I’ve sat down to write this post several times this week and haven’t been able to finish it! Sorry it’s taken me so long to get ‘er done. Soooo, here goes!
Well, I survived my half marathon last Saturday! Woo hoo.
Actually, not only did I survive…I thrived! I loved it! It was pretty much pouring rain throughout the entire race, but I still loved it….SO MUCH!
We drove up to Ogden on Friday and decided to stay overnight in a hotel with the family. It seemed like the best thing to do since I still have a nursing baby. My kiddos also LOVE staying in hotels! We stayed in the Best Western Plus Canyon Pines and it was a great hotel; clean, decent rates, great indoor pool, fitness room, free breakfast, etc. The rooms were HUGE too. It was a great place and I felt safe leaving my kids there while we ran.
Some of our friends were also running the race, so we all stayed in the same hotel. It was fun! That night, we all went to Olive Garden for a Carb Loading meal! Yum!
I have a few “healthy options” I usually order at Olive Garden, but that night I wasn’t worried about “healthy!” Ha ha. I ordered the Chicken Parmesan and it was fabulous!
When we got back to the hotel, we put the kids to bed and got things ready for the race! I made sure my Garmin and iPod were charged, laid out my clothes, hat, socks, shoes, etc., pinned my number to my tank top and made sure my Gu, Ibuprofen, Chapstick, sunglasses and gum were all ready.
Sidenote: There are a few things that I need to have with me when I go on a long run; Sunglasses (my eyes are very sensitive!), visor (keeps the rain/sun/sweat out of my face and actually helps my ear buds stay in better), Chapstick (my lips always dry out), gum (keeps my mouth moist) and water (I never guzzle it, but I like to sip it!)
I consider them all my “woobies” and they make me feel cozy and safe.
Anyway, I also didn’t have my Playlist on my iPod ready, so I had to spend some time on that. I usually spend a lot of time creating the perfect Playlist before a race, but quite frankly, I just haven’t had the time! So, here’s what I put together….
I love music! I also have to laugh that I put Danger Zone on my Playlist. There’s just somethin’ about the beat of that song that gets me goin’. It’s a good one!
Sadly, by the time we got back from dinner, got the kids settled, got things ready for the race and got my playlist ready, it was LATE! I went to sleep (with butterflies in my stomach) around 12:30 AM.
I never sleep well the night before a race. It seems like I wake up every hour. I had an alarm set for 4:00 (wanted to make sure I had a enough time to get ready AND feed the baby!), but my eyes popped open at 3:56 AM. Weird.
I got up, got ready and strangely, the baby woke up at about 4:20 to eat. Perfect timing. I was so worried he would have a hard time going back to sleep, but he did great!
Then, Kev and I slipped out the door and met our friends in the lobby of the hotel. The AMAZING hotel staff had muffins and bagels set out for all the runners. So sweet. I was still full from our Carb Loading meal the night before, so I didn’t eat too much; I just snacked on pieces of a muffin.
We then headed over to the buses. We boarded the bus about 5:15 and headed up to the starting line. Everyone in the bus (including us!) kept checking the weather on their cellphones. My phone said there was a 15% chance of rain, but my friend’s phone said 90-100%! What the heck?! I finally decided that no matter how many times we checked the weather, it wasn’t going to change anything.
I was still hoping it wouldn’t rain.
Oh, I tried to take a selfie when we were on the bus, but it didn’t work out too well….
Ha ha. So, we asked the people in front of us to take a picture….
When the bus dropped us off, we had about an hour until the race started. I really didn’t want to get off that warm bus and hang out in the cold for an hour! Thankfully, it wasn’t too bad. Kev and I had brought some scary clothes to wear to keep us warm until the start. I wore some baggy pants and a cute GIANT green fleece thing that I affectionately call my “Mike Wazowski” shirt. Ha ha. I also had a headband to cover my ears and some gloves. I was also SO GRATEFUL that Kev had picked us up some cheap ponchos at the dollar store too. SO GRATEFUL!
Yes, I looked so stylin’. Ha ha.
While we were waiting for the race to start, it wasn’t raining (thankfully), but the clouds looked ominous. There WAS a beautiful rainbow in the sky though! I loved it. I didn’t take a picture, but I snagged this one from the local newspaper website…
We also snapped a picture of our fun group…
As we were making our way to the starting line, we chucked our “cute clothes” into the clothing return bins and got ready to run! I also snapped a quick selfie of Kev and I just before the countdown began!
Then the race began!
I told Kev that I wanted to start out slow, so he ran on ahead and I never saw him again until I crossed the finish line!
The first few miles were kind of tough. My body felt heavy and sluggish and it made me a little discouraged. I kept looking down at my watch and the pace always seemed slower than what I thought I was running! In my defense, the first few miles were quite hilly too.
I told you guys before that I really wanted to run this Half in under 2 hours, but I just didn’t think it was possible for me right now. I’m really conservative when it comes to training; I LOVE to push myself, but I also don’t want to get injured! I know it’s so important to pick up the pace and mileage very slowly.
