The course was just okay, flat and pretty in spots, but the last third of the half-marathon course is a crowded out and back (which is also the quarter-marathon course). This was my second time running this course, so I knew what to expect. The race was crowded, and there weren't enough bathrooms. I waited until mile 8 to use the bathroom because there was no way I was going to blow my modest time goal waiting in line at a bathroom stop.
I felt great, and was well under my goal until mile 11. I expected to struggle at the end. My training plan called for my longest run to be 10 miles. I know that this is common in training plans, but psychologically, I wanted to be done at 10! My legs kept cranking a steady 11:40 pace until mile 11, then my legs went noodle-y and shaky, and I had to walk.
At mile 11, the sun was hot, it was humid, and the lovely 2-mile downhill that I so enjoyed at the start became my uphill nemisis. A darling high-school cheerleader yelled at me, "you're almost there!" and I snapped back, "I have two miles to go, what are you talking about?!" (Sorry about that).
My pace slowed to 12:30, then 13. Uggh...those two miles were excruciating, but then I saw the "FREE TUNNEL of MIST!" The misters were having a grand time, and I had to drag them out of there when the race was over.