This was my second time running the Frederick Half Marathon and it was even better than last year. It was set-up better, more organized, and a lot of fun!
Waiting for the race to begin!
Where do I begin…well, first of all, the weather man lied! Ha, ha! As soon as the race started it began to rain. Just a misty rain for the first few miles, but by mile 3 the misty rain became a little bit heavier…still that misty type of rain though. This lasted until I got about 6 miles in. Honestly, the rain felt really good and I believe it actually helped me, as I was already dripping 2 miles into today’s race. It was super humid, I heard like 91%, warm (mid-60’s at the start) and cloudy. Thankful that it was cloudy with that type of humidity, as the sun would have made this race just unbearable. After the rain stopped, it didn’t take long to start drying off and definitely warmed up some more, but I didn’t think it was as bad as running in the hot sun like I did last year.
I started with the 1:50 pace group, but quickly lost them once they handed their sign off. At one point they were a ways a head of me, but I just kept running what felt good. I found out at the 1 mile mark from a couple that was running next to me that they somehow ended up behind us. Don’t know how that happened, but I just decided to continue on my own. I did all of my long training runs by myself, so I knew what felt comfortable and what pace I would be able to handle.
The first few miles were a little crowded, but I was able to keep my pace. I actually was a little bit ahead by the 2.5 mile mark, so I missed seeing Robert at that spectator spot. I also missed him at the 4-5 mile marker as well. I was getting a little bummed that I hadn’t seen him yet, but it was raining and I didn’t expect him to stand and walk in the rain just to watch me run. I was still feeling good with my pace, even with the rain, and actually was a little chilly for some of the rainy spots.
I hit the 6 mile marker and could see a bunch of spectators ahead of me cheering all of the runners on. So, I started looking for Robert…and…there he was, right in front cheering me on and taking a couple of pictures. It was exactly the boost I needed with about 7 more miles to go. I was so happy to see him! I smiled and gave him a thumbs up!
After this point, I knew I wouldn’t see him again until the finish line and I was alright with that. I just continued to run and concentrate on hitting my goal. My slowest mile was mile 10. I knew once I hit mile 9 that one of the bigger hills on the course was coming up. This was the same hill that got me last year and I wasn’t going to let it get me again. After I got up the hill, I was able to catch my breath and pick up my pace a little bit.
Between miles 10 and 11, I believe it was closer to mile 11, I heard someone shout out to me, so I looked and saw Patty E. yelling and cheering me on. Thank you so much for that boost! It was the perfect spot, as I had a little bit of doubt going through my head that I was going to be able to continue at this pace for 2 more miles. The shout out definitely lifted my spirits and I said to myself, “Only 2 more miles. You got this!”
Once I hit the 11 mile marker, I was feeling pretty good, so I picked up the pace. I knew I couldn’t pick it up too much at this point, but got it back down to where I had been running most of the race before that hill around mile 10. I knew there was one more hill coming up after 12.5 miles, and I didn’t want it to hurt me like it did at the end of the race last year.
As soon as I saw the hill, I pushed it up the hill and around the bend onto the track. I have to say that the track is my least favorite part of the entire course. When you are tired, your legs are sore, and you just ran up a hill after 12.5 miles of running, the last thing you want to do it run on an uneven horse track. I was worried about the track ruining my goal, as I knew it was going to be hard for me to run on it, but since I knew what to expect from it this year that did help.
I hit mile 13 right before I rounded the last corner to the finish line. I knew Robert would be in the grandstand area somewhere, but I was surprised he was able to be right down on the fence. He shouted out to me, got a couple of pictures, and I took off! I saw the finish line and the clock and gave it everything I had left! So proud and happy I was able to give it everything I had the last mile and crossing the finish line!
Coming down the home stretch of the track to the finish line!
The emotions hit me as soon as I crossed the finish line and I started to cry! I woke up on Friday feeling horrible. My chest hurt and I had a cough all day. I didn’t end up working out Friday. It was my birthday and I felt horrible all day, so I just came home to some nice birthday gifts from Robert. Saturday I felt better, but still a little tired and worn out from the work week, so I didn’t get a workout in either. I started to have some doubts about today’s race. I didn’t know if I really could do it. Finally, I stopped and said, “You can do this!” Believe me…you can do anything you want to, as long as you put your mind to it.
After the race with my medal!
Here are my splits for today’s run:
My official finishing time was 1:48.33! A new PR! I knocked off 7 minutes from my previous time! I also achieved another PR…my 1 mile PR with a 7:42 last mile! Take that hill! I wasn’t letting that hill get me this year!
I felt so much better at the end of today’s half than I did at the end of last year’s half, which made me feel good! Got my medal, water, some food and headed out of the runner’s area to find the hubby. Found him much easier this year!
Unfortunately, I didn’t see any DM friends after the race today! It was so crowded! Congrats to everyone who ran today! It was tough out there!