Hello again! Looks like I'll be here [at home] now for a few weeks anyway. Back to normal, whatever that is.
I can't say I'm very happy with how I did in yesterday's City of Oaks Half Marathon, but I'm very happy I finished. I'd hoped to shave at least a couple minutes off my Country Music Half time, but it wasn't meant to be. Here are my stats:
Conditions were perfect – starting time temperature was 40°, no rain, light winds. Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina in the moooooorning. Heh.
But the hills – oh, the hills. The course was hilly. And did I mention there were hills?
Son of Shrinking Knitter [SoSK] knows the city of Raleigh inside-out, so he and Mr. Shrinking Knitter [Mr. SK] drove through all the back alleyways and side streets to catch up with me [with a camera] throughout the course. At one point, cresting a very steep hill, I asked SoSK if that was the worst of the hills. He kindly told me it was, but on the mini-video he played for me later, he can be heard telling Mr. SK, "I didn't have the heart to tell her it wasn't the worst."
All together now: Awwwwwwwww.
There also was [is] a blister. The first I've ever developed, unless you count the ones I got as a little girl when I couldn't bear to take off my new black patent-leather dress-up shoes. This one is in the center of the ball of my left foot. At about the eighth mile, I stopped to see if there was a pebble in my shoe; there wasn't, so I re-laced and kept going. The 'pebble' was the core of the blister. Five. More. Miles.
Needless to say, I walked a lot.
I must give huge kudos to the organizers of this race. No one ran out of water and sports drink, fuel stops were placed every two miles, there were people cheering us on almost all the way and there was plenty of water, bananas, oranges, pizza, sandwiches and beer for everyone at the finish. [I was soooo not hungry at the end.] They had volunteers to remove the ankle-strap timing chips – I doubt if I could have bent down to do that on my own – and they offered blankets right after we picked up our finishing medals.
And the runners were so friendly. I never had to run alone. I started off with someone I'd met at the Army Ten-Miler, then hooked up with a younger woman who was trying to start off slow – her slow was probably too fast for me to start out, but it's so hard to go slow in the beginning. We did the first three miles in 34 minutes, before she moved on. I also met a young family practitioner and a couple people who knew SoSK. The woman from the ATM crossed the finish line shortly after I did, so we met up with her again.
The entire weekend was great; my new granddaughter is now four months old and smiles and giggles all the time. She rarely cries and is a very happy baby. I was so happy to see her and her parents, and am so grateful for their hospitality and support in doing this race. They both work and they have a new baby and they put this weekend on hold just for me. Many thanks to both of them.
And thanks again to all of you who are my virtual cheerleaders. What would any of us do without you? You make running these races more fun than I could ever have imagined.
Even when I think I could have done better. Thanks!