My day started at 4am. Really early considering the marathon/half marathon starts only about 5 miles from my house and wasn't starting until 7am. The plan that morning, however, was to run from my house (just blocks from the finish) all the way to the start line in the city next to me. I had to get in my 20 miler this weekend and I knew I wouldn't want to run 7 after the half marathon so I was left with only one option. The pre-half marathon 7 went fairly smoothly. It was dark out and Lish and I found it really weird to be running that early in the morning when it is dark out because her and I usually run in the dark at night instead. Our brains had a hard time remembering it was morning, not evening. Once we got our 7 in, we met up with several friends/family that were also running either the half or full marathon. Lucky for Lish and I, Kim and Matty were doing their very first full and we were able to finish our half and actually cheer them on to the finish.
The half marathon went well. I was going strong until I hit about mile 8 (our mile 15) when I started to hurt. Not a lot but I could tell the previous 7 miles were taking their tole on me. I remembered to take Honey Stingers and drink enough water the whole coarse. Since it wasn't hot out (in the 40's) I didn't need that much water and ended up drinking my entire handheld and just took a couple cups of Gatorade on the course.
The strangest thing happened though around mile 8ish of the half marathon. At that point I was listening to music and I could tell someone was coming up to my side. I kind of glanced over and could tell she wanted to tell me something so I took one of my earbuds out. That's when she asked me if I ran Oshkosh half last April. As soon as she said that, I recognized her immediately as one of the ladies that had been rude to me on the course. You can read about it here. I didn't say anything right away because I could tell she had more to say but then she goes on to say "I don't know if you remember this at all but I ran the Oshkosh half too and I was really rude to you that day and it has been bothering me since April." I couldn't even believe it! I thanked her for apologizing and joked how we are still about the same pace (a bit slower this time than last time) and asked how she was able to recognize me from behind. Her response: "It's the legs." All was good after that I and took off ahead of it.
After that I just kept trucking along. It was a lot of work and I was tired but knew I didn't have much further to go. I ended up doing some running/walking at the end and made sure to walk any uphills and run any downhills. I didn't see very many race photographers on the course, which might be my only complaint of this entire half marathon. I saw two within the last 1-2 miles and that was it. I asked Kim who did the full marathon if she had seen any and she only saw the same ones. We'll see what surfaces after a couple of days.
At the finish line were Mike, the girls and my mother in law. It was nice to finally have them there to see me finish a race since they hadn't been to any of my races yet. Mike managed to get a few pictures of me running. At first I didn't see them but then I heard someone say my name and I looked over to see my smiling girls!
Fox Cities Half Marathon (Half #2)
Definitely not a PR but I feel okay with it since I averaged a 10:30ish pace for 20 miles.