Over the weekend, I ran my third half marathon, and my first half by myself. This one was the Race for Women’s Wellness in Coral Springs. My dad signed us up a few weeks ago and we were both “meh” about it, because from what I had been told, it’s an overpriced race, boring course, and had overall “mehness.” The race is on a Saturday, which is rare for a half, because the course goes by the megachurch near my house and this way the runners don’t have to deal with churchgoers. The shirts were okay, pink because of women’s wellness and all, and the goodies that came with the race packet were nothing exciting.
The day before the race, I received a text from my dad, who I would like to point out wanted to do this race more than I did, saying, “I’m not gonna be able to run with you tomorrow.” From the moment I spoke to him to the moment the race started, I was internally freaking out. My dad had to have his tooth extracted and apparently was not allowed to do physical activity. Usually I rely on him to deal with the logistics of race day: when to leave, how to get there, where to park, etc. but this time, I was in charge. The race began at 6am at the Coral Springs Sportsplex by the Tennis Center (which is where I took my SAT tutoring classes, fun fact), and to come a different way than I was planning because the street was blocked off.
I woke up at 5, and my dad was nice enough to wake up then as encouragement. I stretched, and packed my belt and bib and left for the starting line. I got there a little early and just wandered not knowing anyone who participated. As I was standing at the starting line with 398 of my closest friends, I noticed that my watch battery was low even though I thought I charged it the night before. I knew it would probably die on me at some point, but I would deal with it later. I did have the watch set for 4/1 intervals, which I now know was a mistake. After the national anthem was sung, it was time to go. I always start really strong and fast and usually slow down by the end, and this was no different. My first mile and a half was very strong and it was then where I took my first walk break that my watch notified me at. I skipped the next walk break and I was feeling great. Around mile 3 is when I started to get bored. I had no running companion to chat with and honestly, music doesn’t keep me entertained even though I had a great playlist comprised of 80s hits such as “YMCA” and “Panama.” By the time I got 5.5 miles in, my watch notified me that I had low battery. I decided when I got to mile 6 to start Run Keeper so when my watch died I would have the time saved somewhere. Mile 8 is where you run through the parking lot of my high school and it was here that my headphones started acting up. I have the iPhone 7 which stupidly has no headphone jack so I used the adapter piece to plug in my headphones and in the parking lot of my high school, my music suddenly stopped playing through the headphones. I had to stop running to figure it out. It happened again about a mile later. As I left my alma mater, I texted my mom to let her know I was close to our house which the race runs right by and asked if she would bring me a cold water bottle; I had gatorade in my belt but it was warm. As I came up to the entrance of my neighborhood, I saw my parents standing waiting for me, my dad with his camera, in which the pictures he took turned out blurry, and my mom holding that gloriously cold water. Right after I passed my parents and turned the corner where the megachurch is (mile 10), I started to board the struggle bus. My legs were just killing me and I wasn’t even sticking to intervals because I was just so tired. Mile 11.5 is when that bus took off full force: my watch died and my headphones acted up and I just decided to abort the music all together. My time was pretty good at this point and I knew I could walk the rest of the race and still PR. I didn’t walk the whole mile and a half, but definitely more than half of it. By the time I was coming down the home stretch, I had no idea what my time was so I just kept chugging along. The race does a 5k as well that begins an hour and a half after the half does so by the time I was about a half a mile to the finish line, all the walkers from the 5k were finishing around the same time. Personally, I think this takes away from the accomplishment of running a half marathon when you have walkers from a 5k finishing at the same time, but that’s just me. I also think they should just make this race a 5k. As the final steps were upon me, I sprinted my ass down that very last tenth of a mile and crossed the finish line.
Because this was a solo race, I had no one to celebrate with. I had PR’d by 20 minutes even by walking a good majority of the last few miles. The medal was “meh.” I went to grab a banana which has become my post race tradition, and they were days from being ripe enough to eat. I took one bite and threw it away. After I got into my car, I decided to get a bagel at my favorite bagel place, Brooklyn Water Bagel, after the race because in the emails, it encouraged runners to go there for breakfast after the race and to bring your bib in to show you did it. I assumed that meant there would be some sort of discount, but when I went to order my food, they looked at me confused. I showed them the email and they informed me there was no such deal and didn’t understand why it would be advertised that way.
I got home, was able to finally see my official time and pace, and see the one and only photo of me from the race, because of course this would be it.
As I said, this was the most “meh” race I think I will ever participate in.
I would like to take this time to give my mom a shout out because I didn’t during the post about the Miami half. She sent me encouraging text messages during both of these races, which I was able to read on my running watch and they really helped keep my energy and spirits up.