It was FINALLY HERE!!!!!!!!!
Friday rolled around pretty quick and I was suddenly hit in the face with the Eve of my first half marathon. I was S.I.C.K. all day. Actually I didn't sleep Thursday night. I woke up every hour with nerves. I was punished by my stomach all day Friday and could not calm down. It was so so close.
Was I ready? Had I trained enough? Would my knee hold up the whole race?
Yes I was ready. Yes I had trained enough. All I had to do was get my jitters out of the way. I got off work early to head to Madison were the race was going to be held the next morning. Leah was letting me crash at her place since it was only 10mins away from the starting line. She was suppose to participate, seeing as she was the one to talk me in to the dang thing... but her and her hubby lucked up and got 4 free tickets to the MSU game that they could NOT pass up. I could have been mad, but then again I would have jumped on it if someone put those in my face!
So we met at her house, and after catching up for a few we went to pick up our race packets. Lucky 149 :)
Then we headed over to Applebee's and I carb loaded :) Chicken Parmesan Fettuccini Alfredo. YUM.
After I felt like barfing from over-eating, I laid out all my gear for race morning.
Nike Dri-fit top
Nike Dri-fit shorts
Nike Dri-fit sports bra (see a theme?)
Under Armour heatgear socks
Nike Fitsole2 shoes
Garmin 405 and HR monitor
sunglasses from my race packet
And then the day began at 5:20AM. I wanted to be up early enough to take care of all business before leaving the house. NO NERVES!! Normally I only eat an Access bar for fuel before my runs, but decided to start with a piece of toast with a smidge of peanut butter.
The team met up in a near by parking lot, but I knew Susan was already by the start line waiting for me so I went to meet her. We were so excited! Her first MARATHON and my first HALF!
The race started on time at 7AM after the National Anthem was played. We had decided that no matter what, we would walk to warm up like usual. What made this easier was there were TONS of MM teams that learned the same thing, so they walked also. And the fact that there were so many people, nobody could speed off running unless you were in the very front.
We agreed on a 7min walk warm up since we normally do 5mins, but Susan had to 26.2 so we compromised. The first 4 miles flew by so quick. We had a beautiful sunrise to see as we topped the first hill. Then we winded around through a few off the chain neighborhoods that looked pretty fab.
The first camera I saw was around mile 3.17 and I was feeling the awesomeness, so I cheesed it for two minutes hoping he got a smile. Goofy? Atleast I wasn't frowning.
That changed fast. Not 1/2 second later, we had a hill to climb and my knee started the same crap as usual. I was so pissed that it was hurting so early. Normally it doesn't kick in until mile 5-7..
All I could do is constantly pray that God would get me thru the pain and help me to focus on having fun and FINISHING.
Miles 4-8 was a long stretch of nothing but road and grass. And sunshine. It was truely the most perfect weather for my first big race. I was sweating continuously, but never had the feeling of Oh my gah its so hot! Perfect.
This stretch of the race we had cheerleaders at various lengths inbetween the water/gatorade stations. We also had the runners ahead of us already turning around, so we were able to cheer them on as they passed back by us! And what do ya know?.... The first runner to pass us was the husband of a friend of mine! It felt great to scream his name and know he was doing so great!
At every station I grabbed a water in one hand and gatorade in the other and sipped back and forth til I got enough to satisy. I think I took a gel around mile 4 and 9 or 10. I only remember my clock was in :55 and 1:50something.
I tried to push it longer than usual before taking a gel since I was just ready to finish, and the hydration stations were spaced so far apart because of the cooler weather, I wasn't sure when I'd have water to wash it down.
We had set our intervals at 4/1 and stuck to it except maybe 5-10 extra mins walking total. Susan and I did really good in my opinion!
At mile 8 my right calf began getting really tight. I stopped for a second to stretch it out, and it felt a little better. Then it was back to hurting again. Great. Left knee, and right calf. Fabulous. Can I just be done with this race already?! So there was alot more running and a not so scenic view....Then before I knew it, we rounded the corner and I saw the 12mile marker. I was almost there!
At that time, I looked at my watch and had 15 mins until 2:30 which was my high goal time. I had decided before the race to finish between 2:30-2:45. I wasn't sure I was going to make the 2:30.
Then I saw the hill.and then there was another.. I told Susan I was NOT running up that hill. So we picked up our walk pace. Halfway up the hill, an older lady running the full began getting hamstring cramps and was stopped and limping. She brushed the race officials off and kept walking. All I could think was "Oh no don't you stop this close to the finish." I asked her if she was doing the full or the half.. she responded with a very pissed "Oh the full is over". Then I responded with a "keep going your almost done. Just don't stop!" It probably pissed her off even more, but atleast I tried to put some words in her head.
We got to the top of the hill and had an intersection to cross so we began to run. I also began my motivation speech for Susan since we were about to split and she had a whole'nother half to complete by herself.
I spoke straight from the heart and gave the best YOU CAN DO IT speech I could come up with. We said our fair-wells and I love you's and split. This gave me a burst of energy knowing I was running to the finish! I sprinted off and heard some people cheering on that sprint. It felt so good. Then I realized I was feeling pain like last weekend from running too fast and my lungs freaking out. I slowed for a second, then decided to walk a couple of steps. When I passed some trees, I could see it ahead of me and sprinted for the second time.
I will probably look extremely ridiculous in my finish line pics because I had nothing on my mind but finishing, and finishing strong. My garmin clocked the last .27mile in 8:52!! Awesome job and a pat on my back :)
|Coach Kim and myself|
As I made all my phonecalls to everyone, I caught Patrick House from Biggest Loser (two years ago) coming in for the finish! He had walked the half with a group the entire way. I didn't get up the guts to go meet him and take a picture. I'm sure he is sick of that by now......
She rounded the corner and excitment took me over! She said she almost busted into tears when we joined in to run her in.. She had finished the last 3 miles or so with another team member so they were in good spirits.
|Susan and her guy|
It finally came time to head home. I could have gone to Leah's to shower, but I'm gross and I was tired and just wanted to be home, so I drove back....... 45 minutes away.
Soaked in a bubble bath, then showered for a loooong time. Then had these beauties....... I was so weak and starving from not eating more food than what I had had. It was delicious.
I am wanting to do another half in April and also October or November of 2012 in SC. I found this list of races and need some opinions. Have any of you run these or heard good stuff about them? I'm ready to work past that 2:34 and feel the power again!!!!