This past weekend was so crazy for me. It was Liam’s first birthday (and his party, which I will share more about soon) and my first half marathon. In addition I had a work dinner to attend and my niece’s 3rd birthday party, so all in all we had very little time at home. I overextended myself because I ended up catching a stomach bug on Sunday night, but thankfully the rest of the weekend went fairly well. Today I just want to recap how the race went!
Start time was 7:00 a.m. so my friends picked me up at 5:00 a.m. We got to the convention center in plenty of time with no stress and just got ourselves ready, went to the bathroom (twice) and checked our gear. There were 31,000 runners and it was just so busy.
I had been nervous leading up to the race and focused my nerves on being prepared with the right clothes and such. I ended up wearing a tank top with a very light long-sleeved shirt on top. It was around 41 degrees at the start but it warmed up to in the 60’s and I didn’t take a jacket, gloves, or ear warmer to the race. I was very happy with my clothes decisions, because after a few miles I just pushed up my sleeves and I was comfortable the rest of the race.
A little before 7 we walked to our assigned corral. My friend Joanna and I were in corral C – not the slowest! :) We didn’t end up crossing the start line until almost 17 minutes after the race had begun. Soooo many people!
I was ready to get running, but once we started I felt intimidated at how far we had to go. But the atmosphere was awesome; there were spectators for pretty much the entire course. After a couple of miles we were in a groove. I also started to feel like I had to pee again! Here’s the rundown of how it went:
Mile 3 – we drank some water, walked through it just long enough to drink.
Mile 5 – we sucked it up and used the port-a-potty. Felt much better, but I was bummed to stop because I had been feeling really good and it was hard to get going again.
Mile 5.5 – saw my friend Mandi who I used to play soccer with and who is now a super runner, but she just had a baby so was spectating. Gave her a quick hug. It really gave me a boost to see a familiar face.
Mile 6-7 – we walked through another water break and ate our energy chews. Around this time I started to feel some pain in my leg muscles and joints.
Mile 8 – the marathon runners split off and I was super glad I didn’t have to go all that way.
Mile 9 – saw my parents, my brother, and my sister-in-law. That was awesome! I think they took a video of me running but I haven’t seen it yet and I’m kind of afraid to. :) Another big boost of energy.
Mile 10 – my muscles were feeling pretty tight and I was pulling ahead of my running buddy a bit so I just went ahead. I realized it would be better to just go a little faster and get it done. It actually felt better on my legs.
Mile 10-11 – ran by a donut shop and it smelled soooo good. I don’t even like donuts all that much but I really wanted one.
Mile 11-12 – there was a gradual incline and it was really tough. The entire course up to this point had been flat so I can’t complain too much but it was hard to have it come at the end.
Mile 13 – leading up to the finish line the street was packed with spectators cheering and it was so exciting. I really pushed myself to keep a steady or faster pace toward the end and I felt I really finished strong. Me after I had just finished:
>The spectators helped a lot with morale. I liked it when kids were there giving high fives, seeing people’s dogs, and the creative signs. My favorites were “worst parade ever,” “run if you think I’m sexy,” and “run faster, the Kenyans are eating all the food.”
>Couldn’t have asked for better weather.
>I finished in 2 hours 18 minutes, which is about a 10:32 pace per mile. That was a lot faster than I ever do my long runs usually, so I was really happy.
>Leading up to the race I had been considering taking on a full marathon in the future, but now I’m not so sure. It was pretty painful at the end and I was so glad to be done! I have another half marathon in a few weeks, but after that I’m going to stick to shorter distances for awhile.
>As I mentioned I spent that night awake with a stomach bug. At first I thought it was because of the race but I actually think it was unrelated. The next day my muscles and joints were way less sore than I expected, I was just super weak and tired from being sick all night.
Overall it was an awesome experience and I feel such a sense of accomplishment. I never thought that I would be able to do something like this but now I see it just takes time and dedication, like so many other things. So glad to have this in the books!