Mile 1: Just moving along with the pack as everyone spaces out and finds their spot.
Mile 2: All uphill and not at all what I expected.
Mile 3: Feeling pretty good and starting to get into a groove.
Mile 4: Encouraged by how easy things are going... until the end of this mile. Then I get hit with the worst abdominal cramp I've ever had.
Mile 5: Unable to shake the cramp, I walk the whole mile. That doesn't work so I stop and rest for at least a minute and a half. I start panicking a little, wondering if I'll even be able to finish.
Mile 6: The cramp subsides enough that I can start jogging. By this point I've been passed by the 2:30 and 2:40 pace groups. I'm way, way behind where I wanted to be.
Miles 7-9: A constant battle of running fast enough to make up ground and jogging or walking slow enough to keep the cramp at bay.
Mile 10: I've run fast enough to catch up to where I should be to meet my goal time but the feet are starting to hurt a little.
Mile 11: The feet and legs are really starting to hurt but I'm encouraged that I only have two miles left. The music on my iPod is a big help in keeping my mind off of the pain. (Here's the playlist.)
Mile 12: Every stride is extremely painful from my toes to my hips.
Mile 13: This is it. I've sworn that I'm not going to walk any part of the final mile. My legs are begging me to stop but I'm too close at this point. I just keep running, one foot in front of the other. Of course, a strong head wind is making this one of the most difficult miles on the whole course. The finish line seems so far away but I keep pushing myself because I know it's almost over. With each step I take I wonder if I'll be able to make the next one. Finally I cross the line with nothing left to give.
I can still hardly believe I actually ran 13.1 miles. And I have no idea how people run full marathons. They're insane. Like my 60 year old father who ran the full marathon this same morning. Insane.
Given how poorly the middle of this race went and yet I still met my goal, I've already got my sights on my next half marathon. I know I can do much, much better, so I've got to try again.
It's the Geist Half Marathon in Indianapolis next May. Anyone want to join me???
Yes, there are some other half marathons coming up between now and then, but I think I'm going to have my hands full as it is...