Yes, I know I ran this race over a week ago. However, I was waiting for my co-worker to email pictures to me so that I could include them in this post. She took a while, but since she dragged herself out in nasty weather to take pictures of me at the end of the race, I can't really complain.
Well...it wasn't my best run, but I finished it. Considering the injury I sustained during the run, the wind tunnel that lasted the final three miles of the run, and the poor training, it's really the best I could hope for. My official time was 2:22:06, which is less than ten minutes off from my first half marathon time of 2:13:08. This course was very difficult as it was full of hills, so I expected to be slower. However, it still doesn't feel great to run slower than the last time.
The weather prediction for the day called for heavy rain and winds of up to 40 - 50 miles per hour, so I was already dreading the conditions. However, at the last minute (literally), the rain stopped and the clouds parted. We actually had a sunny run. Unfortunately, the wind didn't cooperate. The severe winds held off until after the half, but it was still incredibly windy. There was a point at the end of mile 9 where we turned the corner and were swallowed up by a crazy wind tunnel. I felt like I was in some sort of vortex, and these conditions lasted until we crossed the finish line.
The entire half was in a rural area, so we were running by cow pastures and apple orchards. It was incredibly beautiful, but the long country roads made it seem longer and harder than the half I did through neighborhood streets. I definitely felt more tired with this half than my last one, which doesn't surprise me because I didn't train as well. Oh well, I guess I learned my lesson.
This was Paul's first half marathon, and it was really exciting to cross the finish line with him. He just started running in January after watching me become obsessed with it, and he has come so far. So, rather than worry about my time or the fact that I wasn't well-prepared for this race, I am going to focus on the fact that Paul and I were able to do it together and that I was by his side as he crossed his first finish line.
So, my plan is to spend the winter building up my speed and endurance. My next half will be in April, and I am determined to beat my time from last April. So, it will be a winter of speed work and long runs. I'm excited and ready to move to the next stage of my training. Now that I have two half marathons under my belt, I'm ready to move from a goal of "just finishing" to a goal of beating my time and PRing. And then, I'll conquer the marathon!