The day had finally arrived. My first half marathon. On Thursday I drove down to Montgomery Alabama to my friends house, the McQueen family, who were also running in New Orleans. I went out with Amanda and ran 2 miles (while she ran 4 in about the same amount of time) which was my last training run before the race. Hung out in Montgomery for the night and then Friday morning hit the road for New Orleans.
Saturday was the expo and so I went to pick up my gear. The gear pack came with my bib, a gear bag and a nice Brooks technical T-shirt. I requested a single XL for the shirt, which is a little tight at the moment but hopefully will fit soon.
Sunday morning came bright and early and I suited up and headed out to the starting area. Managed to find the Alabama gang in the huge crowd which was a bit of a surprise. But that was good since I managed to get some pictures.
Me and Amanda pre-race.
I walked around the block what seemed like 2 miles to get to my corral, and then waited for the start. The first corral went off right at 7, and they sent corrals off every 2 minutes or so, so it was about a 40 minute wait for those of us way back in corral 23. So I waited and waited and waited and then finally it was my turn to go.
I felt pretty good starting out, and I jogged all of the first 3 miles, up to the 5K point, which was about 40 minutes in. I decided at that point to take my first Gu, so I slowed to a walk and took my Gu and some water and then I noticed that my thighs/hips were kinda hurting as I was walking so I started jogging again and then realized that I needed to keep jogging because it felt worse to walk. I saw Amanda along St Charles avenue where the course doubled back on itself, but I didn’t see anyone else from our crew. I didn’t carry my camera with me along the race course, so I don’t have any pictures from along the route, but there were the live bands as promised and the water stations and aid stations were well located. All in all I thought the race was very well orchestrated. I don’t have another race yet to compare it to, but for my first one at least it wasn’t a disaster. The course was well marked, I didn’t get lost or anything like that. I was feeling pretty good until somewhere between mile 10 and mile 11 when I pretty much hit the wall. I had to really struggle to the finish, but I managed to finish in 3 hours, 11 minutes and 18 seconds. Here were my split times. 12:40, 13:10, 12:31, 13:54, 13:47, 14:03, 14:44, 14:25, 14:40, 15:22, 15:04, 16:45, 17:37, 14:31 (0.2). You can see where I hit the wall in the 12th mile. I managed to pick up the pace a little bit with a jog to the finish.
I was hurting pretty bad by the time I finished, so I didn’t have that overwhelming since of joy and accomplishment that I expected, I was glad to be done and walked through the finish portion pretty much in a daze, grabbed a bagel a banana and a Gatorade, ate that and chugged down the Gatorade, hung around for about 5 minutes of the after party and then caught the shuttle bus back to the hotel for a much needed shower and lunch. By the time I finished the rest of the Alabama crew was long gone since they had finished well before me.
This is what I got for my troubles, and very nice (and heavy) medal.
Up next, some much needed rest and the the St Leo’s 10K in two weeks.