All The Half-Marathon Details You Didn’t Ask For

3 Apr

My alarm was set for 6am on Sunday morning, however I was up at 5am with nerves in my belly. I have always gotten nervous before any sporting event, ever. I didn’t have any reason to be nervous because it wasn’t a race…it was just me wanting to complete a goal I had set for myself. Nevertheless, the nerves were there. Since, I had a little time to kill I watched an episode of Full House,Β don’t judge, there is nothing else on at 5:30 in the morning. It took me back to maternity leave when I would be up nursing Lila, I would always watch Full House and Family Matters. I stretched, had a peanut butter sandwich and got my things together. I heard Lila stirring in the nursery but decided I needed to go before she woke up and saw me.

As I walked outside it was chilly and dark, which wasn’t helping with the motivation I needed. I drove the 5 minutes to downtown and all of a sudden the streets were flooded with the cars. Where I had planned on parking was blocked off so I had to resort to plan B. I was driving up and down the streets trying to find a legal place to park. As I was sitting in traffic and weaving around cars I was growing more and more anxious. I finally found a deserted parking lot with a police officer sitting guard. I asked him I was aloud to park there and he told me I could at my own risk, I could possibly get towed. At that point I was running out of time and I didn’t really have any other options. I decided to risk it. I locked everything securely in my car and started to jog to the starting point. Everywhere I turned there were runners, they were stretching, jogging and twitching with anticipation. I weaved my way through the mass of people at the start and settled into the middle of a large crowd. I kept looking around for familiar faces, trying to locate friends who were running but it was too congested. About two minutes before the race began, I heard someone yelling my name. Success! It was my friend Kate, so I made my way over to her. It seems we were only talking for a moment and then we were off to the races.

This year there were a record number or runners and it definitely felt that way the entire time. Usually after getting a few miles in the crowd begins to thin out and separate but that never happened. I felt great in the beginning, I had a lot of energy, the weather was great and I had people I knew to run with. However, around mile 6 I began to feel my legs tightening up and that worried me right away, I wasn’t even halfway. A man passed me at that point and yelled out, “only 20 more miles!” He was obviously running the whole marathon. At that point I couldn’t imagine still having 2o miles to go, the 7 I had left was beginning to seem daunting. I was dreading mile 7 because there was a HUGE hill that we all new was coming. I knew if I could make it through the hill my mom would be waiting at mile 8, that kept me going. I saw my mom and she was cheering just as hard as she could and yelled I only had one third left. After I saw her I started to get discouraged because now my back was aching terribly too. I wasn’t sure why I was in so much pain because I had run 10 miles the weekend prior and hadn’t experienced any of those problems. I kept telling myself if I could make it to mile 1o I would be home free. Yeah, not so much. At one point I was making comparisons to myself about the pain of labor and the pain I was experiencing. I was having to tell myself if I could go through labor, I could make myself run for another 30-40 minutes. Finally, at mile 11 I had to stop and walk, I couldn’t take it anymore. The funny thing is, when I stopped to walk the pain was even more severe. I went back and forth between walking and jogging for the last 2 miles. Then, I could see Neyland Stadium and I knew it was almost over. There was one more hill to conquer and I would be done! I made it up the hill and then forced myself to jog through the dome and into the Stadium. As I crossed the finish line they called out my name and the clock read 2:28.11. About 5 seconds after I finished I heard the announcer say, “and here comes the winner of the marathon!” Yes, this guy ran the entire marathon in the time it took me to do half of it, but I did finish in front of him…haha. My time was about 17 minutes slower than it was 2 years ago but at that point I was just glad to have finished. I had a pretty, new medal and I felt proud of myself for reaching my goal.

I hobbled out of the stadium to find my mom waiting on me and she gave me a big hug and told me how proud she was. My mom is the best. Once I started telling her about the radiating pain I was having she said I was most likely dehydrated. DING! DING! DING! I don’t know why I didn’t think to drink more water than usual the day before but somehow it had escaped me and I paid for it dearly and am still paying for it. I managed to rehydrate and reenergize with a bottle of water, two bottles of powerade and a plate of fruits and bagels. I am still incredibly sore and expect I will remain this way for several days.

When I got home, Josh and Lila were waiting on me and Lila rewarded me with a big hug. That made it all worth it:)

Will I do another one? I would definitely like to improve on my time but I don’t know if another one will happen anytime soon. I would possibly like to experiment with a flatter course and better hydration methods next time.

But, I reached my goal and I feel proud (and sore).

 

4 Responses to “All The Half-Marathon Details You Didn’t Ask For”

  1. Stef April 3, 2012 at 3:22 pm #

    Congrats on finishing the half marathon, what an accomplishment πŸ™‚

    • thewoodsonway April 3, 2012 at 3:31 pm #

      Thanks so much Stef, it feels good to have reached my goal!

  2. pacifiersandfruitloops April 3, 2012 at 4:34 pm #

    congratulations! i can imagine how proud you and your family must be of such a great accomplishment πŸ™‚

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