142.6…I Ran My First Half Marathon!
I DID IT!!!!
Yesterday I ran my first half marathon! I seriously could not be more proud of myself. Every time I think about it, it makes me smile!
Saturday night before the race, I made a “carb loading” dinner for me, my husband, my brother and sister in law. Spaghetti with marinara sauce and garlic bread:
We spent most of the evening trying to figure out the map of the course so that my husband, kids and brother could find places to watch us. With all the maps, and turn by turn directions we had out it looked like we were trying to overthrow the government.
After the “plan of attack” was decided, it was time to lay out all of my gear.
Then it was off to dream land…..
….or so I thought. I could NOT sleep. Try as I might, sleep just wouldn’t come. I was beyond anxious. I think I finally fell asleep a bit after midnight.
My alarm went off at 1:45AM. Yes you read right. Insane. I put all my clothes/gear on and made my peanut butter sandwich to take with me.
Before I left, I kissed the wine in my fridge and told it that I would be coming back for it.
Yes I have a huge sunflower on my head. I put it there so my family/friends could spot me more easily. It actually really helped during the race!
My AWESOME friend Dina picked me & my sister in law, Stephanie, up at 2:45AM. We dropped Stephanie off at the hotel downtown where she had to meet her team. Then Dina and I made our way over to where I was to meet my team at 5:15AM. Since we were there SO early, we found a great parking spot and hung out for a bit. That’s when I ate my peanut butter sandwich.
Eventually we walked over to the corral area. Dina snapped a picture of me under the start line:
Yes, it was pitch black.
Eventually Stephanie and her team made their way over to the corral area.
My Team in Training friends started to arrive. Here is a picture of Jill who has been running with me EVERY Saturday and who ran with me the ENTIRE way of the half marathon. YOU ROCK JILL!!!!
Here is my Team in Training coach Bill and I:
Bill rocked. He was an incredible coach.
There were 42 corrals and I was in corral 22.
Here I am with some of my other Team in Training friends who I ran with all season:
Me, Jill, Jen, Kerri and Krista. Thank you guys for making me smile every Saturday morning.
Eventually it was time to get into our corrals!
There were 32,000 runners running the San Diego Rock n Roll marathon.
The race was a wave start so they started corral 1 and then waited a couple of minutes before starting corral 2 and so on. It was exciting to hear each corral’s countdown.
Finally, it was corral 22’s turn! Oh my! I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I was so full of emotion! I started tearing up during the National Anthem that was sung before the start.
The gun went off and we started making our way (slowly) across the start line. And the race had begun……
Miles 1 through 3 were great. There were bands playing at every mile or so so there was plenty of entertainment. Stephanie and I tried to run together but it was hard because she does interval running. She runs for 5 minutes and walks for 1 minute and then repeats. She would fall back and then catch up with Jill and I. During her walking intervals, she was able to stay in touch with brother via texts on their locations. We soon found out that my husband, brother and kids were at mile 3.5!!! I was BEYOND excited to see them!!
Eventually we did indeed lose Stephanie. :(
My husband wore a bright yellow shirt so that I could spot him easily. As I was running through Balboa Park, I spotted them. I couldn’t contain my excitement!
There I am in the middle, in the purple shirt with my hands in the air.
Until about mile 4. This is the part of the half marathon I was dreading. The route took us onto the 163 freeway and it was all uphill. Not just that but the road was slanted. Just when I found an area to run that wasn’t as slanted, it would start to slant the other way. I felt like I was running in a bowl.
Once we got off the freeway onto Friars Road, I felt so much better. That was around mile 5.5 or so. I felt like I could go on….like I had a second wind.
Around the same point, we saw Coach Bill and he ran with us for a bit. Miles 7 and 8 were rather uneventful. The bands were kind of sporadic. Sometimes there would be people playing their own instruments or in one person’s case….banging on a cowbell all by himself.
Since I had lost Stephanie, I would check my phone every mile or so checking to see if there were any location updates on my family. Finally I got one! They were at mile 9!
Look! I’m still happy and excited!
There I go!
Sometime later, Stephanie got to mile 9 and was also beyond excited to see my brother (he’s in the striped shirt):
Mile 10 was bittersweet. I felt amazing to be at mile 10 with only 3 miles left. I mean, 3 miles! That’s what I run on a regular week day! The excitement faded fast though went I felt like I was starting to hit a wall. Oh no! The wall! I could not let myself get down. I had made it that far! Only 3 left…..
Mile 11 was irritating. We ran down this one street just to realize that we’d wrap around and run back down it on the other side. I did get to see Stephanie running on the other side as I passed. She was doing great!!
Mile 12 was long. Before that point, 11 miles was the longest distance I had run in my life. I knew the finish line was coming but I couldn’t see it. There was a man cheering from the sidewalk yelling, “You can do it! You’re almost there! It’s only a half mile more!” That helped so much. I imagined the track that I ran every Wednesday night. I told myself that it was only 2 laps around the track. I could do it!!!! Jill and I really started to pick up the speed.
I saw the Mile 13 marker. But I still couldn’t see the finish line. There were a few turns and it felt like I kept turning and turning…..until I saw it. OMG. Now Jill and I were really booking it. We weren’t talking. We were just running.
We crossed the finish line with our hands in the air. I couldn’t believe what I had just accomplished. There was a medal placed around my neck. I did it. I really did it.
I waited for Stephanie to cross but never saw her. We ended up meeting up at the expo where my family was.
We did it.
Official time: 2 hours and 23 minutes. Here is a link to my race results.
Mile 1 - 10:56
Mile 2 - 10:40
Mile 3 - 10:18
Mile 4 - 10:27
Mile 5 - 10:41
Mile 6 - 11:05
Mile 7 - 10:18
Mile 8 - 10:54
Mile 9 - 10:14
Mile 10 - 10:33
Mile 11 - 10:22
Mile 12- 10:32
Mile 13 - 9:52
2:36 (.29 miles)
I hobbled over to collect my bag that I had checked, signed out at the Team in Training tent and then we all went to get the car.
We stopped for some post race fuel:
A double double and fries from In N Out burger. Could food have tasted any better? NO!
We came back to the house and I immediately got into the shower. I had 50 people coming over that evening to help me celebrate!
All cleaned up and ready to party!
My legs were sore, standing sucked but I couldn’t stop smiling.
We held the party outside. I had it catered from a Mexican restaurant…we had a delicious taco bar! I had plenty of wine and tacos!
My mother in law brought us a celebratory cake!
Hubby and I:
Dina and I (THANK YOU AGAIN DINA!!):
My brother Neal and Stephanie:
Stephanie, my mom and me:
Alicia and I:
My mother in law, me and my husband:
Lisa and I (Thanks for taking fabulous pictures at the party!):
And then my wind died. I was done.
Dramatic much? :)
I am still beaming over my accomplishment. Another bucket list item checked off.
There was one sign along the marathon route that will stay with me forever:
Pain is temporary. Pride is permanent.