Took a break from the 5ks this weekend to run my first HM. The race is the Governor’s Cup in Columbia, SC – its the state championship in this distance and had a field of over 600. Its also known for being a terrible first HM because of a brutal hill which covers most of the last half mile.
I hadn’t been specifically training for the HM but thought it would be fun to try the distance and count it as this week’s long run. I had never gone further than 9.3 miles, so this was uncharted territory for me. Race conditions were very nice, 40s and 50s and no wind or clouds in sight.
I aimed for 8 minute pace throughout, which seemed to work out well. The first 6 miles were great, and I was hardly breathing hard. Official split at the 6 mile was 48 minutes even. There was a long incline on mile 8 which started to wear me out and I started breathing pretty hard. To make things worse, a nasty blister decided to declare itself on the instep of my right foot. Luckily, I was able to compensate somewhat and avoid having to stop – though it was hurting the rest of the way. Mile 10 split was 1:20:11, and at this point things seemed to get a lot worse. My legs started feeling really heavy, and I was definitely sucking wind. I was running with a friend, and he had to leave me behind by mile 11. Still, mile 11 and part of 12 were downhill, which helped a lot. The last three quarters of a mile were pure torture, as the hill kicked in and it took every ounce of will power to keep going.
I managed to cross the finish line in 1:45:15, which I was very pleased with. I would have been happy with anything sub 1:50, so this was just icing on the cake. Of course, this was far from being competitive , but it was a great feeling to accomplish something which would have been impossible even in the early part of this year.
Back to 5ks next week. I hope this nasty blister can heal fast so I can continue to train. Needed those endorphins this afternoon, watching my gamecocks get destroyed by Arkansas.
Oh, and I have a whole new respect for anyone who can complete, much less seriously run, a full marathon. I cant imagine doing twice the distance I ran today!!