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My first half marathon- Rock 'n' Roll DC

Friday, March 30, 2012

This is the vision board I made last year. My biggest goal was to complete the Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon with a group of SparkPeople friends.

I had many obstacles during the time I should have been training. Several months before I had a back injury, a month before I developed hypertension and my readings were so high I was literally scared to do anything fitness wise except some walking. The week before and the week of, I had a large abscess on my thigh that required draining and 3 strong antibiotics to heal it. Several days before the half I developed a post injection sciatica and had excruciating pain in my left hip area, radiating down my leg thigh. Fortunately I had no pain when walking, the pain was only with bending, twisting, trying to put on shoes/socks/tie shoes, get up and down from sitting to standing and getting in/out of the car.

I was determined to make it through the race, hoping that the pain would not make an appearance while walking. My original plan was to do walk/run intervals but with the lack of training and the issues of that week, I could only manage walking.

The night before, a small group of us met at Bond 45 at the National Harbor for a pre race dinner. It was the first time some of had met. It was such a great night and I was happy to meet the ones I hadn't met before. Here we are:

and here's Jillian about to devour her dessert :-)

She had picked up my race bag for me. We got a cool shirt, a bag and some coupons and GU.

This is my first HM race bib:

The morning of, my co-worker Katina and I met up with Amy and we rode into the race together. The metro was crazy crowded and with train issues we got to the start after the starting time. Meghan went with us because she was super excited to see the headliner band, Switch Foot.

Once there, she decided to see if they needed another volunteer. She kept very busy and got a cool bag and shirt for helping out:

Katina and I were in the last corral but we had to go to the bathroom after the long ride in. The lines were long and before we got a chance to go someone came up and said if we weren't in our corral by the time it was time to take off, that the gate would be closed and we wouldn't be permitted to participate. Off we went to get in the corral figuring we'd find another port-a-potty to stop at in a little bit. We got up closer to the start and ran to a short line of people waiting to use the potty. When we came out, they were closing the gate and we literally had to run and squeeze ourselves in.

Amy determined that my Garmin had frozen and I was unable to use it for the race-the first race it was to be used :-( I loaded RunKeeper on my phone and used that instead.

Off we went, at the very end of the large group of people, we started our quest to finish the 13.1 miles.

By the 5K mark, we were wishing we had signed up for a 5K :-) We continued on, walking quite fast at times and quite slow at other times. By the time we got to the 6-8 mile mark there were some pretty decent hills. At one hill I zipped up and got to the top and realized Katina wasn't with me. I ran back down the hill to get her, looped my arm in hers and got her to the top of the hill. The bands along the course kept me moving, although there weren't nearly as many as advertised on the half course). We hit the 10 mile mark, stating we only had a 5K left! The entire time we were literally in a close distance to the pick up bus, with it never out of our site. I needed to use the bathroom, but I couldn't stop or I'd be on the bus. Being on the streets of DC, there was a strict time limit you had to stay within or you'd be picked up by the bus/van. My only goals were to finish and to stay off the bus. I had a sudden burst of energy and got ahead of Katina, meeting up with a lovely lady participating with Team in Training and Katina met up with another lady from the same group. At one point I turned around and Katina and her new friend were gone and on the bus. I had a fleeting thought of how I'd really enjoy a break of riding, but I trudged on. A mile or so later, there was Katina and her friend in front of us. The bus had dropped them off further down the course and they were now in front of me. I ran up to them and walked with them for a bit and then I took off again, trying desperately to beat the time limit.

Once I could see the finish line I was so excited, but so tired. I've only done 5K's and a few 10K's and I always sprinted to the finish line. I had no energy to do so this time. All I could think of was crossing that line still standing, LOL. I was wearing a tweety bird shirt and as I approached the finish, the announcer announced my name and then said "here comes Tweety, I thawt I saw a puddy tat", telling me to smile for the camera. I barely remember trying to smile, literally having not an ounce of energy to do so. I crossed that line with pride though! I'd completed a half marathon! I didn't run it like I had planned and I had a lot of obstacles leading up to it, but I finished nonetheless! 13.1 miles. I don't care that I walked 99.9% of it, I had done it and can only go up from here! My official time was 4:01, but I'm still proud of myself for going and finishing!

Here we are after some post race goodies and a little more energy:

and here is my first medal:

I carry it around with me still, LOL......

I learned a lot about myself during this experience. Mostly that I am capable of a lot more than I give myself credit for. I can't wait for next year when hopefully I will be able to complete a training program and finish with a much better time.

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