Yeah...I was very wrong.
I even looked at elevation maps and was like "Meh! I have seen/done worse!" I kept in mind that I ran a marathon just 3 weeks prior that had a 1,000 ft climb for 10 miles. So this was going to be a piece of cake.
Still, I was not so much running this half for myself. This was Peter's half marathon. This was his first official half marathon race. He had only run 13.1 two weeks prior with me, but this race was the big test!
We parked at the finish in Greencastle, where school buses shuttled us from the high school to Main Street in Mercersburg, PA. I talked to another runner who just ran the JFK 50 this past November. It was great hearing his recap since I will be running it this fall.
The following picture was either taken while I was listening to him or waiting for Peter to return from the restroom. I think I look grumpy.
Anyway, shortly after our discussion, we headed towards the starting line. I stuck with Peter so I could cross the start with him, but we did not intend on running the half together. That probably sounds like an un-wifely thing to do, but we were both okay with this plan.
In all honesty, I was completely whipped by mile 2 (this was prior to any significant hills). I don't know why I was off my game, but I was already playing with the thought of giving up. I also had a tight right calf that was causing my foot going numb. It was just plain uncomfortable and wasn't helping me feel anymore like finishing the race.
I did regain the feeling back by mile 6, but I still kept having to tell myself "Make it to the next mile, then you can walk." It wasn't until mile 7 that I actually took advantage of walking. There was this monster hill that popped out of no where and nearly every runner started walking until reaching the top. I did start to run again, but I felt even worse than before. Every hill felt like a mountain after that and I admittedly walked most of them.
From time to time, I would turn around to see if I could catch a glimpse of Peter, but I did not see him. I ran/walked until I was about halfway through mile 12. I didn't want to walk through the finish line, so I ran to the end.
2:03:53 was my time. My slowest half marathon race ever. I am not ashamed of it by any means, but I just never imagined to have a half marathon over 2:00:00, especially since I was aiming for a 1:45 that day.
On the happy side of things, my sister had watched me finish!!! It was the first time she had ever came to one of my races so it was super special to me. She waited with me to see Peter finish, which I just had to film!
Epic sprint down!
He finished in 2:24:23. Great first race! :)
So, not entirely certain if I will run that one again, though Peter seemed on board with doing it again. I think I will just watch him next time! It was quite the challenge, but that doesn't make it a bad race. Just a difficult one for sure!