Ran in my first half on Sunday, the longest distance I'd ever run before. I won't go into too much detail about the night before and morning prep, beyond saying I didn't sleep a wink and accidentally left my hat in my lift's car. Arrived at the start line at about 5.30pm and was quite horrified to discover the porta loos were still locked as the "key master" had slept in. I couldn't face standing in line until I knew the lines would be moving so I did a little warm up run, stretch etc with some of the Can Too folk. Rejoined the now HUGE lines at 5.45am and basically stayed there until 6.10am when - still seven people from the front of the queue - I decided I'd have to wait!
I ran with the Can Too 2hour pacers pretty much the whole way and yep, they did a good job as I got home in 1.59.51! I loved running over the bridge, in the middle of the road, but I must say I HATED the City West Link stretch - it was just soul destroying, nothing to admire etc. I found the 2 hour pace a little uncomfortable at times, but I really couldn't be 100% objective as I spent most of the race wanting to go to the toilet but I was too nervous I would never catch up with the pacers if I stopped, and felt like if I broke my rhythm I'd be gone.
Hit a bit of a wall at about 13km or so, but a gel perked me up pretty well until I saw the 17.5km sign and thought "noooooo". Thankfully (???) the night before my BF had forced me to watch Rocky III for reasons unknown to myself, and a line from "Apollo" popped into my head which was "there IS no tomorrow". So that basically became my mantra until I finally saw the Opera House and heard the finish line cheers, when I actually teared up a little bit and started thinking about my journey. Three years ago I was about 30kg heavier, a smoker, a drinker and so unhealthy it wasn't funny ... it's been a loooong journey. I then tripped over a kerb and nearly face-planted, so that brought me back to reality pretty darn quick!
Whoo hoo! Felt pretty well stuffed at the finish line ... but was soon swamped by some more bright orange Can Tooers, family and friends.
I felt like my training was pretty well spot on, the heat of the day got me a little bit and I wasn't too happy to have missed out on water at some vital stages. Ultimately, however, my number one lesson is to GO TO THE TOILET before the race.
Next time I am definitely wearing a Cool Running singlet though, loved running past the Cool Running cheer squad and hearing support for everyone. I watched the marathoners between 3h and 4.30 or so and seriously, total respect. I was stunned at how easily some seemed to be doing it, running next to some seriously broken units.
I'm definitely signing up for another half ... but before that I've decided I really need to lose an extra 7kg or so to really get myself in running shape. At the moment, very vague pipedream is to be running the full 42.2 this time next year. eeek!
Wow! What a super inspiring post. I have no doubt you'll do the big one this time next year. ps: I suspect that I was one of those seriously broken units you mention!