Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon – Race Report

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It was an unusually wonderful start to the day. Temperature in 50s at the end of November! Unheard of! I had on cute new running gear. What more could I ask for 🙂
I had slight gear malfunction until about 5 miles. It got hot/humid pretty fast, but because of my armband music, I couldn’t remove my long T inspite of wrestling with it for a long time. My iPhone went into music shuffle mode and that threw me off. Also, my headphones kept falling off my ears, frustrating me to no end.
2:1 helped me get into a good rhythm. I didn’t shy from the hills and I found that they were not that hard after all. Crossed 6miles in Piedmont park at 1:22, doing good time I thought. Long hill near mile 8, but no worries. I took my second Gu and I was doing good. Miles 8 – 10 were breezy. I was enjoying the run. And by my prediction, looked like I was going to get in at 2:55! I was truly excited.
The last 2.5 miles – hills got shorter, but steeper. I wanted water, but the next hydration station was at mile 12! I took a Gu and tried to go on. But around mile 11 – I started hitting the wall. I got tired, my pace started fading really badly. The more my pace faded, the more disheartened I got; and that made me go even slower. For some reason, even after walking, my heart was racing fast. Like panic attack fast. I tried to breeeaaaathe and make it slow, but it was really racing.
Around mile 12 after another hill , I just gave up. Told myself, I didn’t care. It was a stupid thing I was doing. What was I trying to prove? I’d never be a proper runner. I’d have been happier watching the Macys Thanksgiving Parade at home. All sorts of negative things.
A good 2 glasses of water the Mile 12 hydration station helped me a little bit. A rocking pep song pushed me along. At 12.5miles my average pace was 13:38, and I knew needed to be 13:36 to break under 3. I was at 2:55 and another 0.5 miles to go. Soooo close but … , I thought … Turned the corner up another hill and saw the Olympic Rings in the distance. The finish line was out there.
For a fleeting second, the vision of my failure flashed in front of my eyes. I knew I’d be crying miserably if I didn’t get under 3. I was going to regret it very badly if I didn’t do it. I started sprinting, giving it everything I had. Passed people walking in a blur. Saw DH and the kids cheering from the corner of my eye. Watched my Garmin every 10 seconds. I felt like my chest was about to burst, but the finish line was there … and I kept on. I crossed …. at 2 hrs 59 min 49 seconds. My pace for the last 0.5 miles – 9:57 !!!!!
I did it! A sub-3 is a laughable goal for a real runner, but to me it was a very real goal that I worked hard to get to. And I am damn proud of it.
And I earned myself a guilt-free shopping trip :)))
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