I loved that the race started at 9 am. I had plenty of time to grab breakfast at the hotel, and I even got to Keeneland early enough to get a great parking spot.
I was pretty cold at the race start, but I also didn't want to overdress. I LOVED that they played My Old Kentucky Home after the Star-Spangled Banner. I also loved that they played the trumpet first call at the beginning of each wave.
I knew nothing about the course. I read that it was technically challenging. During the first 2-3 minutes or so, I knew it was going to be a bitch because there was a rather steep hill. I tagged along with the 2 hour pace group, but left them pretty quick because I just wanted to move faster.
I was moving pretty quick, but it was hilly... I think I'm going to have nightmares about those hills. I'm sort of glad that I didn't know the course at all because if I did, I probably would have been more conservative at the start.
Mile 1: 8:36
Mile 2: 8:16
Mile 3: 8:22
Mile 4: 8:54
Mile 5: 8:32
Mile 6: 8:52
Mile 6 is when things started to get tough. I burped and a bit of puke came up. I swallowed it. Gross. I also started questioning a PR at this point too. I was tired, and the hills were killing me. I thought there was no way I could keep this up for another 7 miles. I also started walking some of the hills.
Mile 8: 9:16
Mile 9: 9:08
Mile 10 was Meg's mile. I thought I would fight through the pain, but I just couldn't. So I walked.
Mile 10: 10:31
I thought I lost it - - the PR. I honestly didn't care. I told myself that this was good training for the Go! next week. I was secretly trying for a sub-2 hour half marathon, but then I was mentally drained and couldn't be optimistic anymore.
Mile 11: 9:48
I got some beer here. That gave me a good boost of energy. I was so happy I was almost done.
...Then the 2 hour pace group caught up to me, and they were seriously like the Balloon Ladies at the Disney races. I was like, OH HELL NO. And I picked it up. I looked at my watch and I was like, I can totally come in under 2 hours. Then it turned into a race against time.
Mile 12: 8:55
Mile 13: 9:02
Holy crap! After years of chasing the elusive sub-2 hour half marathon, I finally did it on a hilly fucking course. I walked through 7 water breaks... I walked and texted Josh at mile 11 to say, "FUUUUU, hilly fucking bitch." I walked at least 4 different hills. I finished with a time of 1:58:11. A good three minutes faster than NYC.
My awesome finish photo:
I LOVE my medal. I think it's so cool that Lexington is on the medal, and the stopwatch was mass produced because of him. HOW COOL that I FINALLY broke 2 hours, and the medal is what encouraged me to sign up for this race. Cheers, Lexington!