We arrived shortly before the full Marathon began. George dropped me at the door of the HUGE Expo Center. I later realized the location of the marathon (Travis County Expo Center) is the county fairgrounds. When he dropped me off, I walked into the hustle and bustle of lots of runners stretching and getting ready for their run in their own personal way.
I hopped right in line for the bathroom. The whole line only took about 10 minutes and the bonus was I was inside in a nice 70 degree building. Soon the kids and George came in to take my coat, wish me well, and send me on my way. I probably only waited another 10 minutes before it was time for us to walk out and line up.
We lined up; there were no corrals so I just tried to stay near the back. I figured I'd be running between a 10:30 and 10:40 pace so let's face it, I belonged in the back. It took me only 30 seconds to cross the mat after the gun. I felt really good right from the beginning. I was running 10:17 and thought to myself, wouldn't it be nice if I could hold this pace; I couldn't. Soon my pace dropped to 10:30 and I thought again, wouldn't it be nice if I could hold this pace; I couldn't.
You see there is a reason this is called Decker CHALLENGE. The challenge isn't the 13.1 miles. The challenge is the hills. Every time I got into a good grove, hitting a nice pace, I'd be smacked in the face with another hill. I wish I could tell you what the hills were like because they never translate very well when you take pictures of them. Put it this way; I started calculating and the longest hill was 1 FULL mile. Now granted these hills are not straight up but one mile of a LONG STEADY climb is tough. That full mile came between miles 10 and 11 and then the hills didn't quit until about 12.5 miles. By then I was, of course, tired and just trying to maintain a decent pace.
Decker Challenge Half Marathon
Mile 1: 10:39
Mile 2: 11:00
Mile 3: 10:44
Mile 4: 10:43
Mile 5: 10:31
Mile 6: 10:36
Mile 7: 10:16
Mile 8: 10:19
Mile 9: 10:40
Mile 10: 11:04
Mile 11: 11:02
Mile 12: 11:08
Mile 13: 10:34
Mile 13.25: 1:47 (8:57 mile) The course was long; believe me I hugged every corner!
I'm not disappointed in my time. I knew I wouldn't set a PR before it even started. There were MANY times throughout the course when I thought about what I have been through to arrive at today. Less than 6 months ago I fractured my shoulder and wrist. I was bed ridden until August. I didn't start working out again until September and even then I was only able to do the elliptical. My 1/2 marathon training got put on hold for 2 weeks. Once because my doctor asked me to take a week off and once due to a kidney stone and subsequent surgery. I kept reminding myself that I have endured a LOT. I am proud of myself because I never gave up! I never once said I wouldn't be able to do the half. I just kept saying I'd try. If none of this would have happened I most definitely would have had a different time. But today I can say I'm extremely proud of 2 hours and 21 minutes.
This course, and my life, threw me a few punches. Like I promised, I never gave up and did my best until that last step across the finish line.
Thank you to the love and support from everyone, especially George and my kiddos. I love you!!!
We're ALL napped, fed and off to ride the North Pole Flyer.