This past weekend, I ran my very first half marathon . . . and I loved it! Is it running the 13 miles that makes me crazy? Or the fact that I loved every minute of it? I'm not sure, but whatever it is, I'm happy to be a part of that club!
I'm sure you're dying to know all about the run, so let me tell you about it. After I finished the Double Bridge Run in February, I desperately wanted to continue training for a 1/2 marathon. Running 9.4 miles was tough, but so much fun that I felt like 13.1 miles was the next challenge. I scoured the internet, looking for a 1/2 marathon within driving distance that was on a Saturday. I found race after race being held on Sundays, but nary a one on a Saturday! I have nothing against running on Sundays. I just don't like for a run to keep me from going to church. It's a personal thing. Well, I finally, I stumbled across the Centerpoint Half Marathon in Prattville, Alabama. Not only is it held on a Saturday, but it is hosted by a church and all of the proceeds benefit Stella's Voice and Centerpoint International Missions. And it was exactly 6 weeks after the 15k. It was like this race was made for me!
Run like the wind . . . or at least, a slow, light summer breeze.
If you are a runner and are looking for a fun 1/2 marathon, you should definitely consider doing this one next year! The course was a much hillier course than I expected. Being from the panhandle of Florida, I'm used to a course that is flat as a pancake! So, the hills caught me a bit off guard and I thought they slowed me down a bit. My typical average for a 5 to 6 mile run is 9:40 to 9:50 a mile. While I was training and running long runs on the weekends, my average was about 10:20 to 10:30 a mile. After the first few miles, I felt that my time wasn't going to be stellar, but it was my first half, so I was just going to enjoy it!
The volunteers made enjoying it very easy! The course wound through various neighborhoods and rounding every corner, people were there to cheer for you. It was so much fun! At the water stations, the volunteers dressed in different costumes, including pirates, clowns, and groovy 60's attire. At one corner, a sweet family of three cheered for us while their little girl blew bubbles into your path. Many of the houses had signs out that declared, "Go Dad!" or "You can do it, Mom"" while children and families sat in lawn chairs to watch the parade of runners go by. I even had my own Support Crew. =) My husband, who inspired me to get serious about running after I watched him complete an Ironman last year, followed me around the course and offered me support in the form of cheers, water, gatorade and Gu at several different locations.
When I hit Mile 10, I felt a wave of emotions roll over me. Encouraging signs lined the streets. One of the ones that stuck out to me read, "Ye shall mount up with wings as eagles. Ye shall run and not be weary." That was our "team verse" when I played volleyball in high school. I felt like I needed to shout out "Go Eagles!" as I was running past. The other sign I remember seeing read, "You have run farther than most people ever will." That is when the adrenaline kicked in!
Despite the hills, it was an incredibly fun race! I finished with a time of 2:14:10. My average pace per mile was 10:15. I was hoping to keep it under 10:30, so I was thrilled!
If you're in the Prattville area next March, you should join me in running for a great cause! I'll definitely be there again!
I'm linking up today with The Pleated Poppy, Transatlantic Blonde, Two Thirty-Five Designs, Dear Abby Leigh, Rolled Up Pretty & Wardrobe Wednesday.