#372: Complete a Half Marathon

Run like a Dive half marathon

Run like a Dive half marathon

LOCATION: Leesburg, VA

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I did it! I FINALLY did a half marathon! This task did not get completed easily either. My road to this half marathon was filled with loads of injuries. The first half marathon I signed up for was the Crawlin Crab Half Marathon in 2013. I didn’t train much for it, but the time limit was 4.5 hours so I figured I’d be fine. However, two weeks before the event I fractured my tailbone. I decided to defer my entry to the 2014 race. However, in 2014 I was dealing with moving and strep and had to miss the race entirely. Needless to say, if I was signing up for another race, it was happening! Considering I’ve been doing races each month this year, I was training enough for this one. My only grievances were that the Run like a Diva Half Marathon was given a time limit of 3.5 hours and there were lots of hills, something I had not trained for. Considering I’m not very fast in my running ability, I was slightly worried that I would be tight on time. Also, two weeks before the event, I injured my foot pretty bad and assumed I had stress fractures. I decided to ignore the pain and go with it anyways. While training, I was listening to Chris Kyle’s audio book “American Sniper.” I probably had the best motivation from this since I had to push myself in my situation much like he pushed himself in his situations.
I DID IT!

I DID IT!

The race was held in Leesburg, Virginia and I was able to visit Lina up in Maryland for the event. The night before, I decided to get my carb load on at an Italian place called Vino. I had fettuccine alfredo which was really good, but hard to finish since I was so nervous.

 

Carb Loading the night before

Carb Loading the night before

Carb loading the night before

Carb loading the night before

I was so nervous that I only managed to sleep about an hour before I had to wake at 3am to head to the race. The race took place at 7:30AM and we were told that the largest hills were at mile 3 and it was all downhill from there. Needless to say, I would find out that THAT was a lie.
Run like a Dive expo

Run like a Dive expo

Run like a Dive Half Marathon star

Run like a Dive Half Marathon star

Run like a Dive Half Marathon at the Tarara Winery

Run like a Dive Half Marathon at the Tarara Winery

I decided to run in the first wave to give me extra time with my foot problems. The race started in some wooded areas and was a nice start. There were a few hilly spots but nothing too bad. I then ran through a very expensive neighborhood. There, I met my first major hill at 2.5 and 3.5 (not at 3).
Neighborhood hills

Neighborhood hills

The neighborhood was fun to run through because all the owners came and watched from the driveway and cheered us on. They even wrote inspirational messages on the roadway. The hills weren’t too bad, and the running downhill definitely improved my timing. My original personal best for a 5K was 38 minutes. Today, I finished that portion in 36 minutes. I was very happy.

After the neighborhood, we ran out and back down these long farm roads. There was nothing around but asphalt and acres of farming land.

More Hills

More Hills

There were quite a few hills here too and I hit some hard ones around mile 4 and 7. I hit another personal best on mile 6 though. Previously I did 6 miles in 1 hour 19 minutes and today I did it in 1 hour 16 minutes. I was on track to finish in a decent time. Around mile 7, after all the hills (that I did not expect after mile 3) I was pretty exhausted. I slowed my pace down some so I wouldn’t exhaust myself. Around mile 8, we hit another hill, but at the end of the road were firemen giving everyone hugs, so it made up for it. We then crossed into another neighborhood where I hit the largest hill of the day at mile 9. (See, I told you they lied).
Hill at mile 9

Hill at mile 9

At mile 10, I managed to hit another PR. Previously I ran 10 miles in 2 hours 23 minutes and today I did it in 2 hours 16 minutes. I was scheduled to finish the half in about 2 hours 55 minutes, however I was so tired and sore that I decided to slow it down and rest some. Lina sent me a text of the cute firemen waiting at the finish line and I proceeded to send her a text of the mile 12 sign. I’m pretty sure the mile 12 sign looked way better than those firemen! At least for the moment.
Mile 12 looked so good!

Mile 12 looked so good!

I originally thought I would finish the half in about 3 hours 15 minutes, and I managed to do with in 3 hours 8 minutes, with an injured foot, and hills, AND only 1 hour of sleep. I’d say that was a success! I crossed the finish line and was presented my medal from the shirtless fireman.

Firemen Finish

Firemen Finish

Firemen Finish

Firemen Finish

Fireman Finish!

Fireman Finish!

I was so out of it that I barely noticed him, or anything else around me. We were given apple juice in champagne flutes too. Why apple juice was served AT a winery is beyond me, but the medal was super cool so I let that slide. I made it, completed it and managed to still be able to walk away (barely) after the event!
Official info

Official info

My route

My route

The next day was a different story for walking. I could barely put pressure on my foot. I ended up going to the doctor and getting xrays and finding out what I already knew. I had stress fractures. I was booted up. Fortunately for me, I only have this boot for three weeks and I get it off just before my 10K in October, and another half in November. Am I crazy? Maybe. But I’m only HALF crazy. 13.1 BABY!
I got the boot!

I got the boot!

WOULD I DO THIS AGAIN: This race? No. I didn’t like the hills or the organization. Another half? Sure. It wasn’t all that bad.

HOW TO DO THIS: Run like a Diva is a traveling race. Sign up for better courses at www.runlikeadiva.com

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