You can ready my pre-race report here! And don't forget to check out my Baltimore Half Marathon page, with everything relating to the race!
Crossing the start line was the most exciting but scary thing I have ever done. The hardest part was staying calm mentally. I had to keep reminding myself not too go out to fast because this was going to be running for a long time.
I realized not long before the start of the race that I forgot my Garmin at my apartment. Since buying it, I have never run without it. I was super nervous about running without it because I normally go out too fast and I wouldn't be able to monitor that.I did have my regular stop watch so at least I would be able to monitor how long I had been running for.
The first three miles seemed to take forever. There were no mile markers for the first three miles so I had no idea what pace I was running at. I started to get nervous about the lack of mile markers. I was hoping that the miles would be marked later on the course.
I was so happy when I saw the mile marker for mile three, solely because I knew exactly where I was in the race. There was also an aid station so I grabbed a cup of water and walked while I drank it. The water felt so nice because it was starting to warm up at this point.
My dad had told me that was going to be at mile 5 so I knew I was only two miles away from seeing him. I also knew that miles 3.5 to 7 were all uphill. I was feeling really good so I didn't stop to walk up any of the hills. I made sure to go really easy on the hills and stay at a comfortable pace.
I was really surprised with how easy the hills were feeling. I could see that a lot of people were struggling on the hills but I felt strong the whole way.
Before I knew it, I was at mile 5 and saw my dad. It was so great to see him. I was feeling so good then and he just gave to more energy. I slowed a little to talk to him but I kept running.
The hills kept coming for another few miles until we got to a beautiful lake. We ran a mile around the lake, which was luckily completely flat. The downfall was that it was really windy here. It was also pretty warm.
On our way out of the lake at mile 8 I started to feel some pain in my right knee and in both my feet. The hills were pretty much over so I was hoping the pain would subside some.
Once I got to mile 9 I was really in a lot of pain. Knowing that I would see the boyfriend and my mom at mile 12 through really helped. Only having four miles left was also comforting.
The last few miles of the course were almost entirely downhill, with a few uphills. I realized that it was the downhills hurting my knees and that the uphills actually felt amazing. I debated walking but I really didn't want to.
I made sure to walk through every aid station through out the course and doing this really helped. At the end of the race I was getting really anxious about where the aid stations were so that my knee could get a break.
For the last 3-4 miles the crowd support was really helpful. There were so many people with signs cheering and blaring music it was impossible not to be inspired to give it your all to the finish.
Despite how much pain I was in I kept trying to smile, knowing it would help me stay calm and positive. I was so happy the whole time, regardless of everything.
Throughout the entire race I had to go the bathroom, if you know what I mean. I wanted to stop but the lines were always really long. And there really aren't woods to sneak into in Baltimore. The last three miles were terrible though. I needed to go badly. I debated running into a store on the side of the road but thought I would get yelled at.
So between the pain in my knee and my feet and having to go to the bathroom I really wanted the race to be over. I was so happy when I got to mile 12 because I was really in need of a pick up from my boyfriend. I was looking everywhere but I couldn't find him anywhere.
I heard my name being called and was confused at first because I knew it wasn't my boyfriend's voice. But I quickly realized it was my dad. I was so happy to see him. It was great having the extra support so close to the finish.
All of the spectators kept saying the finish was right around the corner but the more I ran the more frustrated I was becoming because I was not seeing the finish line. With about a quarter mile left I finally saw my mom and boyfriend. I was in too much pain to stop running and say hi. Plus the finish was so close I just wanted to keep running.
Crossing the finish line was so surreal. I was flooded with emotions and couldn't wait to meet up with my family. First, I needed to find a bathroom. After that was taken care of I picked up my race medal and a bottle of water, and then found a spot to sit down and stretch.
After a little wandering, I finally found my family. We bought some smoothies and sat down to relax for a little. Then we headed back to my apartment for some lunch. We ordered takeout since I was in far too much discomfort to actually go anywhere. After everyone left, I stretched for a little and then fell asleep for the night.
Running this half marathon was such an amazing experience. It made me so much more excited to train for my next half and see what I can accomplish when I train properly.