Well yesterday was D-Day! I went to bed Saturday night a runner, and now I am a HALF MARATHONER!!! I went to bad a bundle of nerves, I barely slept! Woke up at 345am and got dressed in my running skirt and "Thirteen Point Freaking One Bitches" shirt and laced up my Brooks and away I went. I had a feeling of dread the ENTIRE ride to the race. I don't know if I was more nervous about running 13.1 miles or wearing a running skirt without leggings. But either way I made it to the start line!
Most people don't encourage you to have a time goal on your first half marathon...but "most" people would also say going from a 5k in October to a half marathon in May is crazy...Guess I don't really care what "most" people think ;) That being said, I had a time goal and it was 2:45. That equates to about a 12 min mile. Which is a pace I knew I could maintain for 13.1 miles if I paced myself properly. I set myself up to know that I needed to aim to maintain a pace of 11:45. And I needed to remember to not let the excitement of the race get to me. That is much easier said than done.
We waited amongst a group of 3900 other runners, hanging towards the back as to not get caught up in the excitement or even to slow other runners down. It was gorgeous out!! In the 60's and cloudy. For the first mile we had a nice light drizzle. Unfortunately, for the rest of the run, it was 90% humidity. ICK!
There was not a moment on this race where there weren't spectators cheering on the runners in the streets of Frederick. It was AMAZING!!!! It also caused me to run the first 4 miles at an 11:16 minute mile pace. NO GOOD!!! I was wearing out and backed off. But I fear the damage was already done. Between the pace being a little too fast AND the humidity I was getting tired and very concerned about being able to finish at a pace that I had wanted.
Taryn and I kept plugging along, chatting on and off. We goofed off and were singing and laughing. Thank God I had her with me to help keep my mind off of what my body was telling me...which was to just STOP!!! There is no shame in walking! Well that is true, but I didn't want to walk! LOL! Taryn and I walked each water stop to hydrate every 1.5 miles. We made 2 other stops for 30 seconds. We decided to run through the final water stop which occurred directly before Highland hill. Highland hill is a big hill, know what makes it bigger? Having to tackle that damn hill at mile #13.
I told Taryn that I would run the last water stop with her, but I couldn't promise that I would be able to run up Highland hill without stopping to walk. We are halfway up the hill and I am exhasted, and just when I am ready to cry, I see a fellow runner and mommy who is in our running group come running towards me. She tells me it is just a hill and I CAN do it, NO crying! I pick up the pace and I make that hill my bitch ;) When we crest the hill, we finish on a horse track which had to be the LONGEST quarter mile EVER!!!! I crossed the finish line with pride and covered in goosebumps because I DID IT!!! I grabbed my sister in a bear hug, and I cried. Everything I have worked up to, everything I had trained for all came together in that one moment.
In that one moment, I was not the "heavy set" wife/mommy/daughter/sister...I was a HALF MARATHONER!!! That moment I learned that I can leave that sad, heavy set girl behind. It is time to know that I am strong woman!!! One who sets goals and ACHIEVES them! I work hard and it is worth every moment of pain, tears and doubt. In that moment, I realized that I cannot doubt myself anymore. It is time to believe in ME and be proud of everything I have accomplished!
Hard to think back to that first day in August when I did the first Couch to 5k workout and I nearly DIED running for a full minute straight!! I still can't believe I ran for an entire 13 point FREAKING 1 miles!
And did I reach my goal??? Well as a matter of fact I did!!! 2:44:57!!!!!!!!! I could NOT be happier with my time:)
Now, how about a little reminiscing to my very first race ever??
Here I am on October 1st, 2011 where I completed the Freedoms Run 5k, with my favorite running partner:)
I have tackled a half marathon, there is not marathon in my near future. I have come to realize I am not a distance runner....I don't enjoy the long distance runs as much as I do the 5k and 10k's. So I am set to focus on my speed so that I can continue to get faster on the distances I enjoy. I am NOT saying that I don't ever want to complete a marathon. I mean how cool would it be to say I ran 26.2 miles?!?!?! But right now it is not in my plans! Maybe as I mature as a runner that will change. Or maybe it won't! In the mean time you will see me get FASTER, slimmer and more toned!!! You will seee me working HARDER to improve my times and my endurance. And you will see me complete more half marathons!!! Including one that is coming up in September of this year:):) I say BRING IT!!
Until next time!