One night about 3 months ago I thought, “you know what would be fun…running a half marathon.”  So that night I found the Caribbean Christmas half and signed myself up.  In a typical week I probably run 3-6 miles about 2-3 times a week.  I wouldn’t call myself a long distance runner or anything but I do enjoy it and love challenges.  PLUS I LOVE Christmas aka this race was right up my alley.  I have run one half marathon before and that was about five years ago when I was in high school, sooo it’s been awhile.

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I woke up at 6:30 and took my time getting out of bed and getting ready.  I made sure to drink some fluids and ate my pre-race meal, 2 slices of Ezekiel toast with a little peanut butter and banana slices on top.

I was lucky enough to have my amazing and supportive roommates/friends endure the cold and come with me to the race.  We left for the race at 7:30, just to make sure we knew where we were going and that I had enough time to use the restroom, get fully dressed, & warm up.

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The race started at 9:30 but I waited till about 9:15 to make it to the starting line because, umm, it was cold.  It was 21 degrees but with the wind felt like 14 degrees.  The race was small with only 424 participants running the half, so it was not busy or stressful whatsoever.  I was standing at the starting line, chilling with my friends, and admiring some seriously awesome Christmas costumes (might have to step up my game next year) when the announcer said it was time to start the race.  All too quickly there was a 3, 2, 1 countdown and I was off!

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For the first three miles I could not feel my feet, hands, or face.  I am definitely a cold natured person and really felt the effects of that at the beginning of the race.  Luckily I regained feeling of my feet and hands once I got past the third mile marker. 🙂

Overall, the race was pretty flat with some random hills/arched bridges to cross.  I felt strong throughout the race and did my best to focus on  actually enjoying the run (sometimes it’s easy for me to get caught up in my expectations for myself).  Unfortunately for me, I was unable to wear my watch or start my running app at the beginning of the race, so I kinda felt like I was running the race blind.  I just did my best to stay close to a pacer who was shooting for a time of 1:40.  I don’t have splits to look at for my race but I can tell you come mile 9-10 I was starting to countdown the time I had left till the finish.

My friends were so so so awesome and I saw them multiple times throughout the race holding funny signs and screaming at the top of their lungs.  One  of them even came out and ran with me for a minute or so.  They’re great 🙂

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I started to progressively pick up my pace at mile 11 and really sped up after mile 12.  I somehow found some energy to sprint the last .1 and am happy I did.  I did not want to leave anything out on that race course.

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I finished 29th overall and 1st for the female 20-24 division with a time of 1:38:46.44.  I was happy & satisfied with my run, effort, & the fact that my body cooperated well with me for this race.  The race was small enough that I never felt crowded or that I was unable to go the pace I wanted to go.  Overall, it was a fun one to run & pushed me to get some extra workouts & miles in during the holiday season.  I will definitely be dressed up with Christmas cheer next time I run it 🙂

 

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