We did it! We finished our first half! The race was in a town about 30 minutes away, so we had to leave about 5:30 that morning. I set my alarm, but knew that I wouldn't need it. I didn't :). I had cooked our breakfast the night before (scrambled egg for each of us and we split a baked sweet potato), so we ate breakfast right at 5 (making sure it was 2 hours before the race) and headed out the door. We rode with our friends Matt and Angie. This was also Angie's first race. Her husband, Matt, was not running but wanted to drive her down there for support. Now tell me that isn't precious?!
|Angie and I before the race|
The one thing I had been saying the entire time I was training was that I just wanted to have fun. I didn't want to make any crazy goals for my time because I knew it would make me nervous and I don't like to be nervous. I prayed and prayed some more that God would just give me peace and He really did. I wasn't really nervous at all! I was just excited to be there!
|right before we started running|
This is such a small race that they don't have corrals, they just had you get in line by the sign with your finish time on it. I started off at the 2 hr sign so that I could be by Matt even though I knew there was no way I would finish in 2 hours. Matt's goal was to beat 2 hours. Mine was to beat 2 1/2. In hindsight, I shouldn't have started off with that group because it made me go much faster than I should have been those first few miles.
|my babies waiting on us to finish|
For some reason when I had woken up that morning my right hip was killing me. It was the kind of hip pain you get during pregnancy. I thought I had just slept on it wrong, but I think I had stretched it out too much in the days prior. We are big foam rollers and we have a lacrosse ball that we use to hit pressure points in our hip. In the future I will not be massaging anything 48 hours before a big race :).
|Angie's sweet husband looked up the map and figured out the halfway point to take pictures of everyone.|
My hip hurt the entire run. From beginning to end. Honestly, pain wise, the race had to be in the top 3 worst. I never went a step without something hurting. Thankfully, my shins didn't bother me at all. I had eaten some energy beans right before the race, so I got some water at the first water station at mile 2. At mile 4 I had my chocolate gel (which is delish and works wonders for me) and got some more water. At mile 9 I had my last chocolate gel. I never walked (which was really my first goal) except for when I was taking a few sips of water at the water stations.
|That is Matt behind the woman with her arms raised. He actually finished a minute ahead of what the timer says. The timer starts as soon as the first person crosses the line and your personal time doesn't start until you cross the line.|
Around mile 4 was when the course looped around and allowed you to see the people ahead of you. It was so cool to see the people that were winning the race. I can't imagine running 13.1 miles in an hour, but you could tell by how fast these people were going that they were going to do it. And here they were POURING sweat and I didn't have a drop on me! HA! I also got to see Becky and Angie, which was so awesome. Once I made the loop I noticed the 2:30 pacer was still a little ways behind me. I knew that as long as she didn't catch me I would beat my goal!
Before I knew it at mile 8 that stinking 2:30 pacer had caught up with me. I pushed myself a little harder for a mile or so, but mile 9 was baaaaad. I was wearing thin and just knew if I could get to 10 I'd be ok. For some reason making it to the double digits made it seem so much easier. I also knew that also meant that Matt was probably done and that would give me a little bit of motivation. It was at that point that the pacer passed me and I started to try really hard not to get frustrated. I literally prayed for God to help me still be proud of myself and not beat myself up for it. As she got further and further ahead of me I started trying to let the thought of finishing at a 2:45 settle in.
|Our coach/supporter/inspiration for all of this! So glad we were able to share in this with her.|
At about mile 12 my music ran out and I didn't bother with getting my phone out to turn anything else on. Wouldn't you know that was my best mile? Hearing everyone's cheers just made it so much fun! Plus, I knew I was getting close to seeing everybody.
|Our friends David and Angie.|
I LOVED getting to see my family as I came around the bend. Connor blew me kisses and they were all waving like crazy. I told them all that is the real reason I finished slowly. So everyone would get to watch me come in ;) Speaking of finishing slowly... After seeing the family I just happened to look up and see that the timer was UNDER 2:30! I saw that and sprinted my way across the line at 2:28!! Come to find out, that 2:30 pacer finished at 2:23. It made me even more proud of myself seeing how I had convinced myself I wasn't going to beat it. Matt finished at 1:56 and Becky finished at 2:05. So proud of both of them!
I honestly felt fine afterwards. I quickly ate some grapes and a banana (and a mini Gigi's cupcake) and drank some water and I felt great. Tight legs? Oh, definitely. But I didn't feel sick and that was something else that I really wanted to try to avoid.
Despite the painful run, it was one of the best experiences. I was doing something that I knew was challenging me and would be considered a pretty big accomplishment. I was so thankful for MiMi and D-Daddy for bringing the boys to be at the finish line. I know it wasn't easy (especially since Mom didn't even get to our house until 2 that morning and only slept 30 minutes!), but it meant the world to me for them to be there.
We have definitely been bit by the bug. We came home and looked up more races to run in that night. Some not even timed, others timed but still fun. Oh, and did I mention we have already signed up for the Country Music Marathon in April? Yeah, I'd say we're hooked ;)
I can't finish this without giving Becky (Bebe) a huge shout out. You encouraged us, supported us and challenged us. Something that might not seem like such a big deal, is. It has turned us into a more health conscious family and that is so important to me! So, thank you!!!