I did it! I finished.
To be honest, I wasn’t sure how this race was gonna go. I obviously felt unprepared. I really hadn’t trained as much as I should have. I was hoping to have a huge improvement in my time from my Disney split, but mostly… I just wanted to finish. After having a DNF at the Disney Marathon I wanted to know what crossing the finish line at a big race felt like.
The expo was decent, although both “big expos” i’ve been to have been stressful trying to navigate with a squirmy 2 year old.
We got downtown a little later than I would have liked. We walked a few blocks to the start and it was packed out. I rushed to find a bathroom and heard them say they were closing the corrals… they were very serious about the 6:40 corral closing time! My cousin Maggie came to town to run the race too, we both packed into Corral D, which was overflowing because not everyone made it to their corrals before closing time.
I saw a few of my Team Living Water teammates at the start. I was honestly still unsure of what to expect at this point. As we started shuffling towards the start I got a little nervous but mostly I just decided to focus and run my own race.
I was thankful to have my garmin for this race to try to keep me on pace. I did great for the first two miles. I was inspired to see so many people out supporting Team Living Water.
One of the most inspiring was a lady pushing her friend in a wheelchair
If she could do that for 13.1 miles I decided I could push myself to go that far!
Around mile 3 there was a hill that was tough for me. I don’t know that I ever really recovered from that. Close to mile 4 I started chatting with another Team Living Water teammate. He was an older gentleman named Tom. This was his third year running with Team Living water and seventh half marathon. He said he was out of town most of the winter and didn’t have time to train much but he didn’t think he could back out because he thought of all the people who had to walk for miles every day to get water. We ran together off and on for most of the race. I will say it was probably Tom that helped get me through the race.
Miles 5-7 were tough. There seemed to be more hills than flats. My average pace kept climbing. I saw Chris and Payton around mile 6, they ran with me for a few minutes. I loved seeing them! Around mile 8ish there was supposed to be a water/gu stop… but being with the slow group they barely had any water still left out.
At Mile 9 we hit the last part of the street which was an out and back. The turnaround was Mile 10. We rejoined with the full marathon route and it was inspiring to watch them finish strong.
I was getting pretty tense and my hips were killing me… I slowed down even more, but at this point I knew I had enough left to finish. Mile 11… Mile 12… then you could see the finish line… at the top of a hill. how rude. I sprinted as hard as I could the last 400 meters or so.
It may not have been considered “fast” by any stretch, but I finished. That was my one goal. and it felt great.
I finished 4 minutes faster than my split time from Disney. It was a PR, even if it wasn’t as big of a change as I wanted to see. But I did finish… and that means I get to join the cool car sticker club…
Overall I was pretty happy with the race experience. The feeling of community that came from running with Team Living Water was awesome. It made the whole race a way better experience. I will most certainly do it again next year. My donation site is still up if you want to help provide clean drinking water for people around the world who wouldn’t otherwise have it. Click here!
I don’t have any race plans. I’m looking forward to being able to run when I want to and not have to run. I think for the next little while I’m going to focus on speed and maybe try to break a 5k PR and actually run a 10k.