Racing Recap: 13.1 Miles Done in the Ramblin' Rose Half Marathon

I finished my first half marathon! Exciting stuff, right?

Ramblin' Rose Half Marathon Bib & Medal

Here's my recap:

The course: hilliest course ever. Ever. More hilly than the Thunder Road preview runs I've been doing with my marathon training. I've run the entire Thunder Road course on two different runs, one 16-mile and one 18-mile, and the Ramblin' Rose course had Thunder Road beat in terms of hill hell. There really were only a few completely flat stretches on this course (mostly on The Plaza which we hit in the very beginning and again around mile 9, I think). Everything else was steady inclines or just insane hills with a few declines thrown in there for a bit of relief.

I had anticipated a pace of between 9:00 and 9:05 per mile based on past races and my training runs. I spent the day before drinking plenty of Gatorade and water, ate pasta and salmon for dinner, and went to bed early.

And then I woke up the next morning with stomach issues. Probably one of the most horrifying feelings on race day.

Had it been a training day, it would have been one of those long runs where I take it super, super easy. But, this wasn't training. This was the day of my first half marathon, and taking it easy wasn't really an option. So I hauled it out of bed, ate my pre-race peanut butter toast with a coffee chaser, laced up my shoes, and headed out, hoping for the best. To make things even more fun for me, the weather was chilly and drizzly with high humidity.

Despite feeling rather awful and having to deal with bad weather (and needing to use my inhaler twice during the race), I managed to start the race strong and finish strong - no death march across the finish line! Side note: Yes, I have asthma. And yes, I run.

However, the middle of the race, around miles 8 and 9, is what got me (as you can see from my splits below). It's also where I was fairly certain I was going to have to run into a gas station and use the facilities (thank you, stomach issues!). Fortunately, I didn't have to, but it still slowed me down pretty significantly (and it happened again in mile 12 as evidenced by my time there, too).

Mile 1 - 8:45
Mile 2 - 9:11
Mile 3 - 9:09
Mile 4 - 9:05
Mile 5 - 9:53
Mile 6 - 9:47
10K Split: 58:30(ish)
Mile 7 - 9:43
Mile 8 - 10:15
Mile 9 - 10:17
Mile 10 - 9:42
Mile 11 - 9:50
Mile 12 - 10:22
Mile 13 - 9:49
Mile .1 - 9:25 (Finish pace: 7:07)
Final pace: 9:43
Finish time: 2:07:05

Overall, it wasn't the race I was hoping for and I was pretty disappointed in the results, but at least I finished and I ran the whole thing (with the exception of walking to grab water at water stops and picking back up a few seconds later). My goal was to finish in just under two hours, but I missed that by several minutes (sadly). I guess the upside here is that I left myself lots of space for PRs in future half marathons.

And speaking of future half marathons, I'm hoping my next one will be the Charleston half marathon in January (on a flat course and with the likelihood of lower humidity), where I'll be shooting for under two hours and crossing my fingers that my stomach decides to play nice that day.