I signed up for this half-marathon before my marathon thinking that 3 weeks would be plenty of time to recover, get back in the groove of things and knock it out of the park.
I was right about it being plenty of time for me to recover – 3 days after my marathon my legs and body actually felt well enough to begin running again. However, emotionally I was not ready to get back in the groove of things and did nothing for two weeks after my marathon. Except, like, eat everything. The Tuesday before the Bearathon I managed to run 2 miles (thanks to social media for accountability!).
Basically, I ran 24 miles one day, did nothing for 2 weeks, ran 2 miles and then woke up early Saturday morning to attempt to run 13.1 miles on a notoriously hill driven course. If you didn’t already know, I clearly make good life decisions.
If you’ve been here for a while, you may recall this post – Bearathon 2013 – from last year. It was the race I had been working towards which kind of catapulted me into this runner lifestyle. I even vlogged my reaction to killing it. I never knew I was a crier until I had my daughter and started running. Hormones be crazy, yo.
Anyway, back to the current race recap.
I woke up around 5:30 am, got dressed, took a selfie, (because duh) and made it to the start line around 6:30 am. The half-marathon portion was set to start at 7 am and the 5k portion at 7:20 am. The race started 5 minutes late but they had music going and kept us informed, so it didn’t feel like a big deal to me.
What did feel like a big deal to me? THE HUMIDITY. The weather was in the low 60s but the humidity was 100%. I hadn’t even made it to Mile 2 and I was already sweat-soaked.
Around mile 2.5, I talked with a lovely older lady named Lynn, who I thought was maybe in her early 50s – turns out she was 69! She had been running for over 30 years, had both her hips replaced and was still trucking along. She was pretty motivating and right around mile 3, I said goodbye and pushed forward.
Like last year, they had students at every mile marker for the water stations – and it was insane. There was so much cheering and yelling, you could actually hear it from the previous mile marker. If you are ever in the Waco, Texas area and want a challenging course that has some wonderful crowd support – Bearathon is for you. (Also, I’ll totally do it with you too and then we can go day drinking!)
Mile markers had water and Gatorade, a few of them had snacks (there was bacon at one, but I learned my lesson last time and politely refused). I ended up using Shotbloks for my ‘fuel’ by downing a couple every 4 miles or so, it kept me feeling from empty and I’m starting to find I like them better than energy gels.
I’m only smiling because I was finally done with the hills.
I went into this race not expecting much considering how little I had been running and I crossed the finish line in 3:00:31 – which is a normal for me. The course had a time limit of 4 hours which equaled a 16 minute/mile pace.
Sometimes my music doesn’t do it for me, so I’ll cut it off and count to myself with every step. 126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52. Some people have mantra’s, I have numbers. It works for me. And with all that said, the above photo is my counting face. Lovely, isn’t it?
Something I did notice was the support dwindling/stations running out of Gatorade near the end of the race for me. I mean, I’m slower than average but still finished a full hour ahead of the time limit and it can be discouraging - so I can only imagine what it felt like for those that finished after me.
For the record, this is not the first time I’ve noticed feeling like a ‘loose-end’ in a race where I was near the end of the pack. So, it’s not just a Bearathon thing (and I don’t remember feeling that way for the 2013 race) But, I do think it’s something that should be addressed for those of us out there who love to run but just do it on the slow.
After I grabbed my medal & t-shirt, I stuck around for a bit to cheer on people and then managed to steal a whole pizza. I am not ashamed.
I know I’ve provided you all with a lot of fairly decent pictures in today’s post, and that’s probably a little disappointing. I mean, who wants to see someone looking good while running – no one. No one wants to see that.
So, I know the real reason you’re here – for the crappy race day photos I’m always so proud of. So, without further ado:
This was my attempt at a jumping photo.
All it resulted in was a head shake from the photographer & weird hand placement.
Sweat, hills, and counting make me lose the ability to form a neck.
And this next one is for those of you who have asked me how I can be so happy during a race. The fact is, often times, I’m not – I’m just struggling to get through the next mile – but when I see a camera, it’s automatic. I turn into a giant hamball who immediately goes for the thumbs up.
Until we run again, friends!