my first half!

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Hall of Fame City Challenge : Half Marathon 09.08.13

It happened……

I became a half marathoner!
On Saturday, September 8th….I woke up at 4am and splashed some water on my face.  I was so completely nervous, I didn’t know what to do to calm myself.  I got ready and made a USANA chocolate whey shake and drank some water while I waited.  Jen (aka running bestie) got to my house right at 4:45a to pick me up!  It was time!!!!!
We drove downtown and the whole way I thought I was going to change my mind.  I could barely breathe.  I was so insanely nervous!  I knew I could finish it, but I was completely doubting myself.  The weeks leading up to it, my right foot was so completely swollen I could barely walk.  I had barely trained at all for it!  (Which I don’t recommend at all!)  I mean, I can rock the elliptical like no one else, but run outside?!  NOPE.  That didn’t happen!  My left knee had also been really bothering me.  With all these lovely issues, I had made the decision to run in my Vibram Five Fingers.  I knew the shoes.  I knew how to run in them.  They were light.  They made me run happy.  They made me feel fast and amazing!
Jen and I made one last bathroom stop and then heading to a pace group we felt comfortable with and waited.  Greg showed up right around 5:55 and got in line with us.  We took a couple pictures and were all ready to get started!  I couldn’t wait.  Just get the show on the road before I went back to the car and didn’t race at all!
Then it happened.  Everyone started moving.  It was time.  I was starting a HUGE journey.  A journey to complete one of my biggest goals!  I crossed the start line and ended up settling in with a pace group that was WAY too fast for me.  I ran the entire 1st mile with them and couldn’t believe my time.  I also realized then that I started too fast and made myself drop into my walk 1 min/ run 2 min intervals.  I could probably run way more than that, but I didn’t want to die out at mile 6 and have to walk the rest of the way.
I was in a good groove.  I kinda gave up on intervals and just ran as much as I could.  Took the hills slowly and made sure I ran the entire way down them, which is my absolute favorite part!  It was pretty cool running through my home town and knowing every street I was on.  Remembering things I had long forgotten.
I had such a weirdly awesome experience on this run.  During the race, around mile 8 I was really hurting badly.  I didn’t know how much further I could go.  I knew I had to finish, but I figured I would have to walk for sure.  Then, I came to a slight downhill, looked up at the beautiful sky, and had this amazing feeling overcome me.  I felt like my Grandpa and Grandaddy were watching over me right at that moment and were there to help me finish strong.  I really can’t even explain it.  It was just….perfect!
I pushed through and before I knew it hit mile 9.  Then, I had to start texting everyone.  I was talking with Andrea who gave me a wonderful push.  Jen and Greg were helping me each step of the way.  They did the 10K and were already done and waiting for me.  Hubby was also majorly motivating me and pushing me to finish strong.  Or at least to get to mile 10.
Once I hit mile 10, I had a wave of excitement.  I only had 3.1 to go.  A 5k.  I had done a million of those.  I just pretended the race was starting and I needed to complete this 5K and beat my time!  I starting my 2/1 intervals again and pushed through the pain to finish this race!
Then………boom!  Mile 12.  Probably more like 12.5.  I was D.O.N.E.
I walked.
and walked.
and had cramps running up and down my left leg.
Could NOT get them to stop.
So….I walked.
I finally saw hubby, Jen and Greg waiting for me at the finish and looked at my watch.  I could totally finish under my goal of 3:00:00 if I moved it.  So…I ran.  It hurt like no other, but I ran.  Just told myself…..it’s going to hurt, but you will be done and can walk it off.  It will be so much better than regretting the walk later.
Before I knew it….I could see the amazing finish line!  I crossed and FINISHED my very first HALF MARATHON!!!  I got water right away, and my medal….then took some pictures and we walked to the car and headed for home.  I was exhausted!
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This was right after I finished…taken by Jen.
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and DONE!
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running the course! (pretending like I don’t hurt)
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a HUGE accomplishment!!!
13.1
I earned it for sure!

 2:48:40

259/295 overall
16/18 age
122/149 female
1:18:08 10K time
12:53 overall pace
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