Monday, May 2, 2011

Heels N Hills Half Marathon

Yesterday I ran my second half marathon. I still can't believe that I have accomplished this goal, twice! This time around was much different than my first. First off, my training for the half was lacking. I had 5 weeks to prepare after the Rock N Roll Half on March 27th. The first week after the RNR half I only ran a 5k. The next 8 days I was sick with what turned out to be strep. I had a hard time getting back into my running routine after that and my longest run before the HNH half was 8 miles. I also did my running alone this time. My sister had other commitments (how dare she? ;-)).

So, I woke up at 5:00 a.m. to get to the race in plenty of time to find parking, get to the start line and use the port-a-potty. I parked in a parking garage about a half mile from the start line and as I left the parking garage it started to rain. It wasn't a bad rain but I pulled out my trash bag and poked a hole in it for my head and arms and off I went to the start line. This race was so much different than the RNR half, that one had 30,000 runners and this one had 2,000 +/-. I got to the start line and they were just starting to put up tents and there were probably 25 people waiting around. Weird after what seemed like millions at the RNR. I stood under an awning with some other women and chatted as the race coordinators got the start line set up. No where near all the hoopla of the RNR. I guess, since my first half was with such a huge organization I expected a lot more activity to be going on. It was pretty mellow not as much excitement in the air.

The comparison of the events I gave to Keith was of our cruise experience. We were fortunate enough to stay in the owners suite on one of our cruises which had a living area, wet bar, separate bedroom, huge master bath with jetted tub and secluded to our next cruise which was in a state room. There was nothing wrong with the state room but when you've had the owners suite it is a bit of a disappointment.

So, I decided to follow the 2:30 pace runners since I was going solo on this run and felt they could help me stay on track. There were two guys and a girl. They did a great job plus they were entertaining. As the race started, the rain came back. It started to rain pretty hard as we started off on our 2.5 hour tour. Fortunately, it stopped around mile 1.5. I really liked the course. It started at the Mustangs in Williams Square at Las Colinas and then followed the Campion Trail. It was really flat which was nice and not hilly like the race name suggested.

I had to make a stop around mile 6.5 in a port-a-potty and when I came out was unable to catch up to my pace group. So, I just plugged along on my own. At mile 10.5 a motorcycle cop and volunteers were ushering runners off the course into a park pavilion because hail was on it's way. After about 10 minutes under there they made the announcement that "If you want to finish the race you must leave NOW"! In a frenzy everyone started back out on the course. My legs had started to cramp up under the pavilion even though I had been walking around under there and it was difficult to get back into the grove since we had a 10 minute intermission. Luckily, the hail passed us and I really had to dig deep to find the energy to finish.

I passed mile marker 12 and was thrilled that I only had a mile to go and then shortly after I saw mile marker 13. I was shocked at how quickly time had passed to run that mile. It wasn't until after I crossed the finish line and stopped my Garmin that I realized I had only run 12.5 miles. The police had rerouted the runners on the course to the finish line because the weather was starting to get bad again. I got my medal, a quick race photo and was told to get to my car before the weather hit. It was a bit disappointing as there was no huge crowd to cheer you in and as soon as you crossed the finish line you were encouraged to leave.

I did enjoy the course and I liked the cooler temps and rain. It was just a different experience from my first and you never know what the weather will bring in Texas. I'm just thankful everyone was safe and the really bad weather held off.

Race time according to my Garmin, chip time is off due to the 10 minutes under the park pavillion. Time: 2:32:52 / 12.5 miles

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