Monday, May 28, 2012

Divas Half Marathon

IMAG0254-1About a month ago I ran my first half marathon.  One year ago, heck, 6 months ago, I never thought I'd be saying that I ran 13.1 miles.  I'm so glad I did.  yep ... I'm sore.  Yes, I was tired yesterday (getting up at 4:50 on a SUNDAY following a week of taking care of a sick baby and then running 13.1 miles is a recipe for exhaustion).

But once the idea of running a half marathon was planted in my brain I couldn't let it go.  So I found a training plan and got cracking.  I didn't stick to the plan 100%.  It was mostly a guide.  I modified it, skipped a couple runs, did what I could to train amid our busy schedule.

Then the day arrived.  Waking up was the easy part.  I didn't sleep much the night before.  Both because of a sick baby and nerves.  I was excited and nervous.  But it was just another long run.  That's all.  The part I was most nervous about was logistics in getting to the starting line.  Getting to the parking lot early enough to get a spot and get on a shuttle.

After getting to the park and finding my way to the starting line, I said good-bye to my family.  My very supportive and loving family.  

I did some stretching.  Not nearly enough.  I spent too much time waiting in line to use the bathroom, so I lost stretching time.  I chatted with a few women around me.  There were about 3500 women running the half marathon.  That's a lot of estrogen!

I decided not to wear my Garmin.  I like the freedom of running without knowing how fast and how far and how long I've been running.  Just running.  I did track it on my phone, tucked away in a pocket on my hydration belt.  

The first 3 miles seemed really long.  I felt good, but they just seemed to take awhile. Finally we broke out into a residential neighborhood and time seemed to go a little faster.  I just kept on trucking.  Around mile 4 1/2 we saw women running the other way; having already reached the turnaround and going back toward the finish line.  We cheered them on, and they in turn cheered us on.  

Mile 6 appeared pretty quickly after that.  I was ecstatic to be just about halfway done.  I checked my phone and I was only an hour into it.  Pretty good pace for me.

Then something happened.  About mile 7 my big toe started to go numb.  I tried to run through it.  It happens from time to time and it can go away on its own.  But it didn't.  Around mile 9 I stopped to adjust my shoe.  I really wanted to feel my toe.  That 30 second pause to adjust my shoe did me in.  I lost all my momentum.  I had to walk short stretches from there to the end.  Never longer than about 100 yards, but it was just enough of a stop to screw me up.

Mile 10 felt great.  Every step after that was my longest run.  Even if I was walking, it was still further than I'd ever run/walked before.  

At the water stop near mile 11, there was a volunteer with a hose spraying water at the runners.  That was heavenly.  It wasn't too hot outside, maybe high 60s, but there was absolutely no breeze.  And the fresh, cool water was just awesome.  That gave me the oomph I needed to keep going.

Mile 12 came and I was so happy.  I picked up the pace.  Maybe a little too much, though, because I needed to walk even more than before.  I was really upset that I had to walk, but I'd rather walk than collapse.  I made it to the final stretch, I saw all the fans and supporters and family members and pushed it as hard as I could.  Josh and Audrey and Annie were waiting for me near the tiara station.  Audrey saw me coming and ran out into the path and gave me a big hug.  I wish I could've stayed there and hugged her longer, or carried her to the finish line.  But I couldn't.  I grabbed my tiara and my hot pink boa and sprinted as hard as I could to the finish line. I grabbed a photo of myself crossing the finish line, but it wasn't good.  It was kinda pathetic, actually.

Audrey, Annie and Josh met me on the other side.  I was so happy to have my family there waiting for me and supporting me.  I have the best cheering section ever!!!!!!

My official time was 2 hours, 29 minutes and 7 seconds.  My initial goal was under 2 1/2 hours.  I would've like to be closer to 2 hours 15 minutes (about a 10:30 pace), but I'm OK with what I did.

It took me about 2 weeks to fully recover.  I wish I'd taken my last month of training more seriously and got at least 1 more 10 mile run in.  I wish I had stretched better before hand.  And I wish I had a better breakfast.  But these are now things that I know for my next time out there.

I will do another half marathon.  In fact, I'd love to do a full marathon someday.  Big Sur is calling my name.  Not sure I'll be ready in 2013, but definitely by 2014.


TammyIsBlessed said...

Way to go Christine - that is awesome!!

And there's no shame in walking at all. In fact, some of the best marathoners recommend taking regular walking intervals as the best and safest way to train, and to increase your speed and endurance.

Sharmie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sharmie said...

Yay, Christine!

Sharmie said...

Ooops! Sorry for the double (and now, triple) posting.