(#9) NC Half Marathon – Part 1 (Speed Walking)

March 25, 2012

Aurora De Lucia running along the road at the North Carolina 2012 half marathonBring on Kilimanjaro, baby!

Okay, maybe not really quite yet. But, there were plenty of hills in this race, and they felt awesome. (Granted, I walked them, but at a pretty nice walking pace.)

The weather at the inaugural NC Half was an extremely welcome change was from running on the sun last week! It was nice and cloudy here, with a teeny, tiny hint of rain droplets at one point.

I didn’t really know what struggles the day would bring. I’d slept very little during the week leading up to this (but I had lovely sleep the night before).

I hadn’t even made a plan to get to the start. I looked around at the runners in the lobby/continental breakfast area, and asked if I could hitch a ride with anyone. Luckily, Claudia and Stephen volunteered to take me.

We were floored by the amount of traffic to get into the Speedway. I guess maybe we should’ve been expecting it, but this was a pretty small race (I think fewer than 2,000 participants), and they were opening the gates and gear check and everything around 7. We thought if we left about 5 or 10 minutes before 7 to drive down the street, we’d be okay.

I guess everyone else thought that as well. Apparently, it was not the correct thought. Luckily, Stephen was not running, so he was able to just drop Claudia and me off right by the entrance. Claudia and I booked it to the start line. We made it about 20 seconds before 7:30 (the start time of the race).

Traffic had been such an issue, though, that race officials ended up holding the start for about 10 minutes. I hope everyone ended up making it to the race. People were still sprinting across the speedway to the start as the first runners were crossing the start line.

Before I started, I glanced down at my phone to re-read a text message from yesterday, giving me a little extra inspiration.

My supportive friend Ty, who lives in North Carolina (although not anywhere near Charlotte – which is why he wasn’t there with me), told me to “run hard and run fast!”

I don’t know exactly how “hard and fast” I ran. (Actually, I do. Not that much of either.) But, knowing that he was rooting for me (as he is awesomely wont to do), helped me put excuses of being tired or sore out of my mind, and bring thoughts of, “I can do this” to the front of my mind.

Aurora smiling as she runs underneath the finish line of the North Carolina half marathon 2012My plan for this race was to treat it as sort of a little recovery half marathon. My only focus was finishing comfortably within the time limit, and hopefully feeling great at the end.

Here’s the super weird part – every mile, I’d check in on my time to make sure I was pacing within the time limit (with some wiggle room on top of that). In every mile, I was faster than I thought I was going to be.

I think spending this past week in New York started to make me a faster walker, or maybe I’m just adapting to half marathoning basically every week. I don’t know…

Today, I was 2 minutes and 1 second slower than last week. Last week, I pushed like crazy. I was hurting at the finish. I was pretty sure we all were going to die.

I was only 2 minutes and 1 second slower today, yet I was ready to go for a dance party.

Weird, right? Maybe it’s something about more even pacing as opposed to running hard, tiring myself out, walking slowly, then running and tiring myself out again. Or maybe these hills weren’t quite as bad. (Goodness knows the heat was a big issue there, and a non-issue here.)

The point is, it was a great, successful race. That’s my general overview. Come back tomorrow for more specific, fun details (and to hear about the absolute coolest medal I’ve gotten yet)!

2 thoughts on “(#9) NC Half Marathon – Part 1 (Speed Walking)”

  1. Ha! I was planning on running this race, but opted out and instead ran an 8k about 20 minutes away from my apartment. I’ve run it for the last four years, so I had to keep the streak alive. Otherwise, I would have been at that race and bragging about the super cool medal with the LED lights and moving cars! In other words: JEALOUS!

    1. lol. Thanks. 🙂 The medal is amazing, and the weather was perfect. I’d be jealous too. 😉 But there’s always next year (if it doesn’t fall on your 8k race again of if you decide to break the streak)!

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