I was getting worried about this half because the race description talked about the course having tough hills. Since leaving Utah... hills are hard to come by here in Houston. Anyways, on the Friday before the race I went to the airport to pick up hubby from the airport. He had been in Chicago for work. Then we drove up to Huntsville (a little over an hour away).
First impressions of Huntsville: hardly any street lights, small town feel, and LOTS of scary hills...
We were told to pick up our race packets at a church. We found the church but it was a serious ghost town! No lights or anything. I was scared that they packed up early. I won't lie- I was a little annoyed about the whole thing. I ended up calling the race's contact # and left a message asking where I needed to go and whatnot. After circling around the church and trying every single door... we found this random building with some lights and cars outside it. It wasn't apart of the church... but there were lots of boxes outside. Lo and behold- it was packet pick up. Random. This was my only beef with the race- really bad race pick up location... if you are going to have it in a building not attached to the set location- at least have signs for out-of-towners like myself.
I was keeping up with SB lady and husband and bandanna man. I was feeling really good. However, around mile 4 I passed bandanna man. Then at mile 5 I passed SB lady and her husband. I was getting nervous that I was going too fast.
Then as I thought about my pace I saw that I was keeping it under 9mins and was mostly around 8:30 and I figured I would try to just give it my all. For the whole second half I was with cool socks guy. When we reached mile ten I yelled out "5k left!!" I at least got a smile out of him. The last 2 miles were mostly all up hill. It sucked. It was hot. I just wanted to be done. So, I bucked up and kicked it into gear. I was feeling strong and speedy.
I turned the last corner and saw the finish and I just let loose and ran as fast as I could. I finished in 1:52:56!! That was a PR by 10 mins or so! I was so excited! I even placed 2nd in my age group! Never expected that one! Woohoo!
This was an amazing half marathon. It was a 2 loop course. I usually hate those, however, I was glad that I knew about the last 2 miles being uphill. I was mentally prepared for it- so it wasn't as bad as it could have been. The aid stations were well placed and always stocked with water and a sports drink. I'm a water girl during races- sport drinks give me problems. I would so run this again. It was also a nice small getaway for me and hubby. The hotel we stayed at was nice and affordable too! I will be doing this again :-)
I am now mostly recovered from my sickness and am approaching my last LSD before the marathon. I will be doing that tomorrow. Ah! Then I will be entering the taper weeks. I am so nervous! I just want this to go better than SLC. My goal is always to finish, however, I think I am setting the bar a little higher for myself. I really feel like I can pull a 4 hour marathon. I felt amazing after the half and even wondered if I could've gone faster. Don't you hate it when that happens?? Bring it on, San Antonio!!