Yuuuuuuuuck. That’s originally all I had to say about how I felt during this race. I woke up feeling less than stellar. As disappointing as it was (I was training for a 1:40 half), I was still happy to be running in one of my favorite races (hello awesome crowd support).
I was running the two person relay for the marathon and my half was the second half of the race. My friend running the first half came in around 1:33 (no big deal). I started off at around 7:15 pace, but it quickly jumped to about 7:30-7:45 within the first mile. That’s when I knew this race was going to be a struggle. I generally start off between 6:45-7:15’s for a few miles before easing into a 7:30-7:40 pace (I’ll talk more about why I bank time at the beginning of races in a different post). My lovely partner who came out to watch this race despite being incredibly sick himself snapped this shot of me at mile 1.5. Hearing him cheer me on then and right before a giant hill at mile 3 gave me a much needed boost.
I was going strong until about mile 7 and despite feeling like I was running snail pace… I was still on track for a 1:40, but cutting it VERY close. That’s pretty much when my body said, “nope, not happening.” I got sick to my stomach and the heat risk signs at the water station changed from medium risk to high risk. Talk about a full on mental and physical challenge!
I hit the bike path portion thinking I could still get close to my PR time, but I truly had nothing left and my form fell completely apart. Because I was running the second half of the race, the pace groups weren’t accurate for my time, but I saw the 3:15 group pass me and it mentally shut me down even more. I completely recognized in that moment that I was mentally and physically shutting down and tried every tactic I could think of, but all I could do was shuffle toward the finish and know that my body could at least make it there.
I crossed the finish and looked like death – definitely won’t be posting those race photos ha! My final time was a 1:45. I was pushed through the finisher’s area where people were literally putting fruits and other random food into my hands which my stomach wanted nothing to do with. I’m pretty sure I looked like a lost puppy at this point, but fortunately my partner and I were able to connect and then I immediately burst into tears. I think I felt so sick and then so relieved that it was over that I just got overly emotional.
Within a couple hours I was feeling much better. I still had a head cold, but I was functioning again. Ended the night with some gelato because post race treats are necessary! If you’re in Burlington – go try Shy Guy Gelato because it’s amazing and it probably has some post-race muscle healing benefits.
All this to say, I love this race because it’s fun and the crowds are incredible. In the last two years I’ve run it, I’ve been set to PR, but haven’t actually PR’d in this race yet due to heat and illness. Maybe next year! Now… on to some fall half marathons!