Saturday, October 8, 2011

My FIRST Real Race

My Saturday mornings usually consist of getting up between 5:00-5:30AM to meet my Marathon Makeover team for our long run to prepare for our Marathon/Half Marathon next weekend. We all decided to sign up for a 5 mile hometown race that took place today as a short run to start the close of our training for this 26.2/13.1!
Today I got to sleep until 6:45AM, which is a normal work day alarm. It was GREAT!! Even better? My parents were participating and were up getting ready as well and I wasn't having to be quiet in the dark by myself.

I got on the road and headed in town to meet up with everyone and get myself mentally prepared. This was my very first actual race. that counted. with numbers pinned on my shirt. I was pretty pumped to get there!

The weather was perfect. I didn't look to see what it was, but Susan said it was expected to be about 66 degrees. I'll take it!

After walking up an insane hill, I found Susan. Let me just say, I love my running partner!! I could never have been this successful with training if it wasn't for this chick.

There were tons of people that showed up. Like about 700 registered from what I heard. One good thing about it being in our hometown is we knew so many people. People I didn't know were runners and people that came to walk it also.

The race started at 8:00AM and led us over the Old Mississippi River Bridge that is now open only to the train tracks. It took us past the bridge into the delta for 2 1/2 miles and then had us turn around and head back.
Courtesy of my dad.

We stuck strong to our training routine and walked for 5mins to warm up. It was the second hardest thing to do during the race. We also had no music because the ad clearly said no headphones, strollers, etc. Susan and I were pretty bummed that we saw people with music. Luckily I had had plenty of practice without it in the beginning of my training this summer. She didn't suffer as bad as she expected with it being her first time music-less.

The first half was easy. Seriously. We both had the adrenaline and flew. When I finally realized how fast we were going, I insisted that we slow down. Her response, Yeah, that's probably a good idea considering the second half is an incline. Umm excuse me?! Crap.

And she wasn't lying. But the plus side was having people on the sides of the road/bridge cheering us on. I loved getting to pass back by all those behind us as we were headed back in the second half. Cheering on my mom and dad was exciting since it was my dads first five miles ever! Heck, First race ever! My mom and I did walked this race way back when during my Jr High years.

So back to ME! Susan and I decided that no matter if we were on a run or walk interval, we were going to run the last half mile through to the finish line. Yeah that didn't happen. Remember again, I said it was a steady incline. Which brings me to the FIRST hardest thing. The last .10-.20mi felt like I was climbing this at full speed.
I'm sure my face was pretty tragic looking as I got to the top of the mountain. Lungs are not made to be tortured like that. However, I was DETERMINED to run through that finish line. So at the bottom of the supa ridiculous incline, I pushed. and I pushed hard. Like the ugliest in through your nose, out through your mouth breathing evaaaa. I was half way to the top and I hear the guy with the mega phone cheering and instructing runners/walkers to the correct finish lane. Yes, walkers had caught up with me. Power walkers. In compression shorts. With only compression shorts and tshirt and tub socks. This is not a joke.

So back to the guy with the mega phone. As I was struggling and so ready to walk, I kept praying that God would get me through the last few feet. That's all I needed was just a few feet and a little push. Then the announcer comes out with a RUNNERS, DON'T STOP! FINISH STRONG! RUN TO THE FINISH!! That was the extra little push that our amazing God gave me. AAAND my speedy gonzolas MM team, that had finished, screaming my name! Somehow my brain processed the name calling and I think I heard it about 8 times! I could be wrong. But whatever. I felt special people were cheering for ME!

I'm backwards and don't feel like reorganizing pictures so here is my time, etc. I was obviously all nerves and got a late start on my garmin when we started. Flustered and fumbling and getting pissed, I finally got it working. I finished in 55mins, an even 5mi. Remember I started the watch late.
After my lungs finally came back to life, I was able to celebrate my accomplistment! It took about 15 mins, but then I was excited and proud.

This is my Marathon Makeover coach, The Awesome Kim! A fantastic motivator that screamed the loudest over all the other members cheering for me I'm sure. Where oh where would I be without her help? I obviously depend on a lot of people with this running thing.

I was finally recooperated enough to see my parents to the finish! I'm not sure of my moms time, but my dad was the last of them and finished just under 1:20! His first five miles and in great timing!! I'm so proud of them. I know I've said that ten times already. At least in my head.

After cooling down, and stuffing my face with free Subway sandwiches and a free Spark drink from the Advocare tent, I had to use the restroom. It was the nicest porta potty I have ever seen. Why not take a picture since that's obviously what I do now that I blog. Weirdo.
 The parents and I sat around for a little bit and listened to the live music playing and talked with friends we ran into. These guys are on such an awesome track to weightloss already. Since my engagement, they have really jump started it and now have both lost at least one dress size. My mom is down TWO! Whoohoo for 35lbs down!! They have been walking together after work to prepare for this race. And they did it! We did it!! Oh Happy DAAYYYY.
 I can't imagine the feeling of accomplishment next weekend will bring. I am beyond excited to participate in my first Half Marathon! Please, please give me ANY advice that you can share to help me prepare better in the next week!

I'm currently spending the day like this.

And now I'm off to my future in-laws house to hang out with the entire family..... minus the most special one. I sure am missing my sweet Fiance. He is off celebrating a friends birthday with dinner, and a boat ride in Charleston. Jealous. The plus side?..... Monday marks 5 months until THE day!!!!!!!!!! It's so close, yet so far away.



  1. I loved this post. GREAT JOB!!!!!!! I'm so happy for you! I laughed out loud at "Like the ugliest in through your nose, out through your mouth breathing evaaaa. " KNOW the feeling! You rock!!

  2. Congrats on the race!! It must be amazing to have your parents run as well :) I can't wait to see your half recap next week :) You will do great!!