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    ERINBEAR1876   27,451
25,000-29,999 SparkPoints

My first Half Marathon Race Report (a few pics with more added at a later time)...

Saturday, October 09, 2010

I wish I could add pictures right now, but my sister took the pictures with her camera, and she went home :o{

Okay, so here goes:

Last night, I put together everything that I needed to get ready, including my outfit, my Bondi Band that says 13.1, my shoes with socks, my MP3 player in the jacket and my old-style headphones, my gloves (in case it was cool, which it wasn't), Biofreeze for after, my granola bars and bananas, gummy bears, GU gel (triple berry and strawberry banana), my Zensah shin/calf compression sleeves, etc. Here is a picture of that:

I set my alarm on my phone, and went to bed, figurately, at 11 p.m. Between 11 p.m. and the time I got up to get ready, I had about 3 hours total of sleep, because my mind was just racing!!! (no pun intended) Then, my daughter woke up crying at 5. She fell right back asleep 5 minutes later, and so did I. I had set my alarm for 6 a.m. because we were heading out at 6:30 to drive an hour and 15 minutes to Fargo, so I could be there at 7:45 (the race started at 8:45).

Well, apparently my alarm was set for M-F only! So, I went to check the phone, and it said 6:15! I hustled into the bathroom, got ready, grabbed what was packed, and made it outside when my sister was pulling up (she went down with me while the hubby stayed home with Kaylee).

I ate the banana and drank water while chewing on my granola bar on the way down. Definitely had to hit the bathroom a few times before the race!

There were so many more people there than I expected! For the 5K, there were 718 finishers, for the 10K there were 636 finishers, and for the half marathon, there were 779 finishers!!! The 5K started at 8, the 10K at 8:05, and we started at 8:45.

The weather was sunny with only mild wind, and the temperature climbed fast, starting in the 60s and reaching the 70s near the end (and I sure felt that).

I lined up near the back, since most of the runners really looked like they were not only well trained, but fast. I was impressed by the outfits and the gear that they had, and took note of the convenience of some of them. Due to the nice weather, I was not able to wear my jacket, so therefore wasn't able to carry my gummy bears, Kleenex, camera, etc. The fuel belt I saw some female runners wearing looked to fix that problem...may have to look at one! I just don't know if I want to wear my CamelBak for a race.

The first mile was nice with an even pace. We saw a guy dressed up in a cow outfit (snicker snicker). I noticed this mile went by pretty fast considering. I had my headphones on, but only as background noise. There weren't many spectators out which surprised me (Fargo is kind of known for their race supporters).

During mile 2, we saw a group of ladies who had signs...One said "Run like an angry Kenyan!!" Another said "That isn't sweat, that is your fat cells crying!" and even another said "Your feet hurt because you are kicking so much ass!" These were residential streets and we saw a few more people outside with their dogs, and a group of ladies and girls wearing costumes including a nun and a witch!

On mile 3, we entered the park, and had to run over a rickety wooden plank bridge, which seemed to sway as we ran over it and really freaked me out. We got some Powerade and water during this time, and I had only Powerade, but later wished I had both. I also walked during this water break. This mile was tough...I wasn't quite hitting my stride yet, and I knew there were 10 miles left to go, which seemed a bit insurmountable, though I knew I could do it.

During the next few miles (to about mile 6-1/2) we still ran through a few parks. I struggled to focus on the run, and my back started hurting, which wasn't fun. I never had that during a run. My back was hurt last week but I had rested it a lot and never ran while it hurt. Unfortunately, there was nothing I could do but keep going! Not like I can cut a run like this short, right?

The turnaround point was at 6-1/2 miles, and boy was that a welcome sight!! I turned to the girl next to me and said "C'mon, we're only halfway?????" but I think she was tuned into her music and didn't hear me.

I kept running through miles 6, 7, 8, and 9 when I really started to feel more than just back pain. Now I had developed a side stitch, or cramping. I never really had problems with that in my training as I had really honed in on my breathing technique, hydration, and pace. I think what happened here is my pace was a bit faster than I am used to, because overall I was feeling more fatigued than I usually did in a training run. That side cramp REALLY, REALLY hurt, and weighed on me. I forced myself to start walking and try to stretch out that cramp, focus on my breathing, and get my pace back to a sustainable one. At this mile, I picked up a chocolate fudge-like GU and just held onto it for when I felt I needed it.

