Thursday, July 5, 2012

My first half marathon

Once I seen the 10 mile mark I knew that just a few steps after that would be the farthest I had ever run in my life...

  I stayed in one of the host hotels in order to get a good nights sleep and not have a bunch of driving time before the race.  I took very good care of myself for months before this race, and it showed on race day.  I sure hope I don't slack off when training for my next race.

  4:00am  Rise and shine!  I was awake and feeling good!  Running on pure excitement!  I had time so I decided to take a shower.  After my shower I got my running clothes on and headed down to the continental breakfast that started special at 4 am for the runners, which was a nice touch.  I debated getting dressed into my running clothes before heading down because I didn't want to have my sports bra on for a long time before the race.  Sometimes if I keep it on too long it will make me sore.  I decided that wasn't going to happen.  I was in my gear and ready to head down.  I was a little embarrassed that I had my bib number already on, but it's kind of a pain to pin that thing on, so I figured i'd just forget being embarrassed.
Kind of a goofy picture but it was early and I didn't have a lot of time to worry about a perfect shot.

When I got downstairs I seen a lady I had met at the pool the night before.  She was from Hawaii and here to qualify for Boston.  I should have asked her I'll never know if she made it.  I ended up having a bowl of cereal.  I wanted to stay light on my meal, especially since I ate so much at the Old Spaghetti Factory for dinner the night before.  

This is all I brought.  Stuff on the left of the bag goes with me on the road.  And my lucky socks!!!
I decided last minute to snap a pic of the view from my window. 

Time to head out the door.  I am surprisingly calm.  I usually am a wreck by this point, but there was just a peace about the day that could have only come from God.  I got down to the buses, there were about 6 or 7 of them, checked in, and got on the bus.  It was a pleasant ride.  I sat next to a woman who was sitting alone, and the man I was talking to in line sat in front of us.  We had a great conversation the whole way there.  I learned a few new things too.  I can't tell you right off the bat what those things were.  

  Once on the island the sun was already shining it's early deep orange hue upon us.  Once I got off the bus I got in line to check my bag.  A lady whom I met on Daily Mile and had arranged to meet at the race met me in the bag check line.  I immediately liked her.  She had a warm smile and a friendly attitude.  I loved her hydration pack, she had two pockets on the straps!!!!  That is exactly what I had been needing!  

This is Me and Michelle.  We were really excited to start the race, but it was hard to find the perfect pose where the sun wasn't casting a shade. 

       The Race
The gun went off and we were running!  Not at a very fast pace at all.  We were passing by many cars waiting to get onto the island.  The reviews made it sound like this was going to be a huge problem, but it wasn't at all.  I knew I had to pic up my pace a bit if I was going to get a good time at all, because I have an idea of what my pace is, and this was NOT it.  So I began to weave in and out of people as much as I could.  Things didn't begin to thin out until about a half mile in.  As slow as my first mile started, I completed my first mile in just under 10 minutes.  

  After mile three I began counting down how many miles I had left.  They all seemed pretty easy to get to, it seemed to take a long time to get to the half way point, but once I did I was glad.  Just before that at mile 5 I decided it was time to have an energy chew.  I knew I would need at least 3 blocks for anything to take effect, so I crammed the first one in my mouth and began chewing as fast as I could, then the second one, I wanted to hold onto the third one, put my back pack on and finish chewing the other two, but could not finagle all that and keep good time, so I crammed the third one into my mouth. Oh goodness, I started to choke.  I was NOT about to let myself be distracted by choking!  I coughed and sputtered, and sipped some water, but I did not stop!  Of course I would have stopped if I really needed to...maybe...

  Around mile 4 I found a guy in a green shirt who seemed to be going at my pace, so I kept up with him for a few miles, then he fell back, and there was a girl who had been running in front of me at the same comfortable pace, so I stayed with her, I am not sure if she fell back or thrusted on, but I lost site of her too eventually.  

  Mile 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 people were passing me, but none of them looked familiar.  Some of them were marathoners, I just know it.  Out of all the miles the hardest to find was Mile 11.  As I passed mile ten I knew that once I passed it in just a few steps I will have set a new distance record for myself.  I also told myself that once I got to mile 10 I would have to take it one mile at a time.  No convincing myself that  it was only a few miles up the road.  One I found mile 11 things went a little faster.  After mile 12 I was able to see the finish, this was exciting.  

  One thing I failed to mention was the entertainment solution.  I had made a playlist of a book on CD, then inserted songs into strategic places so that close to the end I would have some great tunes to carry me over.  Well I switched to straight music at about mile 8, and I was glad I did.  I used the voice control feature, so I never had to dig into my backpack for tune changes, and my wireless headphones have forward and back controls so I could skip or repeat songs.  That worked like a charm!!!

I had .1 mile to go, and my family was nowhere in site I was searching vigorously.  

Here you can see me searching.  I am not sprinting in because I just know my family has to be here somewhere!Obviously you can tell by the photo that my husband was right there waiting for me to cross the finish line.  And that I did!  It seemed like everything slowed down to cross it because I was filled with so much emotion.  
I came around the corner to where I could meet my family and my Kurt caught me at the exact moment of pure joy.  I don't like my appearance in the photo, but that moment was filled with such joy and accomplishment that I will cherish this picture for the rest of my life.

My medal!!!

I bought the 13.1 sticker like a month before the race.  I would not put it on my car until I had completed it.  I had visions of how I wanted this day to go and it went pretty darn close to perfect.

We had so much time after the race that we decided to drive back home.  Perfect opportunity for me to take an ice bath...yes I have shorts on!

I can tell you that I have had long runs without an ice bath, and my longest run with and ice bath, and I SWEAR by them!!!  I did it right this time.  I got into a cold tub with shorts and my sweatshirt, and a cup of hot coffee.  Then I put the bag of ice in and sat for 15 minutes.  The only thing I would have done different was to put a bath pillow behind me.  I couldn't lean back because my jacket would have gotten wet.

Last but not splits.  The last one isn't accurate because I was done running long before I shut the app off.  

Thank you for reading and supporting me in my running.  I am hopefully nowhere near done.  Now it's time to figure out how to run without training for a race...or maybe just keep training.
God Bless you my friends.

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