I Finished my First Half Marathon!

Celebrating with the kids post-race. :)

Celebrating with the kids post-race. ūüôā

Welp, I did it, and it was great! ¬†On Saturday morning, the family got up and headed out the door for St. Charles, MO. ¬†We stopped at Denny’s and I indulged with pancakes and hashbrowns. ¬†Yum. ¬†We ran a few errands, and I tried to find some compression pants in a smaller size, but with no luck.

We went to the Expo where I received an excellent stretch and a looooong, much needed massage from a young man named Ramone. ¬†I told him I wanted to marry him. ¬†He thought I was joking. ¬†I picked up my shirt and car sticker and a few coupons. ¬†One coupon was for free socks, so we visited that store, since it was basically in the same plaza as our hotel. ¬†They were out of the free ones, so they gave me an even better pair of Saucony dri-fit compression socks. ¬†Score! ¬†And in talking with the young lady behind the counter, I found out her grandparents live in the same community as me and I’ve done several training runs by their home. ¬†Small world.

We ate at a cheap Italian place. ¬†We were tired, and the restaurant was next door. ¬†I ordered lasagna. ¬†It was frozen! ¬†I was so tired that I didn’t even complain. ¬†I just ate around the solid parts and we went back to the hotel. ¬†We watched a bit of Harry Potter, and we had the lights out by 9pm. ¬†I think I fell asleep by 9:30 and slept well all night–which is uncommon for me.

I woke at 5 and had all my race gear in the bathroom, so I could dress without waking the family. ¬†I was still pretty out of it, so when I turned around in the bathroom with my clothes in my hand, I dropped my socks. ¬†In the toilet! ¬†I’m soooo glad I had gotten that extra pair the day before! ¬†To run 13.1 miles in uncomfortably thin cotton socks would have been a nightmare!

I scarfed a granola bar and a fruit bar and woke the fam. ¬†They all bounced up and were ready within 15 minutes. ¬†We hit the breakfast downstairs. ¬†I had coffee, and the kids had muffins and yogurt. ¬†There were other runners there, but they were pretty obnoxious. ¬†They really seemed to just want to hear themselves talk. ¬†They were having a conversation, but each person’s was one sided. ¬†Just a bunch of declarative statements, really.

We arrived at the public parking lot.  It was dark and cold.  We waited in the car for a bit, but then I decided to head to the start line at 6:40.  The race stared at 7:30.  I used that time to stand in the super long port-o-potty lines and meet up with my friend who was running too.  She and her husband lined up at the back of the 10 minute mile line.  I lined up with them so that I would have company while we waited for the start.  After a mile or so, when the crowd thinned, I slowed my pace to a 12ish minute mile pace.

After the start, I was overwhelmed with emotion.  It was a big deal for me, having weighed almost 300 pounds in 2013.  I realized how hard I had worked and how far I had come, and that I was realizing a goal I had set for myself and trained religiously for for months!  It was all I could to to not ugly cry.  The feeling passed, and I ran a great race. For the first half of the race, every time I would pass a mile marker, I would think, Wow!  Really?  Already?  

There weren’t as many spectators as I thought there would be, but the High-Five Zone at mile 5 was pretty cool. ¬†The only negatives were that I had over-hydrated, so I had to stop at several port-o-pottys, and halfway through, I started having tummy trouble, again…having to stop at every port-o-potty. ūüė¶ ¬†I thought it was because I had drank more Gatorade than I’m used to, but that night, my daughter got sick too. ¬†Figures that I would have a stomach bug on my first big race!

Even with the frequent bathroom breaks, I hit both of my half marathon goals:

1. Finish in under 3 hours (My finish time was 2:48 flat)

2. Run the whole course without walking (I allowed for bathroom breaks…just didn’t know I would be taking so many!)

At mile 10, the flat course became a hilly course. ¬†Ouch. ¬†Bad place to add some hills if you ask me. ¬†I was still feeling okay, and had plenty of energy. ¬†At one point, as I was passing everyone who was walking up the hill, a woman yelled, “You run that hill!” ¬†I loved that encouragement.

Mile 11 was the longest mile in history. ¬†I don’t think I ever saw the mile 12 sign. I must have missed it. During the final miles, my hips were hurting, and I had to stop and stretch them and my quads, but other than that, I felt great. ¬†Others around me were miserable. ¬†Someone with knee pain was telling her husband it was worse than giving birth. ¬†Some were limping. Some were sitting on the curb. ¬†Some were basically crawling. ¬†I was so proud of what I was accomplishing and how well I had trained for it. ¬†My body was not giving out. ¬†My mind was not giving in. ¬†My heart was not giving up.