Well, then came mile 10. I said to myself "You only have a 5K to run! You can do it!!!" But my body was starting to disagree with me. Usually it is a mental focus problem and I just need to push through, but this was more physical for me. My side stitch had only gotten worse despite every effort I could put into getting rid of it. My back hurt worse. And I could feel some blisters forming in my right foot, something else I had never had an issue with before. I wondered if it was because of the hills, which it seemed here were a lot of. I hadn't done much for hill training, so that hurt me a bit.

I then decided before the next aid station I would eat my GU Gel. I shall say this now: I am never having one again. I am giving the 2 I have away. The flavor? Not bad...pretty good actually. The consistency? Like the snot that runs down the back of your throat during a sinus infection or really bad head cold. Ugh. I about gagged and threw it up. I had a glass of Powerade and a glass of water, and staggered my running and walking for the next mile.

At mile 12, I made the decision to walk a bit more so I could work up some energy to finish out the race strong. Then, a lady came up beside me and a few other girls walking, and said, "You only have 1 mile left. You can run a mile! You need to finish this race strong!" I wanted to disagree, but she was right. I started out, and felt a surge of energy. I knew we were getting to the end, but I started feeling that energy slow down. I didn't let it. I continued running, pushing myself to go faster. I saw that guy in the cow suit again, and I said to him: "Aren't you hot in that?" And he said back to me: "Not as hot as you gals are!!!"

I headed over the bridge, knowing that after the bridge, it was a matter of ONE block before the finish line. I honestly at this point had NO clue about my time since I had no watch or cell phone. I thought...just please let it be under 2:45. I felt I had not made my goal of finishing under 2:30...not with all of that walking and slowed running!

I turned, and I saw the time clock. It said 2:18:11 when I crossed the line. I started crying...I never thought about the emotions while running. I didn't think too much about my journey. And that pent-up emotion....that emotion that I didn't feel during the race, it came out right then and there. I did it! I ran 13.1 miles, and I finished strong! I picked up a bag of baked chips, a half a banana, a bun, and was given a beef stick and a beer mug with water in it after the finish line. I got my medal, had my picture taken, and just sweated my way until I sat down with my sister.

My sister took a picture of me finishing the race, a picture after the race with a couple of guys from the running group I am in, and also took a few pictures of me starting the race. I told her to email me those pictures the moment she has them downloaded, but she is out of town for the evening, so I will try to get those on here tomorrow!

The official race results:
Time: 2:17:44
Pace: 10:31
Overall place: 525 out of 779
Division place: 47 out of 85
Gender place: 243 out of 440

A picture of my medal/bib and beer mug (it is Oktoberfest in Fargo and they sponsored the event):

I also got a long-sleeved cotton t-shirt which is really nice!

P.S. Found out the blisters on my right foot were caused by a rock that found its way into my shoe!

emoticon Love you all!! Erin

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
AQUAPOWERS 10/13/2010 10:33AM


Congrats on your first half....and a stong finishing time.

emoticon emoticon

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RUNNER4LIFE08 10/11/2010 11:48AM

    emoticon job and emoticon on completing a half marathon!!!

That is a huge accomplishment and I am glad we were able to share in your experience through your blog.

emoticon emoticon

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ROOT4HOME 10/10/2010 11:44PM

    WTG!!! Congratulations on an amazing race & time!! So happy for you!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WISTERIALODGE 10/10/2010 7:56PM

  Way to go! 10:31 minutes are not bad! So you might not qualify for the Olympics, but you weren't shooting for that. Just doing it is a major victory.

The idea of 13.1 miles in mind boggling for me now. In my youth I was a long distance runner, but 3 decades have since passed. I'm considering training the C25K, which is something more realistic for me now.

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MADEMCHE 10/10/2010 5:01PM

    2:17! Holy smokes! Wow that is fast, you are awesome! So proud of you!

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ANEPANALIPTI 10/10/2010 2:25PM

    What a great race report!!!! Aaaaaaaaaaa nothing like a half marathon you did GREAT!! WAY TO GO!!!!!!!!!! :-) :-) :-) :-)

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CHANGE188 10/10/2010 2:23PM

    Wow!!!! I read your blog then looked at your Spark page then I looked at your first blog-I can't believe the progress you've made, AND you ran your first 5k in May! AWESOME! You are such an inspiration!!! Keep up the good work!

