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    MICHIGANLORI   110,598
100,000-149,999 SparkPoints

Because We Can ~ My first Half Marathon!

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Monday, April 29, 2013

I crossed the finish line at my very first half marathon at the young age of 50. Two years ago if someone had told me I would become a runner, I would have laughed and said "I will only run if being chased by a bear (a big bear)".

At the beginning of the week I wasn't sure if I was going to do it. I had a very difficult month with losing a family member and the Boston Marathon tragedy just knocked the wind out of me.

I decided the day before the race that I needed to be strong and just do it.

On my lonely drive to the event I was nervous. I was uncomfortable with doing my first race all by myself. I kept thinking in the car "Why am I doing this?" Well, the answer came to me on a sign. I looked up and saw a billboard advertising a concert which I will be seeing. It's the Bon Jovi "Because We Can" tour. "BECAUSE WE CAN" was in bright hot pink. That was my sign! At that moment I felt energized.

"Because We Can" is my new motto.

It was cold at the starting line. When I left home it was in the upper 30s so I dressed warm (four layers). Other racers where wearing shorts and tanks. I'm sure everyone could tell I was a newbie.

I spotted the pacers, the last one was the 2:45 pacer. I kept looking for the 3:00 and 3:15 pacers. Hmmm…now I was a little more uncomfortable since the last time I walked 13 miles (in November on a treadmill) it took me close to 3 hours and 40 minutes

Starting Line:
The starting gun sounded and everyone started running except for me and a couple of others. It was my plan to start off with my fast-paced walk. Right off the gate, both of my shins were cramping which I've never experienced before. Yikes!

Mile 2:
At mile 2 my shin pain went away. Whew! I noticed at this time that I was walking faster than some of the runners, which was a great feeling. I decided just to keep the pace going.

Mile 3:
At mile 3 the 2:45 pacer was in sight. I made a decision to try and keep up with her to the half way point so I picked up my pace and started to run. The cat and mouse game began.

Mile 5:
I passed my pacer and told her that I just wanted to pass her just once. She laughed and said I would be passing her multiple times. At this time I was getting really warm. The stripping began and my race lessons started (dress lighter next time).

Mile 6.5:
I hit my goal by keeping up with my pacer. At this moment I realized that if continued to keep up with her to the finish line I could beat my daughter's time from last year. I had a new goal. I’m such a mean mom. emoticon

Mile 9:
At mile nine I passed my pacer at least 4 times. I was now doing a run/walk interval. The one thing I noticed is that I felt better running. When I stopped to walk my legs started cramping.

Mile 10:
I was feeling really good at mile 10 and thought I would attempt to run the rest of the way.

Mile 11.5:
emoticon still ahead of my pacer but I started to get worried since my heart was racing. I took a break to walk a little and she passed me up again. Grrrr! She told me I could do this and started cheering me on.

Mile 12.5:
I hit the wall close to the finish line. It felt like I was going to pass out and vomit which had me really scared. I looked behind me and there she was breathing down my neck. It was mind over body at this point.

Mile 13.1:
emoticon I crossed the finish line just before my pacer. We high-fived at the finish line.

Let’s Move Race Results:

Time 2:44:20 (beat my daughter’s time)
Placed 17th out of 25 in my age group (not bad for a newbie)
Placed 647 out of 717

Detroit Free Press International Half is next unless I find another one before it. emoticon

And once again thank you my spark friends for all your support. emoticon


Member Comments About This Blog Post:
FIT_MAMA_2_FOUR 6/4/2013 9:31AM

    Congrats on the accomplishment!

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PKCTTS 6/3/2013 9:25PM

    emoticon Such an accomplishment - and a really enjoyable blog.

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TWNOMWE 5/13/2013 7:17PM

    emoticon Lori and emoticon

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MIPALADY23 5/9/2013 8:53AM

    YEAH!!! born and raised Michigan here!!! AND I'm running my first 1/2 Marathon this year!! YOu give me hope and motivation!!!

