May 19, 2012
Time: 2:08:14 Pace: 9:48
Age Group: F25-29, 57/165
5M: 46:25 10M: 1:35:55 Last 5K: 32:19
Because running one half marathon wasn’t enough, I immediately registered for the Geist Half Marathon after finishing the Mini. I thought two weeks would be plenty of time for rest and recovery. My only workouts between the Mini and Geist half were a few hot yoga sessions and the Dirty Girl Mud Run. Bryan wouldn’t be running this race with me, but instead his brother Josh would be. Josh grew up a runner as well, obviously following in his older brother’s foot steps. He also ran the Mini two weeks prior but only beat me by ten minutes due to his lack of training. Their parents were secretly wanting me to beat Josh. Brother and sister-in-law rivalry at its best. So that was my goal, to beat Josh (my fiancé’s younger brother) and finish sub 2:10.
The morning of, I woke up excited and anxious again. Had my oatmeal, water, and did some stretching. The problem was my left hip was still killing me! How would I manage to run 13.1 miles on an aching hip if I could barely walk on it without flinching? This was going to be a looooong run. I just tried to be positive. It was a beautiful morning, not too humid, on Geist Reservoir, and a small race – no weaving.
The Geist Half Marathon is a small enough race that only a few corals are needed. I found my spot in Coral D, which was close enough to the front where I could see the start line and not have to wait twenty minutes to cross it, but far enough away that I wouldn’t get trampled by the more experienced runners. During the first few miles. I found that the faster I ran, the less my hip bothered me. Weird. So instead of babying my hip, I went for it. I felt great. Miles 1-9 went by quickly. I never did see Josh. I was hoping it was because I was really far ahead of him, but in reality I knew it was the other way around. The course was a nice mix of winding roads and quiet neighborhoods. Families were parked in their yards cheering on runners as they went by. But I had the best supporter. Bryan brought his road bike to the race and rode around the course cheering on Josh and I and taking pictures of us.
I was warned by friends that the course was hilly, but I felt so good and had not come across too much elevation that I thought the coast was clear. Right after mile 9 the hills started. They weren’t very steep, but they were the long, gradual hills that make your thighs continuously burn from slowly climbing in elevation. The hills continued for the next two or three miles. I had hit my wall.
To keep myself from throwing my body in front of oncoming traffic, I stopped at every water station until the finish to walk it out. “Now walk it out, now walk it out, now walk it out, now walk it out. ” Are you singing that song in your head right now? Usually I’m “walking it out” on the dance floor with my ninja nugget and Boys of Raannt, but this time I was limping through water stations trying to survive the last few miles.
The final stretch consisted of crossing the bridge over Geist Reservoir and then running into the Marina. It felt great running across that bridge. It was by far my favorite part of the entire race. When I crossed the finish line and saw my time, I was ecstatic. I shaved off nine minutes from my Mini time two weeks prior! (Even with a sore hip.) Bryan and Josh were waiting for me at the finish line with sweaty hugs. I didn’t beat Josh, but I did beat my previous half marathon time and finished sub 2:10. Lesson to be learned: believe in myself that I can overcome anything and that it never hurts to “walk it out.”