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MOVINITMORE 10/10/2010 1:56PM

    You made me Cry on this one. I loved your race report you did so
emoticon emoticon !!Can't wait to see the pictures. You are one amazing person and I am glad your my SP Friend. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HALFPRINCESS 10/10/2010 12:47PM

    Loved this blog!! Thanks for the recap. I'm going to use the fat cells crying remark on the girls I work with that HATE sweating. emoticon emoticon

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_TRIXIE_ 10/10/2010 11:12AM

    Congrats on a great race! But OUCH! A rock in your shoe?! Yikes!

I'm not sure about trying Gu on my longer runs, though considering my "long runs" are only 5-miles right now, I guess I don't need to worry about it just yet!

Thanks for posting this recap. I'm trying to read all HM blogs I can for the inspiration. Congrats on the amazing race and thanks for sharing the pic with all the stuff you laid out the night before. That was super helpful!

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MADDEELOU 10/10/2010 10:56AM

    Congratulations, Erin!! You did so well. I am so proud of you. Can't wait to see the pictures. You totally rock!!!

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ON2VICTORY 10/10/2010 10:47AM

    I love the signs -- I have to chuckle because it seems like runners are the same. we lay out our gear before a race and take a pic. I did it for my last one, another SP buddy did the same and you did it LOL

You did awesome girl!!!!

good for you ... Sparkcheers for U!

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RAINEMARIE214 10/10/2010 10:38AM

    Congratulations!! You had an amazing race and finished with an amzing time!!! You are really inspiring!!!

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RDARLING 10/10/2010 10:23AM

    great blog. I wish soccer would have been later in the day so I could have been there cheering on the runners! I hate GU Gels too! YUCK!
Let me know when you plan to run a race in Fargo again, I would enjoy a spark meet!
You had a super finish time!

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POOKAQUEEN 10/10/2010 9:58AM

    Congrats! You did great!

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TWINSMOMMY607 10/10/2010 9:50AM

    What an inspiring blog. I ran in a 5k as part of a marathon and half marathon yesterday and it really inspired me to start training for a half marathon for next year.

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TANNERS 10/10/2010 8:52AM

    Erin I am so proud of you!! I love the way you are honest and sincere in your experiences. You did an amazing job!!!!

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ESBELL 10/10/2010 8:47AM


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KILTGUY 10/10/2010 8:37AM

    You're amazing. A great time!

On the GU thing - don't do anything new during a race. I'm using GU during long training runs, finding flavors I like, and know about the consistency.

Great job Erin! Looking forward to my February HM.

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WINDEE52 10/10/2010 7:27AM

    Reading blogs like this one makes me so exctied to do a half! Congrats on your momentus acheivement, can't wait to see the rest of the pics!

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SCRAPPYLADYV 10/10/2010 3:04AM

    emoticon emoticon Wow!! Felt like I was right there with you! You are amazing!!!

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-POOKIE- 10/10/2010 2:37AM

    You are a star!

I loved reading that.

How wonderfully supportive people where for each other, thats so nice.

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LAURA95368 10/10/2010 2:23AM

    WOWEEE!!! That's awesome! Congratulations and I'm wishing you a speedy recovery. Great blog!!

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IRISH_AGUIRRE 10/9/2010 11:15PM

  Fantastic!!! You are amazing. Way to go!

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DIXIECHIC60 10/9/2010 9:53PM

    Awesome job.... I got exicted about my first 5k coming up when I read your blog... great pace also!! You rock!!!

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WATCHMEGO2 10/9/2010 9:09PM

    You totally rock girl! Such an inspiration!

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MATHISDJAX 10/9/2010 9:08PM

    Congratulations on your achievement. I am in awe. :D

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JULIEIRENE 10/9/2010 8:51PM

    This is just tremendous! I am so excited for you to finish this and can completely relate to the emotions and tears at the finish! So proud of you!

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LIL_EZZY 10/9/2010 8:39PM

    You ARE so INSPIRING. Way to go!!!

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JUST_SIMONE 10/9/2010 8:38PM

    Wow!!! Congratulations!

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NITELITE72 10/9/2010 8:38PM

You did it!! Wow...and beat your goal with a great time!!

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GBTRIGIRL 10/9/2010 8:08PM

  Great job on the race!! You had an awesome time also!

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WALKWITME 10/9/2010 8:03PM



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GSCOTTC 10/9/2010 7:55PM

    Great report. Congrats on the run and the fantastic time.


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FRANKLYAMUSED 10/9/2010 7:54PM

    My wife says WOW, just WOW!!

Congratulations on your half marathon, you done emoticon


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