The Windermere half marathon was the perfect first timer half marathon. Still can’t believe I can now say I’m a 13.1 graduate. 😉
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It was such an amazing experience and the people of Windermere did a great job hosting the 6th annual event.
Windermere half marathon recap
The start time was Sunday the 1st at 7am. Travis took the day off so he could be there to drop me off and hang out with our little group after we crossed the finish.
Megan and I decided to just meet at the start line since we were coming from different directions. Travis dropped me off just before 6:30, so I found Megan and we walked toward the start line together.
We crowded in with everyone and waited for go time!
See all those people? Well we thought we were going to run the direction most of them are looking in this picture, and that we were at the back of the pack. Totally great with us, we didn’t want to be in anyone’s way. Um, no. Wrong. The announcer blasted that it was going to start soon and suddenly everyone turned around and faced the other direction, and we realized we were standing at the front of the start line.
We felt a little guilty since we knew we were in no way elite runners, but it was too late to head to the back of the line. When announcer yelled “GO!” we immediately went to the right side of the road so everyone had easy access around us.
Our plan was to keep a slow and steady pace and try and maintain it, with the possibility of picking up the pace if we felt good toward the end. We decided on a 11/12 minute mile, and we did really good at keeping our splits right around 11 minutes.
We had both taken a GU about 15 minutes before the start, and had each brought about two more energy enhancers for later in the run. I decided to do sport beans and brought along cherry and watermelon.
It was crazy how many people booked it around us. Like we were standing still.
Seriously this was like two minutes in and all these people had passed us. But what I noticed was at about mile two, some of the really ambitious people had lost steam and had to walk or slow it way down. From mile two to about mile five, we slowly passed many who had started off too fast and had to slow it down.
At mile five it evened out and we kept the same pace and ran with others keeping splits similar to ours.
The course went along the centennial trail and we were all afraid that it was going to be really congested, but honestly it wasn’t at all. Like I said earlier, after the first couple miles everyone hit their grove and there was plenty of room. And the course was so pretty!
I took my first sports beans around mile three. Clif was a sponsor for the Windermere race so two of the water stations had Clif gels and the last water station had Clif Bloks.
I had never had the Clif gels before and they gave out chocolate ones, which were good! I ate the first gel, but picked up the last gel and didn’t end up eating it. In order of consumption: GU at start line, sports beans at mile 3, Clif gel at mile 6, sports beans at mile 10, and that was it. After mile 10 I just couldn’t stomach any more energy anything. By then it all sounded gross. I just wanted water and sports drinks.
Megan and I were keeping great time until it unraveled a bit about mile 11. Megan was feeling super dehydrated and the water stations which seemed evenly spaced suddenly seemed so far apart. Poor Megan was shaking and starting to see black spots. I begged her not to pass out, so we walked until we hit the next water station. After we both downed water and sports drinks, we decided to jog a bit and see how we felt. It didn’t work out too well so we walked again. We ended up walk/jogging to the end where we sprinted to the finish line.
(The finish line was just around the curve after this bridge)
They even yell out your name as you came up to the finish line. It was pretty exciting! We crossed and they had service men in uniform give us our medals, and the Lilac Queen and her court gave each runner a rose. After I got my rose I looked down at it and realized, oh my gosh, we finished!!!!
Honestly, for us walking a bit our last few splits weren’t bad at all! Overall I’m super happy with the outcome! I was pumped up for the rest of the day and found myself at my computer researching more local half’s for later this year. Already registered for one in September, I would still love to include another between now and then.
Tyrion was in such a good mood and was so happy to play with mom’s shinny new medal.
Travis went home after dropping me off at the starting point so he could feed Tyrion breakfast and give him his first nap. Once Tyrion woke up they headed down to Riverfront Park to congratulate me on finishing! We all hung out for about an hour since they had snacks like fruit and BBQ chicken. We also stood in line for our complementary race picture which I thought was really gracious of them to provide. (See first picture in post for what they looked like.)
Overall I’m so, so happy! It was an amazing experience and I can’t wait to do another!
As far as learning experience goes, I think both Megan and I realized that although they had water station, we should of also carried our water bottles. It’s nice to be able to take a swig whenever we want and not have to wait. Besides that I feel we did everything else great! Can’t wait to see what time I get on my next run. I have my first ever time to try and PR against! Woohoo!
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