My race weekend started out great! A friend of mine, and her pup Paisley, came to town to join me for the race. It was just her 2nd half marathon (although she has run a marathon already) and she was actually using it as a training run for her 2nd marathon in February. Can we say crazy? (just kidding. sorta). We spent Friday night catching up, eating pizza, and watching our silly pups play.
We were up SUPER early on Saturday for the race. Thanks to a friends suggestion we were able to park very close and had no problems getting to the start on time.
Unfortunately we are having VERY warm weather here in Florida right now. Most times you sign up for a December race expecting to at least bust out a long sleeved shirt or stay cool for the duration for the race. Nope, not this time. The temp at the start was around 64, which was nice, but the high for the day was 84. Yup, in December. Unfortunately the temp rose quickly and most everyone I know that ran the race agreed that it was just miserable. For me, the whole race was miserable.
I had two things motivating me for this race – my 2:45 pace group leader Amanda and the beautiful Jost Running 1/2 virtual race medal that was waiting for me at home. I started out with the pace group and was feeling good for about the first 4 miles. My hip was starting to bother me so I decided to slow it down a bit. I decided that as long as I could still see the group I was fine. Unfortunately by about mile 6 I couldn’t see them anymore. Damn.
Between the heat and my hip bothering me I was pretty miserable. I got to mile 7 and instead of being happy to be more than halfway done with the race I was bummed that I was ONLY halfway done with the race. The only thing that lifted my spirits was when I realized that we had turned around and were headed back towards downtown and the race finish. Hooray!
I can say that other than my very first half marathon this was definitely one of the hardest races for me. I almost started crying a couple of times because I was in a lot of pain and really didn’t think I would finish. Thankfully I really wasn’t doing THAT bad time wise, but it really did feel like I was out on the course for a lot longer. During the last mile we past a gentleman who told runners “Only two more turns until the finish!” It was motivating and heart breaking at the same time. I was so excited when I made that first time but crushed when I saw how far away the next turn was. And who knows how much further I would have to go AFTER I made that 2nd turn. I hated feeling so negative about things that close to the finish, but I just did.
Just as I was walking, yes walking, into that 2nd turn I heard a loud noise and looked up to see a fighter jet flying over head. WTH was that doing there? Myself, along with a couple other runners, picked up the pace to head around that 2nd turn to get another glimpse of the jet. Thanks random fighter jet for that extra push I so desperately needed there at the end of the race.
I slowed down a little bit because I knew I had to run through to the finish. Sore or not I was NOT going to be walking across that finish line. I picked up the pace and gave it all I had. I was just starting to think about how much I wanted to puke when I heard the announcer say “And here comes Meghan Roth from Altamonte Springs, FL! Congratulations!” It was the final push I needed to keep going. I put on a happy face for the photographers and finished my 5th half marathon!
There were multiple volunteers at the end handing out the medals. I locked eyes with a lady who could obviously tell how miserable I was. She smiled at me and I headed right for her to get my medal. I thanked her and made my way out of the finishers shoot. The next few minutes included eating a banana, finding my friend (who thankfully was waiting for me at the finish), getting some ice for my hip, and checking my final time. I finished in 2:56:42. It wasn’t the PR I was hoping for, but it wasn’t my worst time either. It was my 3rd best time – right in the middle for my 5 finishes. Not too bad 🙂
Unfortunately I also had to work yesterday. After the race we headed back home to shower and change, then grabbed a much needed breakfast before I had to go into work. I was SO tired and sore by then time I got home last night. Today I slept in (13+ hours of sleep – a friend said it was an hour for every mile!), had left over pizza, and watched a movie before I ever thought about doing anything productive. I hate how sore and tired I am, but I also know it was worth it. Every time I walk by that medal hanging up in my room I smile. I ran my FIFTH half marathon yesterday! And do you know what makes it even better? The beautiful Jost Running “Running is a Winter Sport” medal that I get to add to my collection as well! Two medals is even better 🙂
So even though it was hot, miserable, and I’m super sore, I had a great time this weekend. I just know that I have some work to do before my next half marathon on February 1st (Best Damn Race Safety Harbor!).