I had my doubts that this wasn't going to happen.... The week of my half I was still in a fog not truly realizing that I was going to run my first half. It didn't hit me until two days before.
The reason why I had doubts.... back in 2011, I was set to run my first half marathon. I trained hard for months. I was ready and super excited. And then flooding happened. It was the worst flooding we have had in years. The flooding was so bad that they had to cancel the race. I was heart broken, devastated, and immediately fell into a running depression. I didn't run for a good couple of weeks. But I picked myself back up and got back to the sport. Just never signing up for another race again.
Fast forward to this past weekend. I finally took the plunge with my best friend & sister and signed up for another half. A few days before the race it didn't seem real. I knew I did the work and was ready but I was just waiting I guess for it to cancel. All my worries went away after picking up my racing gear the day before. It was a beautiful day with temps finally hitting 70 degrees. I was on cloud nine all day long. Here are a few pics from packet pick up....
There was a huge 25 pound salted nut roll that they were going to be breaking apart. We didn't stick around for that though. Had to take a picture with it!
I was ready! I had my gear and all I needed was a good nights rest. (Hubby was so sweet that he made me spaghetti for dinner. I love him!)
Race morning I was up bright and early. Started with a nice hot bowl of oatmeal and guzzled down some water. It was going to be a hot one in Minnesota so I was a bit worried. All of my training was done in the cold, snow, and ice. This was going to be very different. We headed out early because I was nervous about parking. There were supposed to be around 8,000 people for this race. More people probably signed up late knowing that the temps were supposed to be beautiful.
We made it out to the park and found a parking spot with no problems. Actually we found street parking right near the finish line. Can't beat that!
We had time to stretch, drink more water, and take some pics before the start of the race.
The finish line was so awesome with the giant flag waving in the wind!
Time seemed to fly by fast and pretty soon we were lining up to start the race. There were tons of people at the starting line because the half marathon and 10k run were starting at the same time. There was supposed to be a 30 seconds of silence to honor the lives lost and those affected in Boston. But we couldn't hear because of the huge crowd. So we decided to do our own moment of silence. That felt good to do before the race.
Pretty soon the crowd was moving and it was time to run! I made it to the start line around 3:36 which isn't too bad considering the crowd. As soon as I crossed that starting line my eyes teared up and I got a little emotional. I was finally doing this!
We had to run with that crowd for a good 3 miles before it cleared out a bit.
It was hard trying to keep our pace with all the runners. We quickly found ourselves going too fast but when we tried to slow down, it just wouldn't work. So we decided to just go with it. It was feeling awesome and the energy was so high.
My first mistake.... I ran through the water stops. Without needing water or fuel on my training I didn't think I would need it. Well my mistake would be realized later in the run.
We ran with the 10k'ers until they hit after mile 5 or so. There was one big hill during this time and I remember shouting out, "I love hills"! People probably thought we were crazy with all the cheering we were doing during the run. We even tossed some of our fuel to some people holding a sign that said, "This is the worst parade ever". My friend tossed them some of the sweet hearts she had with her for energy.
There was another water stop at mile 8 and this is where I probably should have stopped. Because after this water stop we were in full sun for the next 3 or so miles. I quickly became dehydrated and was not feeling so well. When we got to the turn around I thought I was going to collapse. The sun was so hot that it was making my body feel so warm and my mouth was super dry. I had stopped sweating and all I could feel was salt grains on my skin. It was not good at all.
I finally had to walk a bit at mile 10. It was right around a water stop so I walked through the water stop and drank as much as I could. I needed water so bad that I could have drank a gallon right then and there but I knew that would upset my stomach so I just sipped.
Before we hit mile 11 my family was there cheering us on. My little (almost 2 year old) niece was nice enough to share some more water with me.
I was hurting bad though. The dehydration was really taking a lot out of me physically and emotionally. At one point, my sister was worried about me and actually ran ahead to another water stop and brought water back to me. I had to walk a little more between mile 11 and 12. It hurt my ego so much because I had goals for this half and one of those goals were to NOT walk.
But after getting a little more water in me I was able to finish off strong. We picked it back up and once I turned that corner and saw that flag waving in the air, I choked up. I did it! I ran my first half marathon. Crossing the finish line hand in hand with my sister and my best friend was so over whelming. Hearing our names and bib numbers called off was emotional.
I did it! I finished!
I was a little down on myself for not making my goals. I know I shouldn't be because this is my first but I have high standards for myself. I did have to walk a little but that was because of the heat. And my official time wasn't as off from my goal time that I had in mind so I should be happy. Here are my stats from the race:
Chip Start - 3:36
4 Mile - 42:11
10 Mile - 1:47:11
Official Time for the 13.1 Miles - 2:26:16
I did it... I finally did it!