Finally, people started shouting that the finish was just down the hill and around the corner.  I was thinking:

A. OMG…If I was running a marathon, I’d only be HALFWAY!

and

B. OMG…I’m going to finish a half marathon! 13.1 miles!

And then I saw the finish.   I saw the clock.  I saw that I was going to beat my goal by more than 10 minutes.  I crossed the line.  I jogged a little farther and began walking toward a gate to get some good stretches in.

My hubby came over and hugged me.  A big bear hug.  He was so proud.  The kids were proud too.  I celebrated (even with my bad tummy) by getting my free beer and some delicious blueberry bread.

We walked around for a bit and then went to the car. ¬†We stopped by the mall, so I could return some items, we shopped a little, and then we stopped for lunch. ¬†After this, I was beat. ¬†We got home, I took a shower, and I hit my bed and stayed there watching tv all evening. ¬†Heck, I deserved it. ūüôā

It was an amazing experience, and I can’t wait to do it again! ¬†I’ll be working on speed now that I have some miles under my belt.

Now the question is…to marathon, or not to marathon…

Sunny selfie in my race shirt.

Sunny selfie in my race shirt.

Advertisements

T-33 Hours to My First Half Marathon!

I am beyond excited.  And scared!  I have worked so hard for this race, and it is finally here.  Long runs, short runs, painful runs, hot, cold, never-ending, euphoric runs.  They will culminate in 13.1 miles of kick-a** racery on Sunday, October 5th.

I did my last training run this evening. ¬†I have been so busy this week that I truly did not have time to run. ¬†I felt a little…off…so I put in 3 miles tonight. ¬†They were okay. ¬†Cold. ¬†I got a side stitch. ¬†My knees hurt a little. But all in all, I feel very prepared and oh-so-ready for my race on Sunday.

The kids and I made signs tonight. ¬†It was therapeutic after the week from hell I had. ¬†The signs turned out nice! ¬†Can’t wait to see them on the course! ūüôā

I'm sure hubby was thinking two out of the three signs here the whole time we were making them.

I’m sure hubby was thinking two out of the three signs here the whole time we were making them.

Yes, I know they are cheesy, but a little cheese might be all I need to push me through the last few miles.

Thanks to all who have rooted for me, encouraged me, or gave this newbie some seasoned advice.  It is all so very appreciated.  Send me good running vibes on Sunday morning!

Keep running.  I know I will.

I Get by with a Little Help from my Friends: Half Marathon Training, etc.

 

I’m so glad my teacher/walking-buddy/neighbor type person texted me tonight. ¬†She wanted to know if I was going to get out in this heat and do anything. ¬†I reluctantly told her that if she was walking, I was walking, and so she headed my way. ¬†We briskly walked a little over three miles while the scorching sun smoldered and set. ¬†We talked about teaching, testing (vote NO on amendment 3!), and life. ¬†It was nice, and it was just what I needed–especially since I was feeling extra lazy and didn’t want to get the cardio I’d promised myself I’d do in. ¬†We walked, we talked, we conquered. ¬†And that is all. ūüôā

 

Tomorrow is a 5 miler. ¬†I’m either going to have to wait until 7:30 to run, or I’ll have to get started on the treadmill. ¬†Wednesday I’m taking a spin class for xtraining, and it’s supposed to cool off by Thursday, so hopefully I’ll be able to run outside. ¬†This week is a scale back week, so I’m running a 10k (around my neighborhood). ¬†Who’da thunk 6.2 miles would be an easy run! ¬†Not this former fatty!

 

I love all the compliments I’m getting at school. ¬†The kids are weirdly amazed by my over-the-summer transformation. ¬†They are also interested in my running. ¬†A student asked what I did this weekend, and I told him I ran 8 miles. He said, “For fun?”, to which I of course responded with a resounding “yes”. ¬†They are proud of me, which is nice. ¬†I’m usually the one doling out the “I’m so proud of you”s. ¬†When it cools off outside, I think a student–a senior who is planning to join the airforce–is going to start running with my co-worker and me. ¬†That will be awesome!

 

I will be registering for my half marathon on Friday. ¬†We’ve changed the date again. ¬†Yesterday I said I’d be running the Stl GO! Halloween Half, but my running buddy needs to do the 5th, since she will already be in Stl that weekend. ¬†October 5th it is! ¬†Here’s the link to the MO’ Cowbell Half Marathon in historic St. Charles, MO. ¬†I can’t wait!

 http://www.mocowbellmarathon.com/

 

"I gotta fever!"

“I gotta fever!”

 

I honestly think I will cry when I finish this race. ¬†I know it’s not a full marathon, but a year ago, I tipped the scales at almost 300lbs. ¬†That’s almost twice what I weigh now. ¬†The fact that I will have the ability to run for 13.1 miles without stopping is a huge deal for me. ¬†Tears? ¬†Oh, yes. There will be tears. ¬†Hopefully there will be enough sweat on my face that no one will ever have to know! ūüôā

 

Until next time, may you have swift feet and a strong heart. ¬†Happy running! ūüôā