I’ll be honest. My training for this half marathon was sub par. Unlike the training for my first half where I was super diligent – – things went a bit wacky in the 4 weeks between races. I really wasn’t sure what to do to prepare for the second race. A week after, I ran a 10k, then I took a week off from running because my body was pretty angry with me so I listened.
The next two weeks I kept up with my weekly runs but no long runs. All were within 3-4 miles, and easy. One thing I DID do however was step up my cross training game by attending bodypump and spinning religiously. Still though, I was a bit nervous going into this race–would my legs hold up? Would it magically remember the months of training for the first half? Would I survive?
I mentioned before that I was so excited to run this race because it was my first race with more than 250 people. My name was on my bib! I’d be crossing two bridges and two states! I’d be running with 800 of my sole sisters in BLACK GIRLS RUN! It was such a fancy experience for this new runner.
My wake up time was 3:30am. (note to self if I decide to do Trenton next year I will stay overnight!) it was brutal. I went to bed by 8pm the previous night but no amount of sleep would have had me ready to wake at 3:30am. One of my BGR! sisters came to get me and we took a very long trek to Trenton and baby it was cold. It was around 35 degrees. I had layers, lots of them, but I still felt it!
No one I knew was running the half so I knew it would be a bit of a lonely route but it was okay. I was ready. I had my music, GU and faith. I was good, right?
There was a delay in the corrals but I took that time to pray and chat up another sole sister that happened to be next to me. Finally we heard the gunshot and we were off!
It was a great first mile, running with so many people was so much fun! The first few miles had lots of people on the route, which was interesting because most of them were waiting for friends/family and just watching us go by but some of them cheered every single person that passed and I appreciated that!
At mile 3 the 10k and half route split and it was just us half-ers. It was such an interesting course. There were some brutal hills, I can only liken them to an 8 incline on the treadmill. They were steep and unforgiving. I walked as quickly as I could up and ran like the wind down. The views of the changing fall foliage was stunning and really made me appreciate nature just a bit more.
I thought it would be pretty cool to run over the bridges but what I didn’t realize was that we would be running on grates. Hard, see through to the bottom water and rocks type grates. I ran pretty fast across because I was convinced my phone would fall and meet its fate on the rocks 100 feet below. Thankfully that didn’t happen. 🙂
Around mile 9 I realized that if I could dig deep I could PR by a decent amount of minutes. I was crazy excited but I was also really tired, I would really have to go within to push a bit harder because honestly all I wanted to do was walk the rest of the way.
The end of the race made us run around the stadium in one final lap and when I crossed the finish they said my name and it went up on the board. I don’t remember any of it. All I wanted to do was get my bling and sit! I did get my PR though. By over 11 minutes. I was so happy with that and I really think the increased cross training/weights made a huge difference for this race.
The bling was super gorgeous too. We cheered on everyone still coming in, drank chocolate milk, ate bananas and pretzels and made our way back home. Here are some of the insanely expensive race photos…should I buy one? Which one? Tough face looking Nellie? Smiley Nellie? Help me choose! I am NOT buying all of em!
This was a really great race. One thing I would want need to do is hill repeats to prepare for the marathon next year. My body was not ready, I need to get more practice! Other than that I was more comfortable with this distance and I am very much looking forward to running 13.1 in my home away from home Philadelphia in a week!