That was an unbelievable experience! I can’t believe that I finished the race! I was loving (almost) every minute of the race! The number of people out to watch the race was awesome! The “tunnel” on Chestnut Street was unreal. During the half-marathon there were very few spots that were empty.
My nerves were getting to me beginning last night. I went to sleep early but woke up in the middle of the night and had a hard time going back to sleep. I was very paranoid about oversleeping. We got to the start and met up with my friend Sarah, who ran her first full marathon. It was COLD! We both huddled and were trying to stay warm. The Rocky Theme that they played at the beginning did pump us up enough to forget about how cold it was! I didn’t realize how cold it was until I started and my toes were a bit tingly!
I started off strong, maybe too strong. I was checking my pace on my Nike+ sensor. I slowed down at times and was forced to slow down due to people traffic. We winded down ben franklin parkway and down Arch street, making our way to Columbus Boulevard. This began my unknown territory. We went down to Washington Avenue, turned up to Front street, over to South Street and up to 6th street where Rob and Jennie were waiting for me! What a boost!
We turned on 6th where another boost to see Dave and family, even though they didn’t see me! I was on the wrong side…I should have written down where they would be! We turned up Chestnut street where Allison was waiting for me at Chestnut and Broad. After that, my water boy, Nick, with his “cat in the hat” Ireland hat! It was great, I couldn’t miss a 6 foot 3 cat in the hat! The water exchange went smoothly (another point of anxiety pre-race). Then came the difficult part.
I have noticed with my long runs that after 6-7 miles I feel good, really good. Thinking about it, during this training program 6 miles was my “base run”. I did a 6 mile run at least 2 times a week. Well after seeing my water boy, we hit the hard part! Chestnut up to 34th street. 2 hills there that were tough! Then we hit 34th street, over by the zoo and into the park. OMG! Coming from 34th on market I was ok, I slowed down and walked a wee bit. Passed the zoo, and then the 10 hour hill appeared. That hill after mile 9, yes after 9 miles of running they expect you to go up a hill that literally lasted 10 hours! It was CRAZY! I walked up half it.
With what little I had left, we made our way past the please touch museum and went down to west river drive. It was back to the Art Museum. I gave it all I had but looking back at a video that Nick took of me at the end, yeah I wasn’t going THAT fast. Haha! I remember that last half mile I was gasping for air from running and from crying! I couldn’t believe that I was actually there finishing the half marathon! I couldn’t believe I actually did it. It was a long journey. 5 days a week for 12 weeks. I dedicated a lot of time to do this. I went running even when I didn’t want to do it or doubted I could do it (with a lot of help from my biggest fan/water boy/honey). I pushed through a lot of negative talk in my own head doubting that I could do it!
People have been saying to me all day “you are an inspiration”. I hope I am because trust me everyone out there, if I can do this, you can too!!! I didn’t do anything special, I just stuck with it. Like I said before in my first post, I hate running before but I have tried it again. I now love it, hills and all!
What next people ask? I picked up my number on Friday and the woman was asking me if I was doing the full marathon next year. Dave is already planning my training regimen. I don’t know what is next but I will take the time to bask in the afterglow of accomplishing this goal.
I have to take a moment to thank everyone along the way, everyone who read this thing, everyone who left comments and everyone who kept on asking and rooting for me during the training program, way too many people to name here. I would like to thank everyone who was there today, Rob, Jennie, Dave, Tobey, Maya, Jon, Merle, Allison, Arian, JLO, Bec. Thank you Sarah for moral support and support going through this process together! Chatting and talking about this training was so helpful! and Special thanks to my honey Nick for making me run when I didn't want to, for believing in me the whole time and for being my biggest fan and hottest waterboy! I love you!
So for those counting at home. This week I did 21.1 miles, that is including the race.
My time for the race, a personal record in the half-marathon (the best part of doing a distance for the first time): 2:08:14