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Sunday, September 11, 2011

The ARC Half Marathon 2011

It wasn't what I wanted but I do have to be pleased with myself because I didn't quit.  This half marathon could have very easily been my first DNF.

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
Seeing friends and family always helps to give me a push.  Unfortunately, the surge of energy from seeing Ted on this day only lasted about half a mile.  Still, I continued on.

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. 
Split times:
  • 7.33
  • 8:04
  • 7:50
  • 7:30
  • 8:02
  • 8:14
  • 8:05
  • 8:39
  • 8:46
  • 8:21
  • 8:57
  • 8:37
  • 8:12

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