Soooo, I decided just to do my best and listen to my body. For the first 3-4 miles, my pace sucked! I needed to keep a 9:07 pace in order to run a sub-2 hour Half Marathon, but I was right around a 10 minute pace for the first few miles. I would’ve pushed myself a little more, but I was worried I would fall apart later on.
I started to think I’d finish the race around 2:10 and it made me sad, BUT I reminded myself that it’s an accomplishment just to finish, no matter how fast!
Oh, and it started raining about mile 2. Joy. I was so grateful for my poncho and it kept me warm and dry for the most part. I even kept my arms inside my poncho for most of the race.
About 5 miles into the race, I decided to take a Gu, Salted Caramel, and it actually tasted good! I don’t know if it was the Gu, my body finally warming up or what, but at this point I started to feel GREAT!
I kicked it up a notch and LOVED, LOVED, LOVED running! The rain was POURING, but I didn’t care. I was just really enjoying the race. I even started singing along with my iPod a little bit. I’m sure the runners around me without headphones appreciated that. Hee hee. I kept my pace in the high 8s, low 9s for the next several miles.
I even tried to take a few pictures….
And a selfie…
Ya, they didn’t turn out too well. I forgot to put my phone in a baggie to protect it from the rain, so I decided not to sacrifice my phone to take any more pictures.
Sooo, I just kept running along. Around mile 10, I had some interesting thoughts that I never thought I’d think! I started thinking things like, “Well, this has gone by fast!” “This is easy!” “This really isn’t all that long/far.” and other crazy thoughts like that. AND for the FIRST time in my LIFE, I thought, “Ya know, maybe I could run a FULL marathon!”
I don’t think I’d tackle anything like that until my baby gets a little bit bigger, but it was nice that it actually seemed possible to me!
I kept running along and I felt so good and so strong! I kept my pace up and still hoped that maybe somehow I could still make it under 2 hours.
It was also about this point in the race that I accidentally pulled my headphones out of my iPod. I plugged them back in and got the music playing again, but then my iPod was JACKED!
It might have had something to do with all the rain, but it starting playing the first 10 seconds of a random song and then it would switch to another random song and it kept going on and on like that. I listened to parts of songs by Chicago, a random Elmo song (that one’s on there for the kids!), a song by The Carpenters and then my iPod decided to STOP on White Christmas by Bing Crosby.
This was the time in the race when I needed to dig deep, find my motivation and listen to songs that made me want to RUNNNNNNNNNNN….not White Christmas, especially not White Christmas while running in the pouring rain! It was almost comical….almost.
I kind of started to wilt the last mile. I could see the Finish Line clear the heck down the road and it seemed like it was a million miles away. I started thinking thoughts like, “What in the heck was I thinking???” “I never want to run a HALF marathon ever again!” “I never want to RUN at all ever again!” “How in the world do people actually run FULL marathons?”…and other uplifting thoughts like that.
I pulled myself together, kept on running, eventually made it across the finish line, saw Kev and then got my medal.
I was so happy to be done! I ended up finishing the race with an official time of 2:03:53. I wasn’t happy with my time, but I wasn’t sad about it either.
I ran this same half marathon SIX years ago (I CANNOT believe it’s been that long) and my time was 2:04:22. This race was only my second half marathon ever. Soooo, technically I PR’d, but I’m not really proud of my time.
However, I intend to get in GREAT shape, kick my running into full gear and see what I can do! I’m feeling motivated and know I can only go up from here! Woo!
Anyway, after the race, I started to realize how freezing I was! I also realized that my left heel was hurting. I looked down and saw that my sock and the back of my shoe were all bloody (ewww.) I didn’t take a picture (you’re welcome.) I had a popped blister on the back of my heel and I didn’t even know because I was so cold and numb. The weird thing is that Kev realized his left heel was bleeding too! He had the exact same thing. Crazy!
We found our cute “clothing drop” clothes (which I was very grateful for because they were dry!) and made our way over to our car. We took a quick picture…
I also must mention that I bought a new CUTE tank for this race and this is the only picture I have of me in it! It was buried under all of my layers! So sad. I’m sure I’ll wear it a lot this summer though.
When we got back to the hotel, I was happy to see that the kids were just fine. They had even gone down to the hotel lobby to eat the free Continental Breakfast.
After I took a VERY NICE warm bath, we let the kids swim in the hotel pool for a bit and then we packed everything up and headed home!
It was a great race and I loved it, despite the crazy thoughts I had during the last mile! I was sad I couldn’t enjoy the beautiful scenery (this is a seriously beautiful course!) because of all the rain, but I had so much fun running it. I really enjoyed all of our training runs too and am just SO HAPPY that I love running so much right now!
I hope it sticks.
Oh, and here are some pics I took of my medal…
It’s a beautiful medal and I love that they put the date on the back.
Well, that pretty much sums it up! I’m sorry I was so long winded and shared every last tiny little detail! I can’t wait to run another race!
I hope you all have a wonderful night. Tomorrow’s Friday!!!! Oh, and a THREE day weekend. Woot woot!