The day started with a hiccup. I forgot my banana and energy bar which is my pre half marathon ritual food. I would have to make do with Hammer Gels to fuel my run. Hammer Nutrition always comes through for me so I wasn't too upset about it. Solid food would have been nice though.
We got to the Long Branch Park and I felt good but anxious. The voices of all the people on the grounds were making me nervous. I sat in the car thinking, "I don't want to run this race." An argument within me ensued: "But you were so psyched for this race." "You want to PR and get a good time for NY City 2012". "I could back out." The never, ever quit part of me won out and I walked to the starting line.
I started fast and felt good. Something happened three quarter ways into that first mile. I was stricken with severe stomach cramps. I thought of taking off my bib and turning back towards the start. I thought of diving into long, concealing bushes or off on one of the side streets. I then thought of a blogger who had severe cramps but continued on and the discomfort went away. I would continue on. I wouldn't quit. If things got unbearably bad, I would end it when the course looped back on itself around the 6 1/2 to 7 mile point, near the start.
When I reached 6 miles, the cramping had subsided but I was uncomfortable. I just wanted to stop, to end this race. I continued on.
At the 9 mile point, I saw my husband, he took a photo
I walked four times during this race. I never walk. I stopped through three of the water stops. I never stop, but during this race, they had plastic, not paper cups. I wasn't able to pinch the cup together so as not to spill all over myself. Stopping was mandatory. I wanted to quit ... the entire....13.1 .....miles! I soldiered on.
At 12 miles, I knew I could do it. I could push through. The final .1 mile, I had enough left in me to sprint across the finish line. The clock showed no where near my goal of 1:44, but it WAS a finish.
Time: 1:47:56, 8:14 pace, 109th out of 438 finishers. 25th female of 221 females. 4th in my age group.
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