It’s now Wednesday, and I haven’t blogged yet about running my first half marathon. Due to weather conditions, I, along with my sister and her fiance, arrived in Havasu at around noon Friday. They wouldn’t let us check into the hotel yet, so we had to find something to do. This turned out harder than expected; there’s not a lot to do in Havasu besides spring break. We ended up bowling. And I kicked ass. Okay, not really. But I did beat my sister, and that’s all that counts, right?
After 2 games, we decided that was enough and headed to the hotel where the race expo was being held. Unfortunately, it didn’t start until 3 PM, and it was only about 2:30. Doh. We went back to our hotel to see if they would let us check-in a half hour early. They did… but they told us they were upgrading the keycard system, or something, so we needed someone to let us in the room. Whatever. We hung out there for a little while and then headed over to the expo.
The expo really wasn’t much. Race check-in, get your bib, “free” tech t-shirt and goodie bad – which didn’t have much in it. Read: it didn’t have anything in it. Oh well. But the good thing was when my sister saw the excitement in the room, her eyes lit up and I could tell she wanted to run, even though she hadn’t been planning on it. All it took was one time asking (and me paying her registration) and she was in the 5k. Back to the hotel, get someone to let us in again, and relax until dinner. They never did fix the door.
Pre-race dinner was at Mudshark Brewery, who also sponsored the race. Thanks! Dinner was delicious. We started with a full order of onion rings. They were huge! And the batter that covered them was delicious. I ended up having the Salmon Tortellini. It came out on a huge plate, but I ate the whole thing. Yummy. Wish I would have taken a picture. Everyone enjoyed their meals, and then we headed back to the hotel room for a good nights sleep before the big day.
We got up at 6 for for the 7:30 start. Parking at the event was easy and just a short walk to the start/finish. After finding the start, I ended up doing a warm-up to the car and back to the start. On the way back, I ran into lil sis, so we waited together until the start and got some pictures.
Race start time! I was shooting for a time of 1:50, so I lined up right behind the 1:50 pacer. I thought that was logical. Turns out I was wrong, but more on that later. A toot on the air horn and we’re off! And I’m getting passed like I’m standing still! WHA!!! I look at my Garmin to check my pace. Yep, right on track. Where’d that pacer go? She’s now way out ahead of me. Darnnit. What to do? I go to the side of the road and let everone pass that wants to and watch as the pacer get further and further distant. By half a mile in I couldn’t even see her. Keep your pace. First aid station. Which side to choose? Left of course, there’s less people. Slow to a walk, get the
water Gatoraid and get back to running. Keep getting passed.
Around 1.5 miles everyone starts stringing out and I’m getting passed less. Yippie. At the second aid station I start passing people. Yeah, y’all started out way too fast. I’m on pace. Nothing of note happened until about mile 5 when I caught up to the 1:50 pacer. I slowed my pace a little and stuck with her for about half a mile, then passed. At the time she was ahead of the 1:50 pace by about a minute and a half. By this time I was feeling really good and was going to try for 1:40, so I turned up the pace and started passing people left and right. From mile 6 to mile 10 I was running about 7:30 miles, which is pretty good for me.
At mile 10 I was feeling great and I started running even faster. I saw one of the miles on my Garmin was sub-7 minutes. Woohoo! I skipped the last aid station and poured on the gas. Crossed London Bridge for the second time, and we done with all the hills. It was literally downhill from there. I ended up crossing the line in 1:42:06. So close to catching the 1:40 group.
After the race I felt really good, but not tired. I think I could have beat 1:40 if I had started a little faster. Oh well, cest la vie. It was my first race afterall. Lil sis ended up finishing her 5k in 32 minutes, which I think was great considering that her previous longest run had been only 2.6 miles. Way to go Sis! Cookies, Gatoraid, and some bagels after the race hit the spot. We didn’t stay for the post-race ceremony, as we had 4 hours of driving back to Phoenix, and I had an additional 2 hours to Tucson. Ended up having dinner in Phoenix and getting back home at around 7. Had some food and went straight to bed
All in all, a great weekend! I can’t wait to do it again. Next race, Whiskey Row Marathon on May 14th. Watch out you drunkards, here I come!