1 I end up walking more and more, but this time around I talked myself into running a mile at a time and just taking a short walk break when getting to the mile marker. What really helped was that the course is slightly down hill after mile 9 and we had a slight tailwind.
The Finish: The last half mile I ‘clamped’ myself behind a MiT runner (she didn’t know I was there) that had helped me in my 2007 marathon race and I let her pull me down the road (so to speak).
I finished increasing my pace the last 100 yards and not feeling completely dead. My run time was 2 hours 19 minutes and 36 seconds. My second fastest half marathon. 🙂
After: I had to stand in line to get my medal, hat, and towel. That is not fun after you have run for 2 plus hours. Everything hurts and you don’t just want to be standing in line. But, about 10 minutes I got my stuff and headed back to the MiT tent. Then we headed to lunch….yummy.
The next day: I am sore today (Monday), but I am also feeling good about my accomplishment. I am looking forward to running the Columbus Marathon (half) in October to see if I can get a PR.
Overall: The weather was great. One could not ask for a better day to run. The course was great, mostly down hill. The water stops need to be changed, but at least all the kids where cheering the runners on. I am sure that next year the race will be handled better, after all this is just their second year doing this.