I did it!!!!! Apparently training programs work. I followed Hal Higgdon (who I saw, BTW, at the Expo on Saturday and I was a little star struck) Anyway, followed one of his HM plans. We missed a few runs because of weather, injury and children. I justified all that because the race wasn't a full half. *only* 10 miles. It was a good idea to overshoot for training. Then it isn't such a big deal when life happens and running can't be number one.
I worried and planned and cleaned and double and tripled checked everything all week long. We went to the Expo to pick up our packets and it was SO MUCH FUN. You can reach out and grab the energy.
The race started early and it was cold. Good to know that the reflector stripe on my coat works!
The race itself was good, not amazing, but good. I stared too fast and felt tired at mile 4. Right when the hills started. Fabulous. And it was crowded. But then we rounded a corner and tons of spectators/supporters were there with their funny signs (Worst Parade Ever!) and crazy bells and that carried me up the first big hill. The 2nd half of the race was better because I finally let myself slow down. My husband got a bit ahead of me, but came back so we could cross the finish line together. awwww. He is a sweet guy. It was a great moment for us.
The post race atmosphere is just as much fun. We got a 10 minute massage, danced a little, ate bananas and soup broth and raisin rolls and more yummy stuff. We found all the family and friends and hung out for a bit. Then everyone took off and I decided to put another 8 miles on my legs. I know, I know...
The marathon started an hour after the 1o miler and I told a friend that I would wait at mile 22 and jump in for a mile. They usually pull people off the course that don't have the right bib. So I head back up the race path and got to see all the jackrabbit elite runners heading into the last mile. This may have been my favorite part of the day. The winner finished in 2:13. I saw the next 4 guys fighting for 2nd. And they were fighting! So close to each other and all sprinting. I felt like I was at the Olympics or something. Being that close to uber athletes was breathtaking, These guys ran 5:05-5:30 miles the whole time. FOR A MARATHON. how crazy impressive is that? Next up was the first female finisher. She was stunning. Talk about muscle motivation.
I walked at least 4.2, but more like 4.5 miles to get back to 22. I got to see lots of runners for different places in the race. I wish I could explain how beautiful and powerful it was. I finally got to 22 and it seems that is a tough place for people. There were lots of tearful runners, more walkers than I expected and those laughing and looking gorgeous.I saw runners of all sizes, runners with loads of gear, runners with none. Young, old. All marathon runners.
My friend was having a tough time and asked me to stay with her. So I ran the last 4.2 miles with her. For the second time that day! It was fun. The cheering crowds and breathless runners was all the motivation I needed. She finished strong and looking better than she did at 22. I was happy to be there for her and happy that I got to experience that. It certainly gives me some insight into the feelings involved with the end of a marathon.
After my race. I felt great. My goal was 80-90 minutes. I knew 80 would be very fast for me. Chip time says 87:13! I am super proud of the run. 8:44 pace for 10 miles. And then I ran some more! And now my legs are sore and tired.
It was an incredible day. Thanks for all the Spark love and support. It has meant a lot to me.
more pics coming soon from my dad's camera...