I probably didn't start out very smart. I had helped my neighbor train for this race, her first half marathon, so we were running together doing 6 minutes of running and 1:30 walking. After our 10 miler last Saturday I resolved to lengthen the rest intervals after the Heart Half. Probably should have done it sooner. So we started out using our standard run/walk interval, which was actually fine at first, other than the fact that I had tied my shoe too tight and my foot hurt. That started by mile 3. Then by mile 5 I realized that there was no way I could sustain our run/walk system, so I told Angie to go on ahead of me with her cousin. Just because I was headed toward a 3-hour finish didn't mean I'd need to drag her down with me! So off she went, and I was alone.
It was a whole new experience, being pretty much all the way at the back of the pack, soldiering on long after the cheering crowds had packed it in. There wasn't much to look at and there weren't many people to talk to. I set my intervals at 3 minutes running / 3 minutes walking, but then threw that out the window and decided to run the flat and downhill sections and walk the uphills. Which was fine, but holy shit, there were a lot of uphills. A LOT of uphills. And my foot hurt. Running put a lot of pressure on my bladder and walking hurt my foot, so there was really no preferred way to keep moving forward. I know I should have just stopped to pee, but there was always a line and I just wanted to keep making progress. I'll keep that in mind for the Pig, though it won't be as much of a problem because that course has much better support. By the time I hit mile 11 the run/walk had mostly turned into a walk/run/limp. The bridge from Newport to Cincinnati has never felt so long. I finally made it to the finish line with a time of 2:50:something. A full hour slower than last year, but I still felt like I had accomplished something because how many people complete a half marathon 31 weeks pregnant?
I've never been more happy to not show up in any race photos. I was an absolute train wreck by the end. As you can see, I'm flashing my trademark "smile even though it hurts" grimace.
The best part of the whole thing is that I was able to help my friend go from being a total non-runner to running 13.1 miles. And that was pretty cool to see.
Even though this experience was a total suck-fest, I'm not giving up on the Pig. I'm going to revise my run/walk strategy until I find something that works. I also need to figure out if my foot hurt because my feet have just gotten bigger/wider and, if so, whether or not I can find a running shoe that will get me through the last 9 weeks of pregnancy. So don't count me out yet!