The moment you have all been waiting for:
My FIRST Half Marathon Re-Cap!
Can you feel the excitement?!!
I have to say that I didn't plan this whole weekend out too well. I ended up having a show on Friday night (the race was Saturday morning) so I was dancing and running around a stage mere hours before I had to run. But, anyway, I managed to get to bed around 2am and woke up at 5:15am to shower and stretch/warm up before the race. My cheerleaders and I headed to Hartford for 6:30 so we could get some decent parking before the streets were shut down. The race started at 8 so I had plenty of time to relax and find friends before the run. I managed to snag a port a potty that was rather clean (probably because most people weren't at the race yet) and then waited for time to pass. I will be honest, there were TONS of butterflies in my stomach but I was also so amped up! As you may have seen, the local paper did an article on myself and why I was running and it went out the day of the race! How cool is that?!
When 8am finally rolled around, I laced up my pink sneakers (and green compression sleeves) and headed towards the back of the pack. The horn sounded the start of the race and about 8minutes later I finally got to cross the starting line. I popped in both ear buds, cranked up the music and kept my pace slow and light. My goal was to finish in 4 hours, but I was wearing a 3:30 pace bad because I felt like the extra adrenaline of the day might give me some added speed. I managed to run about 3 miles before I had to stop and walk (which is a new record for me!) but I felt good. I grabbed water when I could and continued with my pacing. The course was gorgeous, the weather was perfect and my music was rocking! Before I knew it, I was crossing the 6 mile mark at 1:37:06 (roughly a 16min/mile pace). Not too shabby! I was definitely on track for finishing in 3:30.
By this point in time I had already grabbed a Gatorade and had finished off a GU. I did notice some slight swelling in my hands and fingers, but it wasn't anything major, so I kept going. Then, again, before I knew it, I was crossing mile 9! Where had miles 7 and 8 gone?! I checked my pace band against the timer and saw that I was nearly 30 minutes ahead of my band- CRAZINESS!! I nearly started crying when I hit mile 10 and knew that I only had a 5k left to go. Then mile 11 came and mile 12 and before I could really contemplate it, mile 13 was behind me and I was turning the corner to go into the Finisher's Lane. I had run most of mile 11 and part of 12, but I had slowed to a walk because my legs were incredibly fatigued, both hands were horribly swollen to the point where it hurt to clench them, and I had a major cramp in my left side. As I started into the Finisher's Lane, I amped myself up to start running again and bounded off... for about 5 seconds before BOTH of my calves erupted into charlie horses. Two charlie horses... at the same time.... I though I was going to collapse 100 yards from the finish. I started sobbing and slowed to a limp. I ended up stopping 4 times before I finally crossed the finish because I was trying to stretch out the cramps. It was no use though, the cramps persisted even as the medal was hung around my neck and a water bottle was handed to me.
However, despite the amount of pain that I was in, I still managed to finish my first half in 3:07:25! An hour faster than my goal time and 30 minutes faster than my "I'm going to really push myself" PR time. No wonder I couldn't hold myself upright for almost an hour afterward. I literally gave that race everything I had (and believe me, I'm still recovering from it). I have to say I'm pretty friggin proud of myself though. I refused to give up and I pushed myself beyond my limits. So my hips are stiff and my calves are sore and I completely wrenched my entire left side of my torso to the point where it hurts when I breathe? I still had fun and I can't wait to do another race! On top of it all, even though I went home and rested after I ran, I still had another performance to do that night so I was back up on stage singing and dancing away. I honestly do feel a little bit like Wonder Woman haha.
There's only one down side, I received a letter in the mail in response to the article that was written about why I was running in the half marathon. I came home from work today to find this letter in my mail box:
People can be so unintelligent and cold-hearted. I feel bad that this person missed the entire point of the article and is basing all of their information off of a photograph (which, if you saw the article, is actually a very nice shot). Oh well, I'm not letting it get me down or ruin how proud I am of myself. I accomplished something that I never in my life thought I would do and no one can take that away from me.