Monday, October 21, 2013

My First Half Marathon Recap

It's very true that if you create a goal for yourself, work hard to ready yourself for it and be diligent, you can achieve it!  I can now say that I ran a half marathon and I am so proud of myself and feel great. 

I went to bed on Friday full of nerves and figured that I probably wouldn't get much sleep because my anxiety was on high alert.  I planned on getting up around 5:30am because we needed to be out the door by 7:30am to head to the race.  My body had be up around 4:30am and I was able to slip in and out of sleep for an hour until the alarm went off. 

Chuck and I got ready and I had my outfit planned out and I only had to add one extra shirt to the mix.  I was surprisingly calm which had me kind of worried because I am never calm before a big event.  Usually, my stomach is in knots and I feel close to throwing up but I didn't feel that way at all. 

We got in the car and that's when my nerves hit.  I was getting so nervous and my anxiety was at a level of about a 9 on a 10 scale.  I thought I was going to yack.  I started to take some deep breaths and remind myself that I was going to be okay. 

When we got to the parking lot, we walked to the shuttles and we arrived at the starting point.  I was calm again.  We decided to do some stretching and some warm up jogging.  We were hoping to avoid the tight muscles and cramping.  We wanted to be warm and ready for the race. 

The start was upon us and we were standing in line to begin.  This was it......we were really doing this!!

We started off with adrenaline and as usual, Chuck was going faster than I wanted him to.  He has a faster pace than me, in general, and this happens every single time we run anything.  We had plans to do our 8:1 intervals of running/walking.  Well, he was so far ahead of me that I let the first walking interval go.  We ran through it.  Then, he let me catch up and was wondering when it was time to walk because he needed to walk.  We walked then we ran and for the first 3 or so miles, the intervals were messed up because he needed to walk and couldn't wait for the walk intervals.  I could tell that he was struggling a bit so I was trying to stick with him and be supportive since I knew he didn't train at all and he was doing this to support me. 

At mile 7, I was feeling good and I was starting to get back into the intervals but Chuck wasn't.  He couldn't maintain the running.  At this point, he urged me to go on ahead of him and do my thing.  He didn't want to hold me back from my goal and he couldn't go on with my pace.  So, I left him behind.  To say that it was a tough decision is an understatement.  This was my goal, I worked so hard to get to this point but to see my husband struggling and wanting to do this for me, I felt guilty. 

The span of mile 9 to mile 10 seemed like forever.  I would say it was the toughest part of the whole race.  I am reading from a lot of other runners that this was the case for them, as well. I figured if I could get to mile 10, I was good.  It was just a little while longer to the finish. 

As I got closer, I got more excited to know that I could do it and make it to the finish.  At the end of the course, you go under a bridge, around a bend and then it is a long, straight run to the finish.  When I was under the bridge, I started to walk because I was tired and my right knee was bothering me.  A woman that was going to pass me, tapped me on the shoulder and said, "you are too close to the finish line to start walking now, let's go!" so she ran with me and we ran together for that last .25 miles to the finish line. 

I did it!!  Holy crap, I did it!  I feel great, I feel proud and my husband keeps telling me how proud he is of me.  He didn't doubt that I could do it but I think it still surprised him.  Best of all, my kids saw that even their mom can create a goal, work hard and achieve it. 

Now the question is, what's next?!

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