And...it's over. And let's just say that I am glad it's over. Done. Finito.
Yes - my second half marathon is complete. And it was hard. Tough. Hot. And - oh yes, very hilly. Very hilly indeed.
The day started when we left my house at 6:15 AM. Amanda, Janis and Felice met me at my house bright and early and we were on our way up to Schroon Lake. I have never been there and it is about 30 minutes north of Lake George. It's a cute little town right on the lake. We arrived around 8 AM and picked up our race packets. Then we went back to the car, organized ourselves and headed over to the Yellow Coach Motel to catch the bus that would bring us to the start line for the race.
The bus drove us 13 miles to the start line and dropped us off at a picturesque area along the lake. We met up with Elisa, Karen and Darlene. We hung out and anxiously awaited the start signal. At 10 AM, we were off. Looking back, I guess my biggest mistake is that I started too fast. I ran the first 3 miles at a 9:30 pace. Normally that would be fine if I was only going 6 miles. But since I was running 13 miles, that pace was not going to work out for me. Anyway, I kept the pace up for another 2 miles. Janis and I were running side by side. And then I hit mile 6. And that's when it all went to hell.
At this point in the race, we were on Route 9 and the flat, shady route that we were running for the first 6 miles - was gone. Instead, I was faced with sun. And then I was faced with hills. Lots and lots of hills. And they were long hills. And I was tired. And sweaty. And hot. And by mile 8, I had resorted to a run/walk. I had lost Janis back at mile 6 as she moved ahead. Darlene, Amanda and Elisa were behind me somewhere. Felice was ahead of me. And, I was alone. Well, I guess I wasn't really alone. After all, there were about 500 other runners. But I was alone without my running friends. And my legs were sore and I was having a bit of trouble with my breathing.
I kept trucking along. And then I started getting a little bit annoyed at the mile markers. For some reason, my garmin was "off" from what the mile markers said. Now I know that my garmin isn't always going to be spot on. However, it was off so much that at one point I was passing the 11 mile marker sign and my garmin was saying 11.42. How could it be almost HALF A MILE off? Let me just say that it was screwing with me big time. So in my head, I was thinking that I had an extra half mile to go. Not a good thing when I was already ready to lay down and die and call the SAG wagon to come get me.
It turns out that at the end, I realized that my garmin was correct. I was not half a mile off. Instead, the mile markers were incorrect. Yes - that was very ANNOYING!
Anyway, somehow I finally ran/walked to mile 12. I was so disappointed in myself for all the walking that I was doing. And I had realized long ago that I was not going to finish in 2:20 (my time from my first half in Queens). I stumbled along and when I got to mile 12, I picked it up and ran the last 1.1 mile. Actually, I didn't run. I shuffled along and cursed. And I wanted to cry.
I finally saw the finish line and finished in 2:27. Definitely not a PR. And definitely not a fun race. I was bummed out and I kept telling myself that I should not be bummed. Not one bit. I had just finished my second half marathon. I should be proud. Elated. Excited.
The nicest part of the day was going down to the lake and putting our feet in the water. Ahhhh. The nice cold water. How lovely. It felt wonderful on my aching feet.
I pretty much decided that I will NEVER do the Schroon Lake Half again. Never. Nope. Actually, I decided that I will never do another half that has hills. No thank you. I will stick to flat races.
And that's that.