Yesterday marked a huge day in my marathon training. I not only ran my first half marathon – the Rockville Parks Half Marathon – but then tacked on an additional 7 miles from the ending point in Bethesda to Georgetown, in order to complete my first 20 mile run. It was definitely FAR from a walk in the park. The day was incredibly hot to begin with, AND we started out at 5 am to get to the race start at Rockville metro center.
The race itself began at a relatively cool temperature, but the humidity was oppressive and though we got out with a great speed at the beginning, the course was hilly and became less and less enjoyable as the sun rose higher and the woods cozied in all the humidity around us. I drank lots and lots of water, and felt OK until mile 10 when my knee began to hurt and I got the chills from dehydration. By the time everyone was making the last 2.5 miles towards the center of Bethesda, I passed a gentleman who was surrounded by paramedics. I’m guessing that heat definitely had an influence on his condition.
As for my first race since high school, I think I did pretty well. I managed to figure out the water stops (only splashed water all over my face the first two, and let myself walk the remaining few), and didn’t trip over any runners ). I also think my time (still waiting for it) averaged out at 10 minutes per mile, which isn’t bad considering I knew I had to run an additional 7 miles afterwards.
When Kathy and I reached the finish line, we stumbled over to the water tent (which was pretty non-existent compared to all the fried eggs and pasta bowls they were handing out at 9 am) and grabbed half a banana to repair some of the lost sugars/electrolytes from the run.