Saturday marked the Walt Disney World Half Marathon and for me, personally, it marked my 12th half marathon. Considering that just a few years ago, I thought I would never get through a 5K, I'm still pretty astounded to say that I've run 12 of these bad boys.
That being said, my 12th half marathon goes in the books as my slowest half marathon to date. I finished in about 3:20, which if super duper slow, even for me. At first, I will admit that I was a little disappointed in my time. But the truth is, I'm not in great shape right now, I'm significantly heavier than I was when I ran my fastest half marathon, and I spent much of the event cheering on Jamie, who was struggling with a knee injury and cramps in his quads. Had I been a real jerk and left him behind at mile 6 when he started hurting, I probably could've gotten myself a better time. But you know... love conquers all and all that.
Regardless of my finish time, though, I had a pretty great time. The weather was ideal for running - it was cool and foggy out for the entire race and the mean Florida sun really didn't make an appearance. I never really hit the dreaded wall for this one, which is a first for me. No matter how trained I am for the event, I usually start to struggle somewhere around mile 7 or 8. But I felt pretty strong the whole way through, probably because I took it so slow. In fact, I was able to push through the last mile of the race and finish strong. It was a good lesson in pacing. While I never want to run another half that slowly (mostly because it just felt like I would be running forever), it's good for me to remember that starting off slow and finishing strong is better than trying to push it the whole time.
I also got some serious love from people along the route. Several of my friends and coworkers were out and I got some great sweaty hugs that pumped me up. Two of my Leaders actually came out with a great snarky sign telling me they had changed my start time for work the next day. They even went so far as to have one of my coworkers hold up a similar sign just a little later on. Funny... except that when I took a nap after the half, I had a dream that they really had changed my start time and I'd slept through my shift. Oops!