First Light Half Marathon Recap

I have been trying my best to train for my second marathon (Shamrock Marathon in VA Beach) coming up March 18. My longest run has been 14 miles so far. My training plan called for 13.1 last week so I decided to run First Light in Mobile, AL which is a little over an hour drive from my house. I’ve never run this race before and my husband was kind enough to drive me after a full work weekend. This race gives you the option of race day packet pick up too!

Race morning: Sunday January 14

The temps were FRIGID.. I mean cold for this southern girl. My husband and I left the house around 5:30 and the temps were 22 degrees. It may have warmed up a little as we got closer to downtown Mobile, but not much. Packet pick up was at Mobile Government Plaza and I was supposed to meet up with my friend Amy who I met at the Mississippi River Half a year ago. We arrived around 6:45 and found parking pretty close to Government Plaza and the starting line. Sadly, they ran out of shirts and only had an XL. I was a little disappointed but they wrote down my address. Still haven’t received a shirt, but you never know. I found my buddy Amy and we chatted a few minutes before heading to the bathrooms and starting line. Amy and I staying warm for a few minutes before heading outside! My sweet husband, Christopher ❤️

I gave him a hug and kiss and we went our separate ways. He was headed back to our truck for a nap lol. The starting line was right by the plaza. Amy and I ran into Penny who lives in my community. She is also a teacher at my son’s school. She was there running the marathon by herself. Penny and I. This was marathon number 14 for her! Wow! I also got to see Holly @hohoruns at the starting line and we gave each other a hug. I wish we had taken a picture together. The race was supposed to start at 7:30, but didn’t start until well after. Everyone was ready to RUN so we could warm up! We sang the National Anthem and it was finally time to run! I was thankful to warm up quickly after we started the race. My pace for mile one was 10:12.. oops. That’s a little fast for me since my MS Gulf Coast Half average pace was 10:30. I decided to try and see how long I could keep running this pace. I can run faster in the cold and I don’t get tired like I do when running in humidity and heat. But guess what?? My stomach started feeling a little funny. I had to make my first potty stop at during mile 4, but nothing happened. I can usually eat anything the night before a race and I ate pasta. I was like “why is my stomach hurting??” So basically miles 5-8, I spent looking for the next porta potty. 😆This seemed to help take my mind off of running, but I was also a little concerned I wouldn’t make it to a potty in time 😱. Finally, after mile 7 I found one. Praise the Lord. I felt much better from that point on and was able to enjoy the rest of the race. The course was flat and we ran through downtown Mobile in some really pretty neighborhoods. I did have to watch my step because of speed bumps, cracks and uneven roads. Plus it seemed like we had to make a lot of turns. I noticed my time was really good and I would most likely beat my time from Gulf Coast last month. I was so happy when I turned on Dauphin Street for the last mile. I saw my sweet husband taking pictures of me before crossing the finish line. Almost to the finish line!! Woo hoo!!!

The clock time read 2:17:56 and my watch time was 2:16:19. 13.3 miles?? Whew! I was so happy to be done. I had a fellow Half Fanatic (according to his HF shirt) and congratulate me. He said he had been chasing me for 7 miles lol. We shook hands and I went to find my husband. We saw Amy and chatted with her and talked to a few other people we knew. I grabbed coffee and we started to make our way back to the truck. But first… we take a selfie. Swoon. I sure do love him. I had to get a medal pic in front of this wall! So colorful! We ate breakfast at Waffle House and had to pick up our kids. They still have not posted our official race results but it looks like my time was 2:17:58. I will take it!! That’s my fastest half marathon time in two years and with TWO potty stops. I wanted to sign up for another race since I did so well, but I think I need to get in my long runs for the marathon. I like to use races for training runs, but I know me and know I would just race again trying to beat my previous half marathon time. I am so thankful to God for another great race. Two years ago I PR’d several distances and then had a really tough year personally. I’ve had to work hard to get my confidence back at racing distance again. Here are my splits from First Light. Mile 4 and 8 were my potty stops. Sigh. But overall, I had a really great race with an upset stomach and COLD weather.Hey First Light, can I get my shirt please??

How was your week? Have you used your setbacks to make a great comeback? How long did it take you to start seeing improvement? I am linking up with Holly and Wendy for the Weekly Wrap!

20 thoughts on “First Light Half Marathon Recap

  1. Congrats on a strong race even with the potty stops! Sometimes when it’s way cold (just like in extreme heat) the body diverts blood flow to warm itself and that could be the cause of your tummy issues. Those truly are frigid temps for your area!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great race! I like running in colder temperatures too, but I struggle with my Raynaud’s when the temps dip too low.

    Sounds like you’re in great shape for the Shamrock Marathon. Just keep doing what your’e doing and you’ll get it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sounds like a fun/exciting/cold race! 😉 Glad you found a potty and had a better race after that. Lol! That’s never fun. And how sweet of your husband to drive you and act as your photog!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love running races as part of my training for goal races. It helps keep the training more interesting, and sometimes I find that I’ll push myself more on a particular long run if I’m also running a race. Congrats on running a strong half! You’re well on your way to being ready for Shamrock!

    Liked by 1 person

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