Completely on impulse, I signed up for a half marathon in Orange Beach, AL that was held the Saturday after Thanksgiving, November 26, 2011. It was a good price, and at one time I thought my family would be there over Thanksgiving. They weren’t, but Wes and I drove down Thanksgiving night and stayed at a dear friend’s house (one of my favorite places on earth, by the way) through the weekend. It was awesome in every single way. And I was so happy I signed up for the race! It wasn’t a PR race, but it was a good race, and I felt like I learned a lot.
I was nervous before the start. I’d had to take off a few days right before because of some random IT band pain that appeared out of nowhere about a week before the race. I stretched up well right before, but I had serious butterflies!
Didn’t end up having any pain at all during the race. Go figure.
I paced pretty horribly during this one. I started out too fast, and got stupid and competitive with a orange and blue decked out Auburn fan (the race was the day of the Iron Bowl, after all). I kept this up for several miles of unbelievable headwind. But I started to fade at about mile 10. Really, really faded. I ended up having to walk a bunch in the last few miles. The race was super flat, and really beautiful. A lot of it was on one of my favorite paved trails ever in Orange Beach, and some was on the main drag next to the beach (that was the super windy part).
I paid for my bad pacing decisions, and ultimately finished 4 minutes slower than my PR. Official time ended up being 2:14:05, which is a 10:14/mile average pace. I had fun and was really glad I went. The trip was just what I needed at the time.
AND, I got met at the finish line by a super cutie!
AND, I got to meet Deena Kastor! I even got an autograph like a weirdo :)
I got a medal, too, of course.
Yay for participation!