Running for Life........My First Half Marathon
I had way more fun than I ever imagined…….It was tough, painful, exhilarating, exciting, exhausting and inspiring!. The excitement all around me was contagious. People of all ages and fitness levels…….I missed it, but there was even a flash mob. Here is a link to the video.
My 27 year old daughter, Meghan, ran with me…..with no training. I had to work to keep up with her! She is amazing. Meghan told me no running, we would walk this ½ marathon. That lasted less than a mile. We both slowly ran at least 8 of the 13 miles. We listed out finish time as 3.5 hours when we entered the race and finished in about 3 hours, 15 minutes; 14 to 15 minute miles with a potty break and walking.
Meghan getting ready at home......3:30 AM
32,000 people raced between the ½ & the complete marathon….it took over an hour after the official start of the race for our corral to be released. We ran on city streets and the 163 freeway finishing next to Sea World. I was excited about running on the freeway, maybe because it is usually forbidden to pedestrians. Those four miles were the toughest part of the race. The freeway is banked for runoff so I constantly felt like I was leaning one way or the other. The weather was perfect, sunny & cool with a breeze for most of the run.
Getting close to the start.......almost 7:30 in the morning
The bands were terrific….everything from rock to Zydeco to the pipe organ in Balboa park & everything in between. The last three to four miles of the race had cheerleaders and other organized groups giving us encouragement.
Rock & Roll
The Pipe Organ in Balboa Park being played for us
The marathoners amazed me. How do they manage to finish 26 miles period, many of them in far less time than it took us to finish 13 miles. One marathoner was walking back though the course encouraging us to finish strong.
This was the longest mile of my life!
This race was to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma society so there were countless people running to raise funds through Team in Training. They could be easily identified by their purple shirts, many with hand written names of friends & family members suffering with Leukemia & Lymphoma. There were cancer survivors as well as people undergoing treatment running. I saw a man limping so badly it made me hurt to watch him but he kept on going. He told me running this was easier than chemo. As were we complaining about how tired we were we passed a TRIPLE amputee…….we complained no more. A young woman in a sling who’d had shoulder surgery six weeks ago crossed the finish line just ahead of us as did a man with an amazing prosthetic leg, meant for running. I am humbled by people who overcome so much and still move forward, helping others along the way. I felt blessed to be touched by these amazing people.
We are saving up to enter our next 1/2 marathon; maybe the Las Vegas Rock & Roll in early December. The run is at night on the strip. Can't imagine that street with NO cars just runners. That alone makes it worth the travel.
Give running or walking a try. There are fun one milers as well as long competitive races. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I could run/walk/jog even a mile let alone 13. It is worth the effort, it's fun and you meet amazingly motivating people.
My daughter crossing the finish line
At home after the race in the T-shirt I will treasure forever............