Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Well, I did it.

13.1 miles.

My first half marathon is complete, I am still alive, and it feels awesome.

Here's a recap of the events:

With the race beginning at 7 a.m. Sunday morning, I was aiming to get to bed around 10:30 - 11 p.m. Saturday to ensure at least 7 solid hours of sleep (since I planned on waking up at 5 a.m.)

That did not happen.

My nerves were working and bed time didn't end up happening until about 1 a.m. Probably not the best idea to only get 4 hours of sleep before your first half marathon, but, oh well, that's the way it happened.

I woke up at 5 a.m., made a cup of coffee, ate a banana, checked the weather forecast, and worked on waking up.

There was a chance of rain for the time I'd be running, but it was supposed to roughly 70 degrees.

I decided to go with the purple seamless tank. I figured it was going to be a little warmer and I was going to get pretty hot and sweaty...seemed like a good choice.

Jon drove me downtown and dropped me off near the start. There were so many people...and I thought the Turkey Trot was a big deal - psshh.

 I found a spot near the 2:10 half marathon pacer and waited in the crowd to hear the start gun. All around me people talked and joked about the amount of miles they were about to run...some nervous, some enthusiastic. I tried to stay calm and focused.

Shoes tied? Check.
iPod play list queued up? Check.
Last bathroom break taken care of? Check...besides, there was no turning back now and the lines for the horrific port-o-potties were way to long.

When the gun sounded, I was off.
The route this year was a little different than years before. It took us along the waterfront and into the old industrial section of the city that I talked about in my last post. I actually ran on some of the same path that I had biked on a couple weeks ago!

For the first 7 miles, I didn't even think about running, I just listened to my music, kept pace with the pacer, and enjoyed the scenery. It was cool and partly couldy; the rain was holding up - perfect weather.

It wasn't until around the 10 mile mark that I began to feel a little uncomfortable. Up to that day, the most I had ever run was 9.5 miles (my sickness earlier in the month prevented me from completely finishing my training.) I decided to break from the pacer, begin to speed walk when I needed a break, and start stopping at the water stations for a few seconds to recooperate. It also didn't help that little hills were popping up around the 11-12 mile markers.

Every time I saw a hill approaching, I'd keep my head forward, fall back into my music and push. I just had to be sure I never got to to the point where I felt dizzy or sick. There is no point in doing something if it's going to make you feel bad pain.

It really started getting rough around mile 12. I wanted to stop so many times and walk but every time I thought about doing it, I told myself, "You can do this. keep going."

Once I saw the finish line in the distance, I found a good song in my play list and booked it. I sprinted to the finish. I figured at that point, I better go balls out.

My first half marathon finish time was 2:08:25 with an average 9:48 mile.
Not too shabby.That was right where I'd hoped I'd be.

My family and Jon were there to meet me at the finish and congratulate me. They were so proud; I was so one of my proudest moments. Months of preparation and dedication for this one moment and I did what I set out to do.

Jon took me to get a fresh vegan breakfast burrito at our co-op (which I devoured) and then he drove us which point I crashed and slept for 4 hours.

Between only getting 4 hours of sleep and then running 13.1 miles, my body needed to shut down and charge up for a bit.

Later that night, Jon took me to a new restaurant/bar that opened up in the harbor downtown called Liberty Hound.

It was a smaller place with a sort of colonial/old port feel.

Their glasses had pin-up girls on them, which i LOVED. Pin-up girls are one of my favorite things.

After a couple drinks, we took a quick look at war ships in the harbor and then headed on over to Pearl Street Grill and brewery for some celebratory food.

It was quite the day.

I'm still kind of reeling from the whole thing. The half marathon just proved to me that I was indeed capable of things I never thought I could do. Just 7 months ago, if you told me I'd be running 13.1 miles and completeing it in my goal time, I would have laughed out loud. This experience makes me want to push harder and be better than I was just 3 days ago.

Jon and my family were such a core element to my involvement in this, too. They rooted for me the whole way, always interested in my progress and giving me encouragement the whole way through. Without them behind me, I woudn't have the courage to do any of this.

We are all capable of amazing things, we just have to believe we are and then...make it happen.


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