This is it! The big race and Chuck's first half marathon. Our longest training run a couple of weeks ago: 7 miles. Yeah. Not the best training strategy but that seems to be the story of my life.
Thursday we waited in a pretty long line to get our race packets.
Fast forward to Saturday. My brother was getting married at 7pm two hours away so we had to get all of our gear together before we left because we'd be getting home late! The goodie bag included a tech shirt, a water bottle and a running hat!
Part of the packet goodies was Aleve and pain reliever lotion. Do you see a theme? Pain!!
We make it to the wedding and have a great time. My brother has quite the sense of humor and entered the ceremony to the Imperial March song from Star Wars. It was good to see family and hang out for a while and dance a little but we had to leave early so we'd get home by midnight. Congratulations to my brother! I'm so happy for him. :)
We finally get to sleep around 12:30am-ish and it seemed like my head had just hit the pillow when the alarm went off. 4am!! Chuck and I stumble around like drunken zombies but finally make it out the door and arrive at the race at 5:20am. They were still setting up the timing mats.
Ahhh....the beautiful finish line that we'll hopefully get to see soon!
I was so nervous about this race! Maybe it was the lack of training. Maybe it was memories of how bad my legs felt after my first one. So I had bombarding facebook with motivational sayings to try to get myself pumped up.
Chuck seems ready to quit already. Joking. He was just incredibly sleepy.
Made a port-a-pottie stop before the lines got bad and while they were still semi-clean (at least for a port-a-pottie!).
Because 15 minutes before the race started there were four long lines waiting!
We can do this!! Failure is not an option!
We are told to gather at the start line then the anthem is played on bagpipes while a flag hangs from a firetruck. The theme of this year's race was all about firemen. Angie's Half Crazy Half Marathon was a sold out event. Why so popular? Because of the bling, baby!
The firetruck sirens and lights go off and that means it's time to start. Do you know how hard it is to go slow when everyone is passing you?! We were almost dead last for a while. But this is an endurance run. Start slow to finish strong.
We're doing great! We're chatting. Taking walk breaks. Just enjoying the whole experience. The only goal today is to finish and get a medal. Not trying to set any records or place in our age groups, folks. I just want a medal.
Look!! We're almost to the halfway point!! There's not quitting now.
I have to say we're both really surprised at how good we feel. We're laughing. Chuck stops like 3 times to tie his shoes. Once to visit a port-o-pottie. Really? I've never seen someone stop so many times for things other than a photo op during a race. :) So I had to give him a hard time about it.
I brought some Gu (just in case) and lots of Endurolyte capsules for electrolytes because it was hot and humid. We needed them! You could actually see the salt crystals on my arm.
We got to cross bayous....
And I guess this is a bay?
We ran past NASA. Photo op!!
You know you're going to finish when you see those glorious double digit miles. I was so happy to see this at a water station that I had to give it a hug. Feet are hurting a little and I'm getting a little tired but still doing great overall. At least we're both still smiling. And Chuck said this was easier than he thought it was going to be.
It's funny how much can change in one mile. By mile 11 we are starting to feel a bit tired. I'm not sure if we did this so we could get a pic of the milestone or just so we could rest. But we've made it to mile 11!
Instead of counting down the miles I'd just say, "Another mile down!" each time we reached a new mile. It wasn't until we got to mile 10 that we started counting down the miles. It was much easier mentally to only have to worry about the next mile instead of the whole package of miles.
Between miles 11 and 12 we saw a man lying on his back in the grass and 3 cop motorcycles around him calling for medic. I hope he's ok! It was pretty warm out there.
Finally!!!!! We see the finish line and run all the way in with big smiles and were handed cold wet towels and HUGE medals. What a medal to get as your first!
Um, did I mention it's huge? Like ginormous big. I LOVE it!!!!!! The center part spins and it weighs a ton.
We wipe off all the sweat and eat a snow cone then I get a massage. Ahhh. My feet and calves were hurting a bit but mostly my feet. That sweet lady rubbed my stinky feet. I left a nice tip. :)
We waddle back to the car and then exhaustion finally sets in as we recap the race. At home we get cleaned up and I discover why my feet were hurting so badly. Look at that nasty blister! Then I discover I have a total of five on my foot. Just one foot. Weird. Look on the side of my big toe for the blister.
Time to head out to Kemah for a little celebration.
We get home and Rachel has a surprise for Chuck in honor of his first half marathon. An Asics cake. Isn't that awesome?! I'm really proud of her.
And after all that we took a nap for about an hour.
It was a great day and a great race. If you live in the area I highly recommend signing up for this race next year. There are great goodies and a BIG medal.
Hmmm......which race to do next?