A Simply Fabulous Half Marathon
I just had the TIME OF MY LIFE!!! I cannot even express how excited I am right now. If I was on cloud 9 two days ago prior to my race I am on cloud 9 x 1000 right now!!!
I don’t even have words!! Be prepared for a lot of photos in this post!
I have one thing to say though before I get to my recap; yes it was good but it was HARD WORK. Oh my gosh, every step I took after 11 miles was rough. It was hard hard work. I will never ever again underestimate how much strength and power it takes to run so far.
Every single person who is a runner who is reading this …. seriously kudos to you. Honestly, no matter how much you run, no matter how far: 3 miles, 5 miles, 10 miles, 13.1, or 26.2 … running is one hell of a sport that takes training, mental work and amazing strength.
Earlier this week I had doubts. I knew I would finish all along. But I had concerns about my time and letting myself down.
I have one thing to say about that: just FINISHING this was a huge accomplishment and something I never dreamed of a year ago.
2 hours, 8 minutes, 24 seconds
I am so proud!!
That averages at about 9 minutes 48 seconds per mile. Yea baby!!!
Now, let’s start the day!!!
I woke up around 6am, way too excited to sleep. I tried to sleep a little more and finally got up around 6:45. I made myself a coffee and called my sister!! So glad she was working midnights and I could talk with her because she helped the time pass a bit!! Around 7:15 I had breakfast!
Look what I woke up to!!!
1 slice wholemeal toast with peanut butter and banana. I also had a bit of the banana on the side with a bit more peanut butter.
I talked to my sister for a bit longer and then eventually started to get ready. Steve got up at 8:15 and I said “guess what? I’m running a half marathon today!” My resting heart rate was already at about 75 bpm because I was so excited! Normally it’s around 50!
We left for the starting point at 9am once I had everything packed and ready to go!
We got there quite early but I was thankful because I got to hit the toilets a couple times and gathered my thoughts! I had no idea how the heck to wear a chip but the lady at registration was very helpful. Everyone who was running the race was so friendly!! They were giving out these freebies at the starting line, both which I just put in my bag for after the race because I already had my energy shots clipped underneath my shirt.
Waiting to start! Pretty nervous at this point!
Walking up to the starting line. Steve was such a good photographer for me!
I told the guy who has his back to me that I wanted to step aside to wait for Steve to get into position for my starting photos haha!! He was totally great about it. He was giving everyone a pep talk.
Once we hit that blue mat our time started. The man said to me “ok are you ready?” and off I went!
If you can believe it I actually started to tear up within the first mile. I just couldn’t believe that I was doing it and I couldn’t believe I had 13.1 miles ahead of me. Holy crap. I finished my first mile in 8 minutes 29 seconds. I thought I was going a bit fast and I didn’t want to hit a wall.
Miles 1 –3 felt amazing. It was a very easy run. I averaged those 3 miles in under 9 min miles. I was trying to take in all the sights as well. Most importantly I was trying to enjoy it. At mile 2 though, I got a massive cramp in my side which was really strange for me, but I stretched it out and got through it. At mile 3 we had a water station which felt fabulous. I took a couple of sips and actually decided to pour the water down the front of me. Loved it! It cooled me down a lot.
Miles 3-6 got a bit tougher. At mile 4 there was this tunnel that was so dark!! They had warned us about the tunnel. It was 360 yards long. I almost had to walk through it because it was dark and slippery, but it was a nice time to get my breath. There was another water station at mile 6 which I loved. Again, threw the water down the front of me! Water stations rock my world. I took an energy shot at 5.5 miles. It gave me so much of a boost. I knew that Steve was going to try to see me somewhere between mile 6 and 10 so I kept waiting for the moment that I saw him.
Miles 6- 10 I took a couple more energy blocks. I didn’t want to burn out but my pace had slowed down. I used the pace setter that I got at the starting line and I looked at it every few minutes to see how I was getting on. I had it around my wrist (the yellow thing in the photo above) and it really helped me set my pace. My pace setter was for a finishing time of 2 hours and 10 minutes: my goal. I knew once I passed 8.5 miles I had set a new personal distance record and that in itself was so motivating to keep on going. There were a lot of bridges through this course, with very steep hills. The hills were only about 10-15 seconds seconds long but my goodness they were steep.
Then there was mile 10.
Steve and his Mom and our niece Emily were there!!!!
Look at me drinking my water. Attractive eh?? You can’t really tell but the front of me is soaked!!
I ended up getting a BURST of energy and started speeding past them. It really gave me a huge uplift to know that they were there at that point!!! I do remember yelling at Steve though and saying i’m so tired!!!
Miles 11- 13.1 were definitely the toughest throughout the whole race. I just kept on thinking “i’m so close.” I had to stop a couple of times and speed walk. These miles, even though I was so close were so trying on me. My legs felt like lead each step I took. All of a sudden I was getting leg cramps and I kept on thinking “but I ate my banana this morning!” haha.. oh man. It was so so hard you guys, I didn’t think I would make it.
There was a man who I passed, and then eventually at mile 12 he passed me. I looked at him and shook my head and I told him I couldn’t do it. He ended up running with me the rest of the way. Maybe it was on purpose, maybe we were just running the same pace but I swear I credit this man for getting me through it those last 2.1 miles. I THINK it was the man in the above photo who was wearing bib 630. I kept saying to him “where is our 13 mile marker?!” He kept saying we’re almost there!
Then I hit mile 13. I said to him i’m going for it!!! I started to sprint!!
As soon as I got to the finish I saw loads of people around clapping and shouting. I flew through that finish line!!! I got my medal and two cups of water. I also found the guy who helped me through those last two miles and shook his hand and told him thank you and how much he helped me.
Steve eventually found me!
2 hours 8 minutes 24 seconds
Emily was very excited with her strawberries!
I found it very odd that I wasn’t hungry at all. I didn’t want anything. Steve’s Mom offered me some strawberries but I couldn’t stomach them. My legs were aching though and I just kept on saying I couldn’t believe it.
We took a few more photos and then eventually made our way back to the car!
Steve and I!
My Future Mother-in-Law, Emily and I!!
My legs were aching so much!! But there was such a buzz down at the finish line that I didn’t let it get to me too much!
Once at the car, I had a banana and a bit of the bar I got at the starting line.
I didn’t like the bar at all to be honest and probably would not buy them myself. It had that fake taste to it. Way too over processed and just not very nice at all. Because I wasn’t extremely hungry, I just wasn’t feelin’ it so I ended up throwing the rest of it out.
Now I am home.. and i’m all showered and i’m trying to re-fuel the best I know how!!
I burned 1404 calories! WOW!
I got out of the shower and had a pretty calorie dense lunch:
6” grilled chicken sandwich, a nectarine and a 9 bar.
The 9 bar is about 230 calories itself so it packs a lot in!
Well, i’m going to spend the rest of the day resting, stretching, eating and just taking it all in!!!
THANK YOU all so much for your amazing support over the last little while.
I’ll be doing another post on Lessons Learned now that i’ve finished this race. I definitely have a few!!
13.1 MILES – JULY 4TH, 2009