Yesterday I walked the mile to the Sheraton to pick up my race packet, stopping at Starbucks on the way for a grande cappuccino. The expo was small, just a few vendors and not much to browse, and the race "packet" itself consisted only of my bib and the Marathon/Half Marathon Official Guide book. So my trip into the Expo was quick and I was soon back outside and on my way back to my hotel.
I stopped at a Subway on the way and picked up a foot-long sandwich - half for lunch, half to save for lunch after the race the next day. Then, back at the hotel, I sat back and watched movies on TV for the rest of the afternoon, until it was time to meet friends Alan and Brenda Leduc at Sorrento's for a pre-race pasta dinner.
When I woke up this morning, I could already hear them testing the PA system at the start line, which was just feet outside the door of our hotel. I had 3 hours before the race starts, so I didn't need to rush getting ready. Breakfast of Cheerios, banana, and a glass of water as I logged in online and checked my mail, Facebook, the news, the weather.
At 8:45 AM I walked out of my room and headed down on the elevator to the lobby. As I stepped outside, the air was brisk in the shade, but felt delightfully cool in the sun. I quickly found my friend Alan and his wife near the start line and a few photos taken, a few waves, and we were off to run this half marathon!
|Crossing the finish line|
At mile 5 we exited the trail and onto a street that ran behind the airport. It was hilly, a couple of long steep uphills followed by equally long steep downhills. Then we were sent off the road and onto a primitive track through the woods. It was rough, a bit muddy, with rocks, short steep climbs, and one very steep downhill. I'm good at this type of trail and bounded up the grades, leaping from one toe-hold to the next. On the downhill, I passed a lot of folks who were carefully picking their way down. It was fun!! But taxing! I was tired when we finally rejoined the bicycle trail near mile 7 and I walked for a mile or more to recover. But at this point we've now turned around and are headed back toward the finish line.
Walking the uphills, running like a crazy woman on the downhills, I was on track for a sub-3 hour pace until the last mile. Blueberry Hill! Ugh! Steep uphill section, a flat section, then another steep uphill section. By the time we made that last turn, with 0.1 mile left to go, I knew I'd miss that time by a minute. Not a big deal. Still happy with my finish time.
After I crossed the finish line, my friend Alan quickly found me and we congratulated each other on a good run. He did very well, running his first half marathon. He should be very proud of himself for this accomplishment!
Here's my Garmin track:
Here's my finisher's medal:
Here's what my 50 States-50 Half Marathons map looks like now:
Coming up: Driving Whittier-Valdez-Glenallen loop then down to Seward for a few days.