Saturday was a big day for me! I ran the Augusta Half Marathon. The Augusta Half was the first half marathon I ever ran, and that was back in… 2019? I think! Since that first, I have run 3 more half marathons. Until Saturday, I had run the Augusta Half twice, the Run United Half Marathon once, and the Palmetto Peach Half Marathon once. Back in November, I was about to run the Palmetto Peach 5K (hadn’t trained to run much further than that). While waiting for the race to start, I saw on Facebook there was a deal on the Augusta Half Marathon sign-up fee. I had been thinking about training for another half, and when I realized it was about 12 weeks or so to train, I signed up!
Training for the Augusta Half Marathon
The Palmetto Peach happened right after Thanksgiving, so I started my training the week after. I looked for a plan that only required 3 runs a week. Now, I admit, I’m not an advanced runner. And I don’t know much about actually training. But I found a plan that I felt would work for me… slowly building mileage each week. I would typically run around 3 miles during the week (Tuesdays and Thursdays) and then my long runs were usually on Saturdays.
Overall, training was going pretty well. But back in January, I came down with some sinus stuff… and I did miss a few runs. Even after that, it was REALLY hard to get back into running. The after-effects of the sickness kicked my tail for a while.
I think during the training period, I only reached about 9 or 9.5 miles total. So, I really was dreading trying to get 13.1 on Saturday.
Race Packet Pick Up
On Friday, I headed downtown to Augusta & Co. to pick up my race packet– with my bib and shirt for the race. I told the folks I’d see them the next day, and joked that I might be crawling across the finish line.
Once I got home, I started getting everything ready for race day. I laid out my clothes, shoes, bib number, hydration pack, and got my Airpods charged up. Then, I tried to get some sleep!
I’ll admit, I didn’t sleep well. For a few reasons. Part of it was nerves/anxiety over the run. But my oldest dog, Cody, has been having major health issues and I was up with him a bit. But, I got ready and headed down to the Augusta Common.
The weather wasn’t the greatest. I debated on whether to keep my hoodie on or not. I knew I’d warm up… but the cool temperatures and the drizzle had me second guessing. Overall, the temperature wound up being really great for the race.
I ran into a running friend of mine who said she was just going to have fun and enjoy the race. So I took that to heart. I told myself not to worry about pace/time, and just enjoy it. And that’s what I did! I turned on my podcast and just took it at a decent pace. Honestly, my first few miles were a decent pace. Then I hit that incline at Central Avenue… At that point, I did do some walk/run intervals.
Throughout the race, I really took time to look around and enjoy some of the gorgeous areas around Augusta! By about 8.5 miles in, one of my podcasts had ended… and the next one started, but I wasn’t feeling it. That’s when I had to switch to some music. I’ll have to be sure to thank HARDY when he comes to Augusta this weekend for helping me power through those last few miles!
The ultimate goal was just to finish this race! And I did. My time was somewhere around 2:24:52. Not my best time… but not my worst either. I think the first half I did was almost 2:45 or maybe a tad longer. My best time was 2:22:20! Overall, I’m proud of my finish time this year. Given all the circumstances going on in my life, I’ll take it!
At the end, I ran across the finish line, and managed to stay upright! My first half… I barely made it across the finish line before having to basically limp… and then my fiancé David carried me to the truck! During the race, I definitely had some cramping in my legs, but my breathing never got too hard. And afterwards, I still have soreness in my quads, but I’m glad that’s the worst of it!
I’m looking at maybe doing the Run United Half Marathon at the end of April. And sounds like now I’ll be training Dub to run a 5K! I wouldn’t mind running a few 5Ks in the next couple of months too. It’s always nice to have actual races to look forward to. Otherwise, it’s just running to run. Which can be good… but I like to set some goals to keep me motivated.
Here are a few photos from the Augusta Half!