I ran the Dam to Dam half marathon with one of my best friends Shalae on May 31st.
The last half marathon we ran was two years ago in St. Louis. At mile 11 my legs completely cramped up, I hobbled through the finish and ended up with IT band syndrome. I crossed that finish line and said, "I will never run a half marathon again."
Fast forward two years and I was ready to try again! This time around I trained a lot, I of course had the competition to get ready for as well. I made sure to not skip long runs (besides the weekend of the competition), I stretched more than normal and just kept at it.
Shalae and I were so excited, it was a mini get away for us. We stayed with my brother John, his girlfriend Elizabeth and my brother Larry. The night before the race we enjoyed some delicious pasta and wine where Liz works at The Wine Experience, I am now obsessed with Stella Rosa wine by the way and their mac and cheese was out of this world! Afterwards we just had to have some cheesecake so off to The Cheesecake Factory we went, I of course took forever to decide but finally chose the tiramisu cheesecake, mmmmmmm :) Shalae and John each got the red velvet cheesecake, I did try a bite and oh my goodness, so yummy!!!!! John asked how many calories were in a slice, if you don't want to know skip this part......1700 calories!!!!! Good lord, that is insane, needless to say none of us ate our entire piece in one sitting ;)
We were up bright and early at 4am, got all our gear ready and took our bagels and bananas to eat on the bus. We had to ride buses to the Saylorville Dam for the start of the race.
It was crazy having so many runners beginning on a two lane road running over a dam. It was HUMID and warm, the gnats were awful and the start was pretty slow. I felt good, other than the humidity, it started to sprinkle just a little bit and that felt amazing! At about mile 6 Shalae started having some stomach cramps, I felt awful for her but she told me to keep running.
I ran the entire race, my legs started cramping up a bit at mile 11 but nothing too major. For me at that point it was all mental, I knew I wanted to beat my St. Louis time. When I saw the sign that said "400 meters" I just imagined that one lap on the track and started sprinting, not sure how the hell I had it in me to sprint but I did! I finished it five minutes faster than the St. Louis race.
I do wish my pace could have been a little faster but I'm not sure how I would have made it if it was. I actually really enjoyed this race and will possibly do another half marathon in the fall.
I'm so proud of Shalae and I, we will do this race again next year and hopefully I can talk her into doing some more half marathons :)