It's been a month, and I have not yet posted a race report for my SLC half marathon experience. Are you still interested? I thought I should document it at least as evidence that yes, I really did it.
I went into the race with very low expectations. I was ill two weeks before the event, so the most I ran in training was 8 miles. I had little confidence I could achieve my goals:
1. Finish before Suzie Petunia finished the marathon! Specifically, under 3 hours.
2. Not walk.
I attended the Marathon Mommies get together and alas, left feeling more discouraged. You women really know what you are doing! I did not feel prepared...no goo, no rituals, no experience.
There's the setup. But the day of the race, I was excited. I love competitive sports. I miss competing in tournaments and the such. Being with these thousands of people was great. And I loved the familiarity of my surroundings. (One note: I had ran half of the half on two separate instances on a vacation to SLC in March. I think doing this saved me from dropping out.)
I started at a slow pace I knew I could maintain the entire time. I kept the advice of my sister in my mind, "Don't worry about the people passing you. Focus on what you are doing. It is your race. You are OK."
Around mile 3, I saw a sign that said, "Go, YOUR NAME HERE, Go!" This made me smile; I loved it. I also loved all the compliments from strangers about my Marathon Mommies shirt (as they passed me) and having other Marathon Mommies pass me and say, "I'm so and so" to which I would reply, "Sticky Niki."
At mile 5, Suzie Petunia's husband met me with goo...yes, can you believe I used it for the first time actually running this race? My parents cheered me on at mile 7. The leaders of the marathon passed me at mile 9 (which I was thrilled about....I made it to the merged marathon/half-marathon route to see the marathon leaders!).
And then I walked at mile 9, but it was a smart walk. I don't regret it. My body needed to rest. At one point during this walk, I was overcome with emotion: the only way to get where I needed to go was my legs, my body, my endurance. At a couple points during this mile, I thought about starting again, but the voice in my head said, "Take the full mile so you can finish strong."
I started running again as I crossed under the starting arch for the 5K, which my husband had ran earlier in the day. I knew he didn't walk any of his race (although he actually did), so no way was I going to walk that 3.1 miles. Wow! To push myself like I had never done before.
I sprinted the last quarter mile. Sprinted across the finish line. I could hear my mom yelling my name. I finished in 2:57. I achieved my goal and was able to watch my daughter and husband cross the finish line of the children's 1K about 10 minutes later.
I have not run very much since then, about once a week. A couple of the runs have been hard, but I think, "Hey, this isn't anything. You ran a half marathon."