Monday, May 7, 2012

My Half Marathon Weekend!!

Wahoo!! I made it! I finally crossed the finish line to my first half marathon!
If you couldn't tell, I am still on a runner's high!

This past weekend has been filled to the brim with excitement, nervousness, support, friendship, tears and laughs. It all started Saturday night with a 5k run at the Frederick Running Festival. I had made a last minute decision to participate in the run. I went into the mind frame that I was only going to run it at a slow relaxed pace so that I don't accidentally do harm to myself the night before my half.  It was a pretty humid night so it made it even easier on me to run it relaxed and slow. Finishing the 5k along with the half would gain me a special medal dubbed "The Nut Job" medal. It was a fun run with great friends from my local running group.

(The ladies who participated in the 5k I'm 5th from the left!)

After the run I went home got all my gear ready for the half, showered, set my alarm, and headed to bed. When my alarm went of the next morning my stomach was in knots. I was so completely nervous and secretly wanted to not go. Was my training sufficient enough, did I hydrate enough, do I have everything I need for this race? Pre-race jitters at it's highest.

I left my house to pick up a friend of mine who was also running the Half. (Her 1st too!) I was actually somewhat settling down with her there to take my mind of the race. As my friends and running buddies starting arriving it started getting more and more real. This was really happening! After lots of hugs, good luck wishes, and group pictures we were ready to take our place in the sea of runner's at the starting line. 

(My group of amazing friends. A lot of them also running their first! I am again 5th from the left in the top row!)

The national anthem was sang and I headed off on my 13.1 mile run. At about mile 2 my worse fears had come true, my shorts (Which I tried running in only the day before) started to ride up. With the misting of rain and humidity, I guess it caused some slipperiness to cause them to keep slipping up. Seemed like I was spending most of my time stopping to pull them down as well as, crying to myself this chaffing crap hurts. Even though I body-glided the hell out of my legs it did not help. Although I was in pain I needed to keep going. About mile 5 I seemed to hit a bit of a small wall but, was helped out with a water stop and, some Strawberry banana Gu! (Which by the way was so gross!) Through out all my training I had never run in humidity like the day of the half. I felt very sluggish. That Gu carried me a couple more miles. Seeing all of Frederick cheering us along was so motivating. People I had never met before, cheering at me to keep going not give up. I was getting emotional and kept telling myself I have to do this!! Don't give up, push through! At mile 9 I knew I had to start pushing harder and finish this thing. Took another Gu, (This time a yummy Chocolate Mint) and water stop and pushed my pace faster.

Along the course I met a girl who had just completed a half marathon less than a week before, and this one would be only her 2nd. She was very helpful with keeping me motivated until mile 11. At that time my mind was starting to take over. It was telling me I couldn't do it, I needed to stop and walk or lay down. Right as I was about to walk up this horrible hill about a mile away from the finish here comes a friend who had already finished to come help me finish. She helped me run up that hill. Motivating me to keep moving. As we enter the final stretch another friend comes and joins us. She says to me, "Push hard! Do it for all that can't" At that moment I thought about everything that got me to that point all the training I put in to this, all the friends and family that were supporting me and cheering me on, about my sister in law and others who are battling so much more. I finished an emotional mess but STRONG!! 

(Here I am in the middle, crying, blowing kisses to my friends, and laughing)

I may not have been fast, I may have walked a couple times but, damn it..I finished!!! I conquered something I set out to conquer and I am very proud of myself. 

I have come a very long way since starting this blog back in 2010 when I was training to run my first 5k. I have fallen off the running wagon a couple times but, I have finally made it!! 


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