So what were you doing at 7:30am this morning?
Sleeping? Getting ready for church? Reading the newspaper? Eating breakfast?
I was running my FIRST HALF-MARATHON.
And thus begins the tale of my half-marathon experience...
It all started one Saturday afternoon....no I'm just kidding. I was up at 5:05am this morning. Except I didn't sleep well last night because whenever I have to get up for something that is outside of my normal routine, I wake up every couple of hours. Today was the same. I woke up at 1am, then 2:30am, then 4am, then 4:58am and finally my alarm went off. I was nervous because the day had finally arrived. The hour to rise and run had arrived. I drug myself out of bed, took Scotty for a quick walk, came back, ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, drank some water, sipped a little Gatorade, and then Amy called to tell me she was on her way. She told me she would drive me in case parking was a problem so I wouldn't have to stress out. She's awesome. So I quickly got dressed: compression shorts, running shorts, tank top, cheap long-sleeved t-shirt to throw away, running shoes. Grabbed my iPod, watch, bag and off we went.
6am and ready to roll!
Now mind you, at 6am it was in the low 50s, and still dark, and I wasn't wearing a whole lot. Plus I had to pee for the 5th time that morning. Plus this was my first race. Plus there were A LOT of people in legit running get-up and I was freezing and worried I hadn't worn enough layers, though I had been told and had read that you should dress in what you would wear if it were 10 degrees warmer then the current temp so, I did. And I was nervous. I stood in line for the
lovely port-a-potties, which took forever, and finally got in line 15 minutes before race time. Once I got into the pack I felt about 10 degrees warmer and that was nice and a little comforting. I lined up with the 9-10min/milers and at precisely 7am we were off. I was trying to pinpoint someone to pace with and so at first I decided on "Pink Shorts" and "D. Smith" but they were going a little too slow for me so I would jump from runner to runner. At mile 2 I saw the 1st place runner FLY by. Holy catscans. I wish I were that fast. I wonder what it's like to be the fastest runner of ~4,000 people. Anyway.
Now Amy said she would be at mile 4.5 and mile 12 with some sweet posters for me. At mile 4.5 I spotted Amy before she saw me and I was staring her down and I nearly ran right up to her before she recognized me. It was hilarious!! She threw down her first poster and opened the other one and started running and cheering with me. The other spectators, and myself, got a GREAT laugh out of it. I should also mention I was about 10 seconds in front of the 9 min/mile pacer at this point and even though I felt fine at this pace at that point in the race, I knew it was a little too fast and I wouldn't sustain it the entire time. Confidence and competitiveness got the best of me and I paid for it around mile 8 because I was starting to feel the race wearing me down. Yikes. By mile 10 I was probably running closer to a 9:45 pace and I really, really, REALLY wanted to walk a bit but again, the competitive side of me dominated and I kept going. The last 2 miles were the absolute worst, physically and mentally. When I did my 11 miler, miles 10 and 11 were hard so I knew these last two miles were going to be a challenge. At this point my feet hurt, ankles hurt, knees hurt, hips hurt, quads were aching, I was SO SICK of music, my lungs hurt, and I was convinced I hated running with a passion. Then I saw Amy and a huge group of spectators right before the mile 12 maker and that gave me a nice boost of adrenaline and energy. Amy had the best posters ever. A nice chuckle and a nice boost! When I hit the mile 12 marker I told myself I was going to give it my all the last mile.
Yeah that didn't happen.
My quads would have none of it so basically I just told myself to sustain my current pace and to keep putting one foot in front of the other. The last mile was the hardest because instead of a straight shot to the finish, they made us take this path up the boardwalk that snakes so it slows you down and throws off your pace and I couldn't see the finish line. CRUEL. At this point I was so ready to be done. SOOOOO SOOOOOO ready! I saw some of my other friends who had finished before cheer me on and that really helped. I saw a big group at the 13 mile marker and then turned the last corner of the snake and FINALLY saw the finish line and SPRINTED as fast as my poor legs could go. Then I stopped and OH MY LANTUS my quads were killing me. Well, my whole body was aching but my quads and knees probably hurt the most. They handed me the sweet medal, I downed a bottle of water, a banana, a bagel, and limped off to find my group.
And when I got home. SWEET medal!
All in all, it was a FABULOUS experience. My goal was to finish between 2 hours and 2 hours and 10 minutes (roughly a 9:30min/mile--10min/mile pace). WELL, I shocked myself and finished at a 9:10min/mile pace! YAAAAAAAH BUDDY!!!!!!! Despite the aches and pains, it was totally worth it and I am so glad I did it. I'm doing my next half marathon in February and aiming for a new PR and hoping to get down to an 8:50-8:55min/mile pace. Let the training begin...but not until next week. I'm taking a week off to recover-wahoo! And I'm retiring my Nike shoes and preparing to purchase some legit running sneakers. Amy is going to come with my to get fit for the proper running shoes. I'm hoping they size me into Brooks! My Nikes are near and dear to my heart because I started getting into running last summer and they were the sneakers that this all began in and that I ran my half in. Awwwww. Presh I know!!
So post race I took Scotty for a long walk, mostly for him to stretch his legs and because it was such a beautiful day today, but also to loosen up my legs a bit. Scotty had no sympathy for my soreness though, and tried to run several times. Yeah that didn't go over well and he was getting irritated with me. Sorry dude. I spent a few hours on the couch watching one of my favorite flicks, "Sabrina" (the Harrison Ford one....ooooooh yah!) and being really lazy. I haven't had a day like that in a very long time and it was really nice. I was going to go for a double feature movie presentation but before I knew it the Pats-Jets game was on. I almost had a heart attack when we blew our lead and then had to go into overtime. No worries, THEY WON! (Thank goodness because BYU lost to Notre Dame yesterday and boy oh boy am I getting slack for that tomorrow at work. Dr. W will not be pleased that we lost to the Irish....oooh boy.). All I have to saw is our scouts better find a new QB or Bronco and Riley have got a lot of work to do in the off season. Then I made pumpkin chocolate chip cookies (forgot to take pictures...sorry!). Then I gave Scotty a bath and further ticked him off. He does not like baths but he needed one. He's so fresh and clean now!
Fresh and clean (and scowling at me!)
Then I talked to my mom who is FINALLY back from Europe. Thank the freakin' stars.
Oh and I hung my Pinterest craft today.
Friday, Amy and I decided to ditch running and yoga, respectively, and do a craft so we found this neat map string craft on Pinterest, gathered our supplies and away we went! She did Ohio and Delaware (college and home state) and I did NH.
TADA!!!!!There was supposed to be a heart (as you can kind of tell from the first picture) but the heart looked stupid when I started stringing it so I decided just to do a large dot. I'm pleased! And it looks snazzy above my couch. That wall really needs some decor but I haven't found anything that I love. The NH craft seemed perfect and it's the first decoration there-yay! I'm thinking of framing some dried leaves and putting those on there too. Who knows.
Oh and, I'm knitting again. HAPPINESS!!!
Amy knits too but it's been a while for us both so Friday when I was at Wal-Mart getting spray paint and string, I took a detour down the yarn aisle and tossed in a few balls of yarn and some needles and while we waited for our boards to dry, we started knitting.
What a great weekend!