So - I ran my first half-marathon (13.1 miles) ever!! I'm very VERY excited about it. It wasn't necessarily easy but I would do it again with ALL MY HEART AND SOUL!!!!
If you want to see pictures click here!
Here's the break down of the race:
We were told that we had to be parked no later than 5:30 a.m. and that roads were closing at 6. The race was supposed to start at 7:00. My friend Ashley, who went to Guatemala with me, woke up at the crack of dawn to take me to the race only to find out it was postponed until 7:45!! It was RAINY, WINDY and COOOOOOOOLD!!
I had my favorite breakfast: Ice Cold Milk and Bananas. And like 2 bottles of water. And in my fuel belt I had water (Gatorade during runs makes me puke) and M&M's!
Mile 1-3: I run this distance often so this part was the easiest (which I'm proud to say practice has paid off). I had to tell myself to chill and to take it easy because it was just the beginning. At the beginning of races, you're adrenaline is on HIGH you want to take off like Speedy Gonzalez. I stop to take off my long sleeve shirt because it get's really hot when you run! I think I was running at an ~11 minute pace here.
Mile 4-5: I ran most of this but I told myself it was okay to walk. My 3-1 fartleks began. It's my favorite way to run. 12 min pace.
Mile 6: PAINFUL. Like excruciatingly painful. I got the worst stitch of all time! I was talking to a lady about how it's my first half and she asked it if was okay if she ran with me (she is a lot older and has several under her belt). As soon as I agreed, this pain came in directly under the right side of rib cage and I wanted to curl over into a fetal position and cry. She left me saying, "Breath deep...I promise it will pass!" It was seriously like my insides were being split open. (I'm not exaggerating...it was painful.) It lasted a full minute...
12 min pace
Mile 7-9: A complete blur. Except that here the 1-1 fartleks began. I was happy.
Mile 10: I remember celebrating the fact that I had kept a pretty consistent pace. They pace person said: 12.23! I replied back: ARE YOU SERIOUS? Pace person: Yes, keep it up!
I told everyone around me that we should be soooo proud!! They sorta looked at me like I was crazy. I was really HAPPY!!
Mile 11: I prayed aloud: "DEAR GOD - HELP ME! BE WITH ME NOW!"
People asked if I was okay. My response: "My toe really hurts."
My index toe on my left foot usually hurts when I run, but the pain was a bit exaggerated since my feet were cold and wet and I also tend to be slightly dramatic. I started counting to a 100 over and over to get my mind off my hurting toe. That is until I remembered a chant I learned at a VBS 2 years ago. It goes like this:
RUN, RUN, RUN the RACE!I was still at a ~12.23 pace
KEEP, KEEP, KEEP the PACE!
RUN THE RACE! KEEP THE PACE!
KEEP YOUR EYES ON JESUS!
Mile 12-13: I slowed down to a 12.40 pace. I walked a lot more, but still managed to run most of it. I saw a girl who had been running really well the whole time look like she was throwing in the towel. I ran up to her and said - COME ON! WE CAN DO THIS! WE GOT THIS!! KEEP GOING!! We ran/walked together until the very end. She runs better than I do, so she said see you at the finish line and she took off, but not before giving me a pep talk!
In the middle of all this, I was soooooo incredibly encouraged to see one of my students and her mom under HWY 59. They had a poster that said: YOU CAN DO IT, MS. MARQUEZ! I almost cried, but instead I stopped to give them both a hug. They handed me a bag of snickers!! :o)
The last bit: The finish line was after you turn a corner...I would have loved to have sprinted from the corner...but I waited until I got a little closer. I started yelling - I FINISHED before even crossing the finish line! The clock read 2.47...my watch said 2.45. I'm waiting on the official results to know what my time was. But the bottom line I FINISHED!! AND I DID IT UNDER 3 HOURS!
This is really one of the most incredible feelings I've ever experienced. After saying my whole life that I would never ever in a million years like running, I have developed a love for it! Crossing the finish line was pretty emotional for me. I couldn't do it alone - Christ is my strength and thank you Regina White for crossing the 5k finish line with me in April 2010 and assuring me that if I could run/walk my first 5k, I could run a half!!