Since I hadn't done a lot of long runs prior to the race, I decided to try racing in the Zensah compression socks that my parents got me for my birthday last summer. I wasn't sure if this was the best idea, since the furthest I'd run in them was 6 miles, but with the odds already against me due to that stomach flu, what did I have to lose?
Here I am at the start of the race with the boys, who were distracted by the geese. The first 5 miles or so ran along this river, with gorgeous waterfalls at one point. It was the most perfect day to be out running - temps in the low 60s and sunny with just a mild breeze.
At mile 10, I took some Immodium, which I also wouldn't normally do in a race but had brought along just in case, because of the stomach flu. This seemed to help enough that I was able to take my second Gu. But nothing could quench the cry for thirst. They had plenty of aid stations along the course, but it just wasn't enough to ease my desire for fluids. I switched to Gatorade but still I was so thirsty. The last few miles I could feel myself losing pace a bit as I struggled. Still, I enjoyed the crunch of the leaves under my feet and the sun shining through the trees.
At mile 11, I felt a blister on the ball of my right foot. Luckily, it wasn't so bad it affected my running much. Would it have happened without the compression socks? Hard to tell. But my calves felt good running, even when my quads and hamstrings were getting tired, so I think that in the end running in the compression socks was a good decision. That said, I'd probably need to run in them more often for longer distances if I was going to attempt something like a marathon in them.
Finally, I saw the bridge in the distance that marked the last bit of my route to get to the finish line. Here, Pierce demonstrates running across the bridge. Only he has more energy than I did by the time I crossed it!
As I pulled into the finish line, I waved to the boys, who were cheering for me from behind an iron fence:
I crossed the finish line in 1:56:26. Because I don't run halfs very often, it turns out that this is a PR for me. I can't help but wonder how I might've run had I not been so dehydrated.
Know what makes you feel better when you are super thirsty and have just run 13.1 miles? This:
In the end, thanks to this being a smaller race, I placed 1st in my age group, and won a very nice beer mug, which Paul promptly declared to be his.