This past weekend, I crossed a big item off my bucket list - I completed my first half-marathon. And not only did I run the 13.1 miles on Sunday afternoon, but I turned out to be a complete Nut Job by adding the 5K race on Saturday evening. While the pain is still fresh in my legs and joints, I've already started reflecting on the lessons learned from this race experience. I can tell you that there will me more posts to follow on the emotional highs of this past weekend, but for now I'm just going to stick to the basics of a race recap.
Frederick Half-Marathon - Luckily with staying close by in downtown Frederick, we didn't have to get up too early on Sunday morning. My friend Ali is an awesome host and had a spread of bagels, peanut butter, coffee, and bananas ready for any quick fuel-ups that the runners staying at her house wanted. We left the house at 6:15 and made it to the start by 6:30AM. I had my game plan going into the race and knew that I wanted to stick with it - I didn't want anyone else to dictate my race to me. I have been training my long runs using run/walk intervals as I've increased run distances. I jogged the first 5 minutes to get through the bottleneck at the start and then settled into my 60/60 intervals. Compared to many other courses in Maryland, the half is relatively flat with the exception of a long, steady uphill between miles 11 and 12. The course is very scenic as it weaves through historic downtown Frederick. Miles 8 - 10 were run through a quaint neighborhood where many supporters came out playing music, blowing bubbles, and high-fiving runners. The course was well supported with water, gatorade, and bathrooms around every 2-3 miles. Throughout the race, my splits were amazingly even - settling in right around 13 min/mile from mile 1 to mile 13. I crossed the finish line in 2:53 and felt elated. . .followed immediately by exhaustion! My body was spent and I was not sad when a carload of my friends wanted to head back to shower rather quickly rather than hanging around. But there was time to pose with my bling before leaving!
Will I be back for more half-marathons? Absolutely! I think it's a great distance to challenge you mentally and physically while not overwhelming you. Will I complete more challenges again? Probably. . .I'm a slave to the bling!! The Frederick Half was the first part of the King Crab Challenge and the Maryland Double with the Baltimore 10-miler in June and the Baltimore Half in October completing those challenges. Can't wait for more race excitement this year!