I did the thing. It was raining the entire time. My time, according to the chip, was 2:57:34. My unofficial, I will be okay even if I don’t make it goal, was under three hours.
I made it.
Here’s the full race report:
Before the race – I spent the night at my friend’s house in Indianola, about half an hour away from Greenville. I had driven into Greenville the night before to get my race packet, and then had dinner in Greenville. I woke up around 5:15 or 5:20, and left Indianola at 5:40 or so. It was a very early morning. All the runners park at the finish line, then busses take everyone to the starting line – either the Mississippi half, or the full marathon/Arkansas half. I sat next to someone on the bus who I consider to be TFA-MS famous, and I fangirled a little bit.
I planned to walk for some portions of the race – I walked some during my long runs in training, and I noticed how much better it made me feel, even if it was just for a short interval. Initially, I planned to run the first five miles, walk a mile, then run the rest of it, relying on race day adrenaline to carry me through miles 6-13.
Mile 1 – I expected that there would be some kind of starting gun, or some kind of noise to let everyone know that the race was beginning. Instead, it was more like everyone walked up to the highway, then just kind of started running when the clock started. The first mile was on the bridge, and was pretty easy – I took it slow. I had heard of there sometimes being terrible winds on the bridge, but that wasn’t an issue. It was pretty foggy, though. My clothes were soaking wet immediately, but it took my shoes a little bit longer to soak through.
Mile 2 – Still on the bridge, but running downhill. This is when I started to become concerned for my phone, in it’s not-waterproof case. I remained concerned.
Mile 3 – Off the bridge, and I picked up my pace a bit, going from 12:51 in the first mile to 12:13 in the second mile, to 11:53 in the third mile.
Mile 4 – I stopped to use the restroom and then got right back on pace.
Mile 5 – I was still feeling pretty good, despite the rain and everything. I decided to run mile 6, then take a walking break.
Mile 6 – Still on the highway, still feeling pretty good.
Mile 7 – I walked this, at a relatively brisk pace.
Mile 8 – I grabbed a Gu at the aid station, then back to running, albeit at a significantly slower pace. It started raining a lot harder during mile 8, and we turned off the highway onto a residential road. I should have tried Gu during training, because it was definitely a weird feeling to have the Gu just kind of sitting in my stomach while I was running.
Mile 9 – I stopped under the tent at the aid station and ate a doughnut and lived my best life for a minute. Right around here is when it started to feel much, much harder. The entire back of my leg, my hamstrings and calves, were just sore and tight and it hurt.
Mile 10 – This is mostly a blur of rain and sore legs. I think this was where the person who won the full marathon sped past me and I was just kind of amazed.
Mile 11 – This was where we were getting into downtown Greenville. I think this is also where I got a bit confused about how much longer I needed to run. I told myself I would run all of this but ended up walking parts of this.
Mile 12 – Same as mile 11, really. It was in downtown Greeville, I didn’t really know how far, I was running some and walking some. I was pretty determined to make it to the finish line before 11 (under three hours) but I wasn’t consistent with my speed or effort.
Mile 13 – I was really all over the place with running and walking, still.
Mile 13.1 – I ran all of this, but not very fast.
I’m glad I did this – I know that my time wasn’t anything stellar, but that wasn’t the point of it – the point was to push myself to a level of fitness that I haven’t reached before, and to do something challenging, and work towards a goal that was outside of the classroom. I did those things, and I did my half marathon in under three hours in the process.