My First Half Marathon
While I’ve been really excited to write this update, I have also been putting it off for some reason. I have been off of work all week, and while I’ve been busy, I could have written it earlier. I don’t know if it is because it is just so HUGE that I finally reached this goal, or what.
Nonetheless, here it is. My Route 66 Half Marathon Race Recap Post.
Race weekend started Saturday morning. my sister along with my cousin’s wife ran in the Route 66 5k and my cousin, my roommate, and I went out to cheer them on. They are both nearing the end of Couch to 5k and have been running together. I am so proud of them! It was a really nice morning for a run. After the run, we grabbed breakfast at Panera (bagels to Carb load..lol…any excuse, right?).
My roommate and I then headed over to the Race Expo. This is only my 2nd Race Expo, but I kind of love them. I love hearing about new (and old) products and getting free samples. I also like hearing about races nearby. I have a goal to run a race in all 50 states, and I’ve gotta start somewhere right? We actually talked to someone from the Hospital Hill Run in Kansas City and are considering doing it. Has anyone done it? The only thing I bought at the expo were these.
I kind of love them and can’t wait to put them on my Christmas tree. My favorite is the one that says “All I want for Christmas is a new PR!” because, who doesn’t want that?
Fast forward to Sunday morning.
I had been religiously checking the weather all week and it had been saying low 50′s. I made a comment that I wanted it to either be colder than that or warmer than that. 50′s are hard for me because it’s cold when you start out, but if you wear your cold weather running gear, you’re burning up a couple miles in. Turns out I got my wish. When we left the apartment, it was 42 and drizzling. Yeah…freezing. Ha…I guess I should be happy my wish came true, right?
Because I know downtown Tulsa, parking wasn’t really an issue, and we were at the starting line about 30 minutes early. Not really a great thing when it’s freezing cold and windy outside. Oops. We wanted to be in Corral B, because we were aiming for a 2:10 finish for the race, but my race bib had me in Corral C, so we lined up at the front of Corral C. They did a few gun starts. When it was our turn and we moved closer, I was a little anxious. I couldn’t believe it was really happening. I remember saying a prayer and thanking God for giving me the ability to run and then I looked up at the sky and all around me and realized how blessed I really was.
And then we were off.
Like I said, we figured we would run an average of 10 minute miles and finish the race in 2:10. That was the goal. My roommate and I planned to run together the majority of the race. We had been doing our long training runs together, and our pace is very similar.
The first mile we ran just under a 10 minute mile and I was feeling really good. It was a little hilly. Not big hills, but slow long inclines. That first mile ran through a little bit of downtown and then up Cherry Street, which is a popular street for restaurants and bars in Tulsa. There were a lot of people outside cheering us on. Mile 2 took us around Swan Lake. We ran it at a 9:37 pace. We ran past some guys here that were posing for pictures. Kinda added some entertainment to the course. The next few miles were through some neighborhoods. I kind of love the support that this race gets. Because it is the only marathon and half marathon in Tulsa, the community really rallies behind it. People were out in their yards with lawn chairs cheering us on. It really gives you the motivation to keep going. Our pace was a lot faster than we planned on it being. Miles 3,4, and 5 were around and under 9:30. At one point I asked Joel how he was doing and he mentioned that he was worried about the pace. He asked how I was doing and I said, I was feeling really good. He said I could go ahead if I wanted to, but I thought I’d stay with him. We also ran through a private school around this time. They had water stations set up, kids holding up signs warning of the Speed Bumps, their band playing, and people there cheering us on.
Around mile 6, I could feel myself getting stronger, and I debated on whether I wanted to stick with Joel or to pull ahead. I had planned on running with him the majority of the race, and honestly, I expected him to be the one to pull ahead at some point. But, I was feeling really strong, and I knew that if I didn’t give everything I had to this race, I would regret it, so I pulled ahead. I felt really bad because I didn’t say anything, I just ran. I apologized to Joel afterwards, and I think he understands. He is a runner, too. I fully expected him to catch up to me at some point because he always finishes stronger.
A little bit after I pulled ahead, I passed a house that was blaring one of my favorite singer’s, Chris Young. It made me smile. I ran miles 6-10 in under 9 minute miles (where did that come from?!). That’s way faster than I ran any of my long runs, but I was feeling good, so I just went with it. There was a little bit of neighborhood running, and about a mile on another popular restaurant/bar road-Brookside. Then there was Riverside. Riverside is a popular running location in Tulsa. It’s great for everyday running. It’s mostly flat. However, for a race, it can be kind of boring. And when you’re nearing the end of your run, you don’t really want boring.
The last 3 miles were up Riverside. The last 3 miles were miserable, I’m not going to lie. I was running into the wind. I had pushed myself too hard and my legs were shot. But there was no way I was stopping or walking. I was going to finish this race. I was still fully expecting Joel to run up behind me at any point. So I ran on. Every once in a while, I would try to run faster just to mix it up. I’m sure it lasted about 10 steps each time, but it kept me going. My last 3 miles ended up being under 9:30, too. I still can’t believe they were that fast. At times I felt like I was barely crawling.
My Garmin beeped before I got to the finish line, but I didn’t even look down at it. I just kept going. I didn’t have any energy to sprint to the end, but I did have the energy to look for my family. In fact, those last 3 miles, I just kept telling myself that I was almost to the point where I could see them. This was the first race that my Mom had come out to watch me run, and I wanted to make her proud. I spotted them before they saw me. My mom, 2 sisters, and niece were there. That gave me a little surge. And then, I heard “Go Lisa” as I was almost to the finish. My cousin Adam and his wife, Minnie were there to cheer me on, too.
As I crossed the finish, I almost collapsed. When I say my legs were shot, I’m not exaggerating. They were shaking. It was freezing cold and my hands were numb. It had actually gotten colder throughout the race. But they put the medal over my head and wrapped a blanket around me and that somehow made it a little better. I grabbed a gatorade, banana, and a piece of bagel, and then went to find my family. Seeing them was worth it. Lexi giving me a kiss and saying “Run Aunt Lisa run!” was worth the pain that my legs were feeling.
Joel finished a few minutes after me and Adam snapped this hot picture of us.
I am so happy that I can finally say I’ve met this goal. I can say I gave everything I had to that race. My official time was 2:02:53. That’s 7 minutes faster than I had planned on running it! And it’s so close to 2:00. Now I have a new goal. Haha. I may never run a Half that fast again.
Now it’s time for Marathon training. Those last 3 miles, I was second guessing the decision to run a Full. After a few hours though, I was back on board.
Speaking of, if you are interested in donating to a good cause. I am raising money for Education and Outreach at the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. This will be my first Full Marathon and I would love to run it for a cause. Check out my donation page. I’ve raised $25 so far, and I’d like to at least raise $100. Thanks!