I am a half marathoner!!!
It feels so good to say that. Months of training, time away from my family, early mornings and tears have all paid off.
I went to bed about an hour earlier than my normal time on Saturday and slept really well. Surprised? Yeah, me too.
I ate breakfast and was out the door right on time. Parking and the shuttle to the start was easy and I was feeling pretty good.
I stretched, drank a gatorade and used the bathroom 100 times. No, not really, but it was a lot. My nerves kicked in.
This was a small local race, only 160 runners. While in line at the start, my friend Tara, who was running the 5k, found me and gave me a big hug and said good luck. It was so nice to see someone I knew. I texted Mr. RWW to tell him I was about to go. He texted back, Run Strong, Think Big and it brought tears to my eyes. Geez, I am crying already, great!
We took off and the crowd broke up right away. There were a few people running at my pace and I stayed with them for a while. Right off the bat, mile one, we started to hit hills. I have been lax on my hill training and I didn't expect this but it was good for me.
At the end of mile two, I passed a man who appeared to be a little younger than me. Wow, that never happened before. He was wearing bright orange, parachute/carpenter pants. No, really. They were very loose and baggy with big side pockets. Hmmm....
In mile three, my left knee started to hurt. Seriously, are you kidding me! I kept on trucking and after about a mile I started to feel a little better.
This race was very well marked and the volunteers were great! Every mile had a water station and starting at mile six, they had water, Heed, gels, pretzels, oranges and animal crackers. Also, the great people of NBX, rode their bikes around us to make sure we were ok and they all had extra water and gels with them.
Mile four, Mr. Orange Pants passed me but at mile five he stopped to use the porta potty. So technically, I passed him again, right? HeeHee
This course was beautiful but crowd support was minimal. We had a long stretch that was mostly farm land and I was alone for a lot of it. I really felt great, except for my left knee.
The next several miles were uneventful. I was running, my knee hurt and the only interaction with people were at the water stops. My tunes were good though, thank you Shinedown.
In mile nine, I couldn't remember what mile I was in and had to ask the volunteer. I also thought I would walk a minute and realized my knee hurt more to walk than run. Great!
When I saw the sign for mile ten, I felt relived because I was getting so close and then I felt like, "shoot, I still have 3 miles to go!" Oh, and .1! No worries, I got this!
Mile 11, a girl ran up next to me and we chatted for a few minutes. Nothing earth shattering, but it was nice to talk a little. About a minute later, Mr. Orange Pants had caught up to me. That's right the last time I saw him was 6 miles ago. We talked for a couple minutes and he told me his knees were hurting and that he would never wear those pants again. Honestly, I had to control my laughter. But he was cool and again, I was happy to have someone to chat with, even if it was only a minute.
He passed me and I used his pants as a guide as to how far I had to go.
When I approached the mile twelve marker, I started to get teary and could barely say thank you to the women who handed me water. I was so close and I was going to make it. This was also the longest and hottest mile. The sun was beating down but there was a women on a bike that really kept me going. She was so positive and she kept telling me I was doing great. She was like my own personal cheerleader.
The last .l, I heard a cowbell and then saw it was attached to my son. Yes, my kids were there and I was thrilled. I rounded the corner and saw the finish. My kids ran along the cones and I ran through the finish!
A cute little girl handed me my medal and a man gave me some water. My friend Tara was the first to greet me and it was so nice that she had stayed to see me finish. Thank you Tara!
Mr. RWM was there and it was then, that I really lost it. I hugged him and cried and was just so happy! He said I looked better than he thought I would and I laughed. He was right though. Remember that 12.93 mile run? The one where I didn't fuel properly, yeah well, what a difference food and drink makes. I felt awesome!
We hung out for a while, I stretched, had some snacks and clam chowder and then we went out for a bite to eat. I had hit a wall as I was finishing my lunch and couldn't get home fast enough.
I spent most of the day in the la-z-boy with my feet up and some ice. My knee is not good and it hurt to walk, hoping it is better tomorrow.
When I turned on my laptop, I got emotional again as I read every comment and message that you all had left for me. Your support cannot be measured and I thank each and every one of you for being there for me.
Based on my training runs, I expected to finish with a time of 2:40/2:45. I was pleasantly surprised that my official time was 2:37:34. I love the feeling of being in a race and running with other people. Even though this was a small race and most of it, I spent alone, I still felt the energy from the people around me. That excitement carried me through and I enjoyed every minute.
All in all, this was a beautiful race and very well run. I had fun and would do it again. Oh, yeah, I am doing it again, October 14th. I am so ready for Nike and can't wait for what is sure to be one of the most amazing weekends of my life.
I hope you all had a great weekend. I would love to hear about your training runs and races. Feel free to comment here or on my FB page.
Run Strong, Think Big my friends!