Apr 12, 2013

Posted by Jo W. 4/12/2013
I have ignored my poor blog since my last half marathon, back in October. Well, I did it again. I PR'ed in the GO! St. Louis Half Marathon this past Sunday, with a time of 1:52:53. I reached my goals of 1) a sub-2hr time and 2) beating my brother's PR

I got to the start pretty early, around 6:15am. The sun was just starting to rise. I checked my bag and walked around. It was a bit chilly, but not too bad. I was planning on doing the plastic trash bag thing, but felt that I didn't need it.

 Haha, taking a selfie by myself. I was going to meet up with a friend later in the corrals.

The weather conditions were nearly perfect. Slightly cool, just a slight breeze, partly cloudy. I had fueled pretty well, my stomach was feeling fine, but I did start feeling thirsty as I was waiting for the race to start. By the time I got to the first water station at mile 2, I was getting pretty thirsty and I knew I was slightly dehydrated. I still kept a pretty good pace, and was well under my goal pace of 8:30 min/mile.

Mile 6-8 is called Holy Hill; as the name suggests, it is the hilliest part of the course, and we receive separate times for this leg of the race. At this point, I was feeling really good and seeing my friends cheering for my at mile 7 gave me a huge boost of energy. I waved and shouted at them, with a huge grin on my face. As I was going up the hill, a man came up from behind me, and said, "if you pull me up this hill, I'll pull you up the next one". That gave me the encouragement to really push myself up the hill, even though I felt I was going too fast. I was quite flattered that he said that to me, and we huffed up the hill together. As we crested the hill, I sped ahead and lost him, as I like to take advantage of the downhill and go as fast as I can without expending extra effort.

Mile 9 was the turnaround, and that is when things turned for the worse. I was having a great race so far, and wasn't feeling too fatigued. Just before I got to the turnaround, however, I started getting a cramp on the left side of my rib cage. It started hurting so badly, I wanted to start walking. My face definitely was not pretty at this point. I didn't let myself walk, and just kept pushing through the pain. The cramp lasted for about 1 mile, and made me slow down a lot. I was just glad that my first 9 miles were faster than I anticipated, so I wasn't too worried about not making my sub-2hr goal. The pain took a lot out of me, so the last 2 miles was a real struggle. My feet were getting really hot, and I just felt low on energy. The last quarter mile or so was up hill, and I swear it seemed like someone kept moving the finish line back. When I finally made it, I was relieved to see 1:55 on the clock, so I was well below 2 hrs. It felt amazing, and I was also so relieved to finish the race! I was pretty dehydrated at that point, so I grabbed my medal, guzzled a bottle of water, two cups of gatorade, and grabbed food.

This is probably my last race in St. Louis for a long time, since I will be graduating and moving back to the east coast. I am glad to have ran my first two half marathons in this city, and I definitely would like to come back to run the GO! marathon (maybe even tackle the full...)

Celebrating a great race with my friend. Sorry I ditched you at the very beginning! Haha, I usually run alone, so I'm not very good at keeping pace with people. It's kind of stressful to have to match your pace with a partner!

I have some exciting news to share, but I'll save that for later!


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