Just over a week ago I ran the Gran Canaria half marathon, and I have never been so glad to be done with 13.1 miles in my life.
Some lessons learned:
+ Just because your hotel tells you over the phone that they are the hotel right next to the starting line for the island's only marathon does not meant they actually are said hotel. "Oh, no, that's our sister hotel!"
+ You might assume that water and a PowerBar or a banana would be relatively easy to come by at the start of a multi-thousand-strong race. You would be incorrect.
+ You would also be incorrect to assume that it would be possible to pick up your race numbers on the day of the race. Everyone knew that it was necessary to pick up the race packets the day before and that they would totally not be available after that point; why didn't we?
Ultimately we were allowed to run the race (thanks ever so kindly, race volunteers!), but I started out about a full minute per mile faster than my goal pace and the first refreshments stop was 5K into the race, so I spent that first 5K feeling miserable because I was dehydrated and starving, the second 5K feeling miserable because I horfed down too much banana and water, and the last 11K walk/jogging with Stephen, whose left leg has been hurty for a couple of months and decided to give out on him. So basically overall, nobody's greatest race ever.
Having said that, my offical time was 2:29:33, which is pretty good for a first half marathon! It's also about 20 minutes slower than my goal pace, so in spite of the fact that I finished the Gran Canaria half cursing everything about running, I am glad to have a chance to try again in the Lufthansa half on March 10th -- you know, just over six weeks away. (Ahh!)