Monday, October 30, 2006
So Here We Go....My First Ever Half Marathon
Yeah I'm a slacker blogger; but hey cut me some slack. I just ran a 1/2 marathon yesterday!
I am not even sure where to begin, or how much to say, or what not say. I even contemplated not writing anything but figured I probably couldnt get away with that.
In a nutshell though I do believe I did everything right. From eating all the right things and plenty of them on Friday, to two really great nights of sleep on Friday and Saturday. To not running since Wednesday (well I threw in a short 2 miler on Saturday morning), to not overthinking the situation.
Well I probably did overthink the situation a bit too much a time or two but thats to be expected. I was a bit apprehensive on Saturday evening. I hadnt ever ran 13.1 miles before.
I had done 12.2 though. Once.
But I had alot of 10 milers in me and the book (and many others) say 10 is enough.
So there ya go. Quit thinking about it.
I of course woke up extra early on Sunday morning but didnt feel the repercussions of that since we had the "fall back", so I was well rested. Had myself an oatmeal creme pie, a few ibuprofen and off I went.
As I walked outside I knew the temps were at 50 or so. I had secretly hoped for another cold front to push down and send the temps to 45 but I did not get that wish.
I met Vic at the parking lot near the Start/Finish and we picked up chips. We set off from there to store our stuff and walked over to the Koala tent for a professional to loosen us up. I had never stretched that well before and hoped that I wouldnt regret it. I hear some people dont like to stretch that well, but I must say I wonder if thats what helped me be so strong through the entire 13.1 miles or was it that I had just done everything I possibly could have and I got the job done?
I usually have a hard time the first 3 miles but not today. The first loop only took us down and up one of the "hills" on Allen Parkway and I was relieved when I saw the upfront runners going off to the right at Waugh...Yay!
Once I passed the area of the Start again and going into mile 4 lo and behold if it wasnt 3 of my dear friends standing in the middle of Allen Parkway! I had known that Renee was going to try and make it, but I didnt expect Allison and Meredith. They were screaming my name, holding up posters of some of the best looking musicians...From Reckless Kelly and Micky and the Motorcars! Pictures to follow. Off I went with a big smile on my face because now I knew I got to see them a few more times and I knew where they were and that kept me going.
I knew this stretch was going to be tough, but once I made the turn at Shephard going back towards Downtown I had numbers in my head. Every time I went by the pace callers I was always on target between 11:30 and 11:45. I was doing alright.
The temps were still low and there was shade still to be found. As I came up on the girls again, I was close to being on my last loop, coming up to mile 9 after them and I knew I had it. I wasnt sweating, I wasnt tired and I still had plenty of gas.
I stopped this time for hugs from them and a few photo shots as well. As I got back on my way I knew it was now or never to get a pee in. :O) I raced off the street to the ports and I swear that was the fastest pee ever. I came barreling out of those ports and caught the person that I had been running with before heading off. No time lost there. I had tried to go earlier but the ports were both occupied and I wasnt waiting around, no sirree Bob!
When I got to the end of mile 10 I saw the clock and it was at 1:54 which is a minute less than what I ran Clear Lake 10 Miler. Plus I knew that it had taken me a couple of minutes to cross the Start.
Thats when I started wondering can I do this in a sub 2:30??? That would be even cooler than me getting it done in 2:35 which was my goal, and I wasnt going to settle for anything over 2:40. It just wasnt going to happen like that.
The last 3 miles were all sun. Sun in my face. But I didnt give a damn. I knew the girls wouldnt be in their spot this go round but had gone up to the Finish line to wave me in... But once I did hit that spot where they had been I knew I was almost home. I didnt know where I stood on time at that point. I had the Garmin on but it was telling me pace and giving me my interval beeps of which I ignored about half the time and just ran slower through the 1's instead of walking the 1 minute that I was allowing myself every 6 minutes.
I knew that I had just run 13 miles of my first half marathon and that my legs were strong, my lungs were strong and my mind was very, very clear. I knew that I had .1 to go and I could hear the people cheering up ahead.
Then I saw the Finish line. I remember passing a few people. I remember Erica first...at the Finish yelling my name. I just love her! I remember the girls. I remember a poster I had not yet seen about "the strongest woman we know". I remember a male version of Go June, but not knowing who it was till long after that. Thank you BFG :O)
I remember the clock saying 2:33 and some change and I knew that maybe, just maybe it would come in under the 2:30....but it didnt. And thats ok.
Official Time: 2:31:13
It was over. Just like that 3 months of hard work had just paid off.
I had completely rocked my first half.
Visiting with everyone was so great afterwards, but my thoughts started drifting towards bed. And a shower. So I left the park that morning, posters in my arms, and a smile on my face. I made a few phone calls on the way home, to M, to mom with my success.
I slept like a lamb for a few hours and when I woke up my thoughts turned only to January.
Blister update: all is well. Its basically gone with absolutely no pain. I think that maybe BFG has something when he says that he thinks beer speeds recovery time...
I hope to post pictures sometime in the next day or so. Oh and before I forget, the Striders kicked some serious ass in organization on this race. Amazing! Gu's at loads of stops, water and gatorade at each...I mean really, they just outdid themselves and I am proud to be a member!