Bottling it up: My first Half Marathon

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I wish I could bottle it up:  the feelings, both physically and mentally, the emotions, the love, the whole thing.  Running my first half marathon was one of THE BEST experiences of.my.life.  I LOVED IT.  It was such an amazing feeling of accomplishment.  I am so thankful (especially during this “”thankful time of year”) for my body and its capabilities, my mind, my City, my friends, my family, and especially my “superfans.”   I couldn’t even begin to recap the race mile by mile.  In all honesty, it just flew by in a wonderful world wind.    So much so, that I wonder if I got the “runner’s high” (that I even have a hard time believing!).  I am truly addicted.  I can describe certain moments, which I will, but the whole thing sorta blurred together, almost like my wedding, which I can slightly compare the depression after it to that of after the half.  Anyway, first things first:  THE START…

Husband drove me as far as he could down 22nd Street (he then booked it home to grab my Garmin to meet me with which I realized I forgot, but subsequently decided not to use) and I then walked the rest of the way (only a few short blocks) to the start.  I then searched for the porta-potties and began the line-waiting process.  As I waited, I bumped into a friend in line (very funny because as you can imagine, there are a LOT of people there) and fixed all my “gear”…think re-tied shoelaces, fixed bib, set up i-pod, etc.  I crossed the start line at 7:18 (almost eighteen minutes after the first starters).  NOW,  here are some things that were memorable along the race route (you can find the map here)

The first few miles were a blur. I was getting into my rhythm and preparing to see Husband shortly into the race.  I saw Him and Oscar at Headhouse Square at the beginning of mile 4.  Oscar was absolutely adorable and was being SUCH a good boy!  Husband’s smiling face was such a welcomed site and he had made an AWESOME sign that CRACKED me up:

OK, so obviously this is ME not him holding the sign, and I am at the finish line- we had no time for pics at mile 4!

I was so thankful.  I am so blessed.

The race continued on and I knew that I would be seeing my parents and aunt around mile 5 so that mile went by SOOOO quickly.  Well, unfortunately I missed them.  Or they missed me.  UGH.  But either way, it sucked.  I was SO disappointed.  Here are the posters they had made me (SUPER cute, MOM!):

LOVE THEM.  So, it sucked to miss them, but it was exciting to anticipate it!  BUT, guess who was there to save the moment; as I turned the corner onto Walnut Street, there were Shiya and Scott!  What great friends!  I crossed the road safely and hugged them both.  I then traveled along on my merry way.

I used several distractions throughout the race that I found helpful (and odd)…

– Whenever I felt like I was “going too hard” and needed a lil’ rest, I’d get my phone out of my (AMAZING) fitness belt (even better than the SpiBelt, I think) and texted my fam to update them on my coordinates 😉 hehe.  Seriously, I do have an extreme knack for multi-tasking.  🙂  Really.

-I did mathematical computations of “race times” in my head- I know-I’m a dork.

Anyway, back to the race…

The race was going smoothly, even through those crazy hilly miles by Drexel.  I use lifesavers as “fuel”- I dunno- might seem weird but I really like sucking on them and getting a slow stream of sugar directly into my blood…slow is the key word.  I like that.  I can’t do the Gu thing.  Too much too fast for me.  Anyway, I ate one at miles 8, 10 and 12.  I made sure to eat them when I knew a water stop was approaching, as they make me thirsty.

OK, so then came “that dreaded hill…” you know, the one by Centennial Hall in Fairmount?  Between miles  9 and 10.  Fun.  I knew Husband would be waiting at the top of the hill- he planned it like that (how awesome, right).  So I PUSHED.  And there they were!  My two fave boys!  Here are some pics he took of me- we didn’t get any of them!  Boo!

Anyway, seeing them (AND THE AWESOME PR SIGN):

Taken after the race 🙂

Carried me through to the finish line.  I breeeezed down the hill with the thought that I could “make up some time” 🙂  And then, out of nowhere came mile 12.  But, my friends, I tell you, this was NOT easy. I really REALLY had to push through this last 1 mile and change.  It was SO hard and took all of my mental and physical stores.  I dug deep and pulled it out. But the urge to walk was SOOOO strong.   I fought it though, finishing strong, at 2 hours, 2 minutes and 25 seconds.  WOOT!  I felt amazing.  I still feel amazing.

At the finish line

As I crossed the finish line (and collapsed into a heap of exhaustion and wonderful emotion), the marathon winner was crossing!  2:21 something for him,  Crazy!  Anyway, it was seriously one of my top five favorite days ever.  Thanks for all your support!  Especially my superfans 😉  I am so lucky. So blessed.  Now….which race will I do next ?!?! Just kidding!  Well, not really!

4 thoughts on “Bottling it up: My first Half Marathon

  1. Pingback: Race Pics and Da Weekend « Ups and Downes

  2. Pingback: Smart and Cross Training | Ups and Downes

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