I ran a half marathon on Saturday morning!
For the past few weeks I have been emailing back and forth with one of the event organizers for the BB&T Corporate Cup Half Marathon & 5K about how I could help them with a final push for registration. Since this race supports our Center City YMCAs, which I’ve been an employee of since moving to Charlotte, I agreed to help out.
They provided me with a comp entry and I’ve spent the last several weeks debating on whether to use it. I decided to wait until closer to race day and evaluate the weather and how I was feeling. While I have been running regularly this winter, I haven’t really been running longer than 6-7 miles since my marathon training ended early late last November.
By the end of last week, I had pretty much talked myself out of the race. It was supposed to be freezing at the start, I didn’t feel prepared and I was feeling kind of blah and tired after our trip. But then FOMO kicked in something serious and I found myself stepping out of my friend Angie’s yoga class on Friday night to rush and get my phone and register. I signed up for the race at 6:30 p.m., just 29 minutes before the cut off. 😛
I came home from class, made myself a good dinner and laid out all of my clothes for the next morning. It was going to be 28 degrees at the start, which I was not excited about.
Here’s what I wore for the race…
- Lululemon Free to Be Tranquil Bra
- Lululemon Run Swiftly Long Sleeve
- Newton Running tech t-shirt
- Lululemon Wunder Under Pants
- 2XU Compression Socks
- Newton Fate II Shoes
- Lululemon gloves (similar) + iGloves (2 pairs layered)
- Arm warmers
- Lululemon hat (men’s hat – it’s Tanner’s and I love it!)
- I also had a throw away zip up sweat shirt
I also got coffee prepped, my SPIbelt packed with gels, made a playlist and charged my TomTom Spark 3 and bluetooth headphones.
While I was very tired, I didn’t sleep well before the race. My sleep has been so off for a couple of weeks now. I don’t know what’s up with that. I got up at 6 a.m., took a hot shower and ate breakfast. I had a piece of honey whole wheat toast with cashew butter, honey and banana and coffee.
The race started and finished in Uptown Charlotte. I left my house around 6:50 a.m. and by the time I drove uptown and parked in a deck, it was around 7:10 a.m. I had just enough time to grab my bib and get settled before the race.
This is my, “I’m still sleepy and what am I getting myself into?” smile. I was SO grateful that we were able to wait for the race start indoors rather than shivering outdoors. That was a HUGE help.
They ushered us outside and to the starting line about 5 minutes before the gun was to go off. There were 806 runners for the half marathon and just under 1,600 for the 5K. Thankfully, the 5K started after the half so our start was uncrowded.
While it was cold, it was a gorgeous morning in Charlotte for the race. As I stood at the starting line contemplating the 13 miles in front of me, I had all sorts of exit strategies. #1 was calling and Uber and bagging it if things went south. #2 was diverting on the course and running home. #3 was getting to the 10 mile mark and walking the last 3. Funny how we play all these games in our minds.
When the race started, I crossed the starting line and settled into an easy pace. My immediate thought was that I had overdressed but I quickly realized that it was my adrenaline talking and I was grateful for all of my layers. I ran into a friend and ran with her for about 10 minutes and chatted but then went into headphone zone and the next thing I knew…
I was crossing mile 10 and I couldn’t believe how good I was feeling. Highlights of arriving at mile 10 feeling good included “How Far I’ll Go” on my playlist at the 10K mark and a gel at mile 8. Lows of getting to mile 10 included mile 8 being one long hill (that luckily I’ve run many times on my own so I was prepared for the grind) and being really cold. Despite wearing 2 pairs of gloves, my fingers were cold the entire race. I didn’t have my hand warmers with me because a certain golden retriever whose name starts with a Z stole them and hid them. I found them later on Saturday.
I didn’t have to use any of my exit strategies and while I kind of wanted to quit at mile 12 because it’s the TERRIBLE Morehead hill that somehow every race in Charlotte seems to manage to include at the end of the course, I stuck with it. Seriously, this hill is the worst!
At the top of the hill was a turn to the right that took you the final .3 to the finish. It was an awesome sight to see the skyline and the finish just ahead.
DONE! I crossed the finish in 1:50:43 (official time). This is all sorts of crazy because it ended up being my second fastest half ever and three minutes faster than the Charlotte Marathon Half back in November. (I wasn’t feeling well for that race, but still!)
I was pleased with my splits…
Mile 1 – 8:29
Mile 2 – 8:46
Mile 3 – 8:36
Mile 4 – 8:01
Mile 5 – 8:33
Mile 6 – 8:07
Mile 7 – 8:17
Mile 8 – 8:25
Mile 9 – 8:28
Mile 10 – 8:14
Mile 11 – 8:18
Mile 12 – 8:17
Mile 13 – 8:20
Last .1 – 6:52
And here is a cool pace/elevation chart from my TomTom Spark 3 reporting dashboard. You can see you pace, heart rate and elevation at any point on the course. I was really proud of myself for holding my pace through the tough hills at the end. You can read my full review of the Spark 3 GPS watch in this post.
(I’m sorry I took your hand warmers mommy)
I have no idea where that race came from but I think there is something to be said for just letting things be and not putting so much pressure on yourself. I went into this race with low expectations and a goal to feel good and enjoy myself. I never stressed about my pace. When I was handed this medal I felt so much gratitude towards my body for what it had just done. I spent so many years fighting with it and dealing with running injury after running injury. I like where we’re at a lot better now. 🙂
This was my first time running the Corporate Cup and it won’t be my last. It was a great way to kick off racing season. While the course was tough, I find that most Charlotte half marathons are due to unavoidable hills. The race was was extremely well organized, a great size and supports an organization that I love!
Have you ever had an unexpectedly good race?
Have you ever run a race with minimal prep? How did it go?
Favorite race temperature/weather?