Saturday, September 24, 2011

Half Marathon

I did it! Last Saturday was the big day and despite a bunch of bumps in the road during training I did it! It was SO. MUCH. FUN. Seriously, I never expected running 13.1 miles to actually be enjoyable but it totally was! Race day totally made up for all the training.

Thursday morning I went to pick up my race bib and goodie bag (which, might I add, contained TWO tubes of chapstick. win!). There was a small design flaw in the pick-up process in that you had to walk in this building (which was a multipurpose arena type place) go allllll the way around, down to the bottom of the arena, pick up your bib/bag and then go back up about a million stairs to get back to where you could exit. And then because I'm especially smart, I decided to take another lap to check out some of the vendors, but then got lost/stuck, and had to go alllll the way down and back up the stairs again. You should also know that (because, again, I'm really smart) I got Starbucks that morning because I was really tired, and then my calves started cramping (yes, 2 days before the race) and I had seriously sore calves for 2 days.

Anyway, Friday came around and it was like the longest day of work in the history of ever. Even longer than my regular Fridays. :/ And of course like forty eleven people had to get hurt at the football game so I was sprinting around like a lunatic for most of the night. Nothing like a litlte sprint workout the night before the half marathon right?

Despite all that I was bright eyed and bushy tailed mostly conscious when my friend (whose awesomeness I shall proclaim shortly) came to pick me up. This amazing friend (who doesn't blog, or I would totally link her up), who was not running in the race, woke up at the crackass of dawn, picked me up at my house, came with me to the race, stayed the whole time, cheered me on, then brought me to Chipotle later. See. I told you she's amazing! I digress. Anyway, so we sit in the mile long line to get to the parking area and then make our way towards the starting line. And since it's me, I of course had to stop and pee. The lines for the bathrooms were sooooo long. I guess everyone was a little nervous. ;)

Once we make it up there we part ways so I can head to the starting line where of course I waited until the last possible minute to take off my layers. :) I was amazed at the amount of people. I knew it was a huge race and everything but once I got in that crowd at the starting line I started to get really excited nervous excited. Ok, I was really nervous and really excited. I was mostly nervous because my brain picked this exact moment to inform me that I had no plan. Several of the runners around me were talking about goal times and at which miles the planned to eat/ingest their Gu. I realized then that while I had joked for weeks about how my only goal was to "cross the finish line, and preferably not in an ambulance"....I had made no plans on how to do so (other than the months and months of training of course). So now that it's about one minute to the starting gun and I'm completely panicked, I decide that I'm just going to do it. Just jog and jog and jog some more...and if I get really exhausted, I'll walk for a while. Yep, that was the extent of my plan. Brilliant, I know. ;)

At the beginning of the race, I felt a little like I was in a herd of cattle, which was probably for the best. Helps calm the nerves. ;) Around mile 3, I realized I was really hungry. I had a protein shake and a power bar before the race, but had been so crazed the night before I didn't really think to pack anything else. Thankfully, some wonderful race volunteers were right around the corner handing out some Gu (see above). My flavor was strawberry banana. It tasted like ass but it was very helpful. Around mile 5 I kept thinking to myself "omg. omg. i'm actually doing it. i'm acutally running a half marathon." Then at mile 6 I rememberd that I wasn't even halfway finished yet. Oops. Minor mental setback. But I was quickly distracted by something or someone on the course and was back on my happy trains of thought. That was one thing that was seriously helpful...just when you thought you were getting bored, there was someone or something to look at. Or a hoard of volunteers at a water station cheering everyone on. By the time we got to mile 11 I just wanted it to be over. I was tired, my legs hurt, and I was ready for some Chipotle! Finally the finish line was in sight and I could not have been happier! Heading down the chute and crossing the finish line was the coolest experience. Spectators were cheering for anyone and everyone. After the finish line you were coralled into another chute to recieve your finishers medal. My legs were so tired that I almost fell over and head-butted the fancy officer guy who was trying to put on my medal. Oops. Sorry mr. fancy officer man. :/

All in all it was an amazing experience. And I never thought I'd say this but I can't wait to do it again! Now that you've made it through the novel...here are some pictures. ;)

crossing the finish line!
i'm a hot mess but i finished!
Any of you fellow runners out there have any tips for my next one!?

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on finishing!! I've done a few Halfs. I agree, they're so painful at the end (mentally and physically) - but when it's done, it's fantastic. That and you can eat whatever you like. :)

    Tips? Take a few days off after finishing, but keep up low miles. I always fall off the wagon for a bit. #woops.

    And I dig your shorts? Who are they??

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