I’m sitting on my couch, nursing a beer, and alternately foam rolling my hips (which ALWAYS like to act up when I run long). I’m just smiling when I think back on today.
So I sort of sprang it on you guys last minute, that I was running the Tobacco Road Half Marathon. Quite honestly, I knew I wanted to (and needed to run), but I didn’t even sign up until the very last minute – in part due to the fact that I’m being tight-fisted with cash (I just bought a new car cash), and part because I was just nervous.
So Saturday night, after working most of the day at Fleet Feet Raleigh (which is so damned nice once in a while), I went home, watched TV, and made dinner, fully prepped to take it easy the night before the half. Since Austin wasn’t at home, I did my usual, and started to fall asleep on the couch to a movie, then moved to to boudoir when I woke up around 11:30 or so on the couch.
[Side note: I finally watched Think Like a Lady, Act Like a Man. It was not horrid as I assumed it would be. It was kinda cute, even though that title is problamatic.]
I set my alarm(s) for 4:15, 4:20, 4:30, and 4:40 am, in order to jump in the shower, put a little mascara on, and make sure I had everything I needed together for the race. I figured that wasn’t overkill, and went to sleep, only waking up to say hey to my boo when he got home, and then again when I got a phone call from some friends who were out for St. Patrick’s Day, drinking green beer.
What happened next is straight out of a dark comedy.
I don’t remember my alarms going off. All I know is that I woke up around 5:40, a text came from one of my girls at 5:43ish, and that the race was supposed to start at 7am. This meant I had about 20 minutes to jump in my car, get on the shuttle, get to the start line. My husband, the calming force that he is, remained so sweet.
“Do you want me to drive you? Do I need to get dressed now?”
I was determined. I hopped in the Kia, drove to parking (which I was so late that I didn’t have to pay for), and managed to make it onto the shuttle with two other late people, and do the start line with a few minutes to spare before the start.
I didn’t want to be rude, so though I started way in the back, I only managed to make it up to the 2:30 half marathon pace group, and decided to stay put so I didn’t push folks who’d actually gotten there on time. It wasn’t their fault I was running late, so it’s me who needed to suck it up and expend the extra energy once we started running, to make my way to be up with my group. The weather was nice enough that I only needed a light half-zip, and I noted that this was one of the first races that I didn’t feel like I was dying of hypothermia and shivering at the start.
Off we went!
I trotted along, slowly making my way up, up, up, closer to my pace of about 2 hours. The race was relatively flat, and as I trotted along, listening to my playlist, I saw a few people that I knew. I was feeling good! Still, I worked my way up, and started to settle into an about 9-minute/mile pace.
As you’ll remember, I’ve had stomach issues, so I was a little worried about what that would mean for the day, but some of the girls at work let me try some Huma gel, a gel infused with Chia seeds for natural energy, and I popped one at about 4 miles, and again around 8 or 9, and I felt great – no stomach issues before, during, or even after the race, which has never happened to me.
I cruised along the flat trail pretty issue-free, until about mile 9, where I started to feel like I was getting over it, and I felt a little fatigue set in, and really had to push through for the next mile or so until I got back into the right headspace.
I finished, a few minutes later at about 2:03. Not a poor showing for the first race in a long time!
Here are some of the girls I met up with! I work with them all at Fleet Feet.
So my assessment of Tobacco Road was that it was awesome. The course was flat, weather was beautiful, and I would honestly not change anything about it. I would do the race again to see if I could improve my time (which I’m hoping to do with some speed work), and if I had some friends doing it with me again.
What did you do to enjoy the gorgeous weather this weekend?
I ran a half marathon and kissed on my hubby a lot 🙂