13.1 miles? Check.
I am officially a Half Marathoner! And what a great experience it was.
This is the second year that I have enjoyed the Capital City experience. Last year, Mom and I did the Quarter Marathon and had really good time. This was the event the finally lit my running fire, and I was looking forward to coming back to run it again.
I don’t know the actual breakdown, but between the half, the quarter, and a 5K, there were 13,000 runners descending on downtown Columbus that morning. That’s right, I said 13,000!
My goals for the day were (in no particular order):
– Have fun! You only get one first time, and I was determined to enjoy every minute of it!
– Be awesome. That’s kind of a daily thing for me, so NBD. (humble, aren’t I?)
– Still like running by the finish. I won’t lie, it was in question for a while…
– Finish in under 3 hours. It felt obtainable, especially if I kept to my final goal…
– Run as much as possible, try to only walk through water stations.
That last one was kind of flexible. My training had been a combination of straight running (short runs by myself) and run/walk intervals (long runs with my awesome MIT running buddies!) The one time I tried pushing a bit harder on a long run, my knees hated me the next day (and for several after). However, my other long runs were not nearly as dramatic as long as I kept a nice easy (read:slow) pace.
Race morning was kind of muggy and humid. Fortunately for me, I tend to do a lot of my training runs during my lunch time at work and am pretty use to running in mid-70 to low-80 degree weather. Especially for the last few weeks. Yay Ohio…
I was fortunate enough to run into two of my running buddies as soon as we got there, Jacqui and George, and we walked down to the start line with them. I also ran into my friend Marci, who was walking the quarter.
There were several other friends who were running as well that I never managed to connect with. They probably knew I was going to go crazy with the picture taking, and avoided me. It’s cool, I get it.
Because this race is so well supported, I was running with a lot less than normal. I did not have my big belt with bottle because there were going to be aid stations roughly every 1.25 miles. I figured if I couldn’t make it 1.25 miles between sips o’water, I had bigger problems. There were also 32 bands and DJ’s along the course, so I also did not have my beloved sansa. The only things I took with me on course were my phone and my camera. And my sweet shoes…
Armed and ready to run, I found my corral (D), and set up to wait. Where I ran into George again! Neither of us had an interval timer (everyone else I usually run with has one, and let’s face it, lack of preparation is my typical MO), so I let him know that my plan was to only walk through the water stations (splash zone, people), and as I needed to , and that he did not need to feel obligated to stay with me. But stay with me he did, and I am so grateful! I still would have had a good time, but I don’t know that I would have done quite as well if I had been running on my own. Having someone to run with, and chat with, and commiserate with when the aches and pains start setting in was invaluable.
I felt really good for most of the race. No pains, no knee problems. I felt like we were pushing a little, but not crazy. Even with a course that is 80% uphill. Seriously, it is one long slow uphill after another. Who says C-bus is flat?
Some highlights for your viewing pleasure:
Remember how I said that I felt good for most of the race? Yea, that ended right around Mile 10. By that point, I could feel myself slowing down, I got a cramp in my left foot, and my IT band started tightening up on the right. Those last 3 miles felt like the longest 5K of my life. Especially when ambushed by cobbles stone streets and a never ending uphill. Not cool.
Dear Cap City Organizer Peeps: Can we run this course backwards next year? That would awesome. Thanks, Love Me.
But finish we did, and we finished strong.
Official Time: 2:46:38
Not too shabby, considering a year ago I was running 14-15 minutes/mile. Here are the “splits” if you’re interested. I used an app on my phone, started it just before the starting line, and it was a few seconds after the finish before I got it stopped. (Read: take it with a grain)
Total Distance: 13.5 mi. (again, a little before, a little after)
Mile 1: 10:58 — whoops! so much for starting out nice and easy…
Mile 2: 11:42
Mile 3: 12:11
Mile 4: 12:20
Mile 5: 12:26
Mile 6: 12:30
Mile 7: 13:22
Mile 8: 12:16
Mile 9: 12:22
Mile 10: 12:19
Mile 11: 13:28
Mile 12: 13:45
I think what I am most proud of is that I was mostly consistent. Went out a bit fast, came in a bit slow, a little dip in the middle, but the vast majority is pretty damn consistent. That’s pretty good for my very first half marathon!
This is a very well put together event, and if you haven’t participated and are anywhere near Columbus in May, you should. Tons of support, great volunteers, and one of the best after-parties I’ve seen so far.
The only thing I will note that was mildly disappointing was the post-race snacks available. By the time I got to the finish the only thing available in the runner’s recovery area was bagels and a piece of chocolate (which was delicious). They had run out bananas (though they did come back with more a little later that were super green), it looked like there had been oranges at some point but not anymore. There was chocolate milk available out in the Race Village, and there was a food vendor on the outer edges. However, this did not compare to last year’s race, where we had bagels, bananas, apples, and pizza! I know a lot of it has to do with sponsors, and they work with what they have. This year was just a little bit of a let down in the food department after how awesome last year was. I’m hoping that the “running out of things” just had to do with the growing pains of having more runners in a new-ish venue.
No matter what little hiccups, it was a fantastic day, a fantastic race, and I will always consider this my “Home” race. Thank you to everyone who was with me over the course of that last year, all my friends and family that have had to deal with my growing obsession with all things running. I love you all! One year of running down, and many more to come…
… and I had Donatos afterwards anyway 😉