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GETTINGMEBACK2 5/8/2013 2:41PM

  That it awesome! A group of coworkers and I just completed a 5k! I never would have thought but I enjoyed it so well that I am going to do another one in June. emoticon

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CM_GARDNER78 5/7/2013 10:59PM

    WOw!! That is fantastic!! YOu should be so proud! Bon Jovi - worth it to ME! :-D HA! Great job!!!

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MAPLECANDY3 5/7/2013 6:17PM

    Thats so exciting! Congrats!!!!!!!

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IN102WIN 5/7/2013 1:03PM


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GAGBONA 5/6/2013 6:12PM

  emoticon emoticon

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KATHIC2 5/6/2013 7:37AM

  You rock!!!! Congratulations!!! And great blog.

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BOPPY_ 5/6/2013 1:01AM

    Congratulations. A great accomplishment.


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FLANAGANSH 5/5/2013 9:25AM

    I really enjoyed reading this! Great job!

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IRON_RESOLVE 5/4/2013 3:41PM

    Loved reading this. I did my first Marathon, Walking, 6 months ago, for Breast Cancer Research. It took everything I had to cross that finish line. I am going to do it again though. With friends, we are making a team.
I just walked the Camino de Santiago in the northern Basque region of Spain summer 2012. I felt so strong afterwards, and jump at the chance to do the Marathon, after seeing a flyer for it at my Dr's office, only 3 days before the Marathon. And still gathered the $500 entrance fundraising. It was amazing to be feted with fundraising dollars from my friends and family. I was so lucky to have their support both cheering me on, and financial, to reach my goal. It was certainly awesome. I was so lucky to have my husband waiting for me at the last 3 miles. He walked me into the finish line. It was at that point, that I felt I needed him to literally drag me along! :) It was truly a great experience, and your blog reminded me of my great feat. Now, to accomplish the weight loss I joined Spark for, is my one true Goal.
I will take steps today, to eat less, and exercise more, until that happens. YOU ARE an inspiration!

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EMMACORY 5/4/2013 12:23AM

    Very inspiring! Thanks for sharing... emoticon

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SPWITHSPIRIT 5/3/2013 11:13AM

    I loved this blog, and I loved your progressive descriptions. I began running when I was 50 also, and that year ran my first race of any kind (5miles), then ran my first half the next year. I've run 4 halfs to date, and hope to run another half this september.
Good running to you!!!!

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    Congratulations!!!! I loved this blog!! Such a great job :) I am so happy for you emoticon

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MERRYMERRY6 5/2/2013 3:50PM

    Great accomplishment! emoticon

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    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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THEMRSH 5/2/2013 1:37PM

  emoticon Lori!!! emoticon emoticon Loved reading this blog and had a huge smile on my face for you the entire time!!!

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MANILUS 5/2/2013 1:05PM

    Wow, great job! Good luck on the next!!!

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    Way to go!

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AGINNETT 5/2/2013 9:03AM

    I really loved this story! I'm almost 40 and have always wanted to run a half marathon. I feel inspired by your example.

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FITMOMINNJ 5/2/2013 7:15AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KLMEIRING 5/2/2013 4:43AM

    Wow! I am so impressed! emoticon

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LUCYLU22 5/1/2013 4:41PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon on your accomplishment!!! Fabulous job, and I LOVE your "new" mantra!!!

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NANA2TWINS 5/1/2013 9:46AM

Congratulations on accomplishing your first half marathon. Great blog too!!!

Comment edited on: 5/1/2013 9:47:19 AM

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SP_COACH_NANCY 5/1/2013 8:38AM

  WOO HOOOOOOO Lori!!! What a way to start my day! I am sooo happy and proud of you!!!! You have just accomplished what less than 1/10th of 1% of the world's population will ever accomplish--WELCOME TO THE CLUB!!!


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CAROLCRC 5/1/2013 8:02AM

    Bravo! I also did my first half at age 50... it is certainly an empowering feeling, isn't it!

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BOILHAM 4/30/2013 6:58PM

    What a wonderful first half marathon blog! You did it (you meanie) and beat your daughter's time, too. Congratulations!!!

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JAYMELYNN5 4/30/2013 4:49PM

    emoticon Very awesome!!! one day I'd like to do this as well, your are very inspiring!! emoticon

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CHOCOHOLIC2276 4/30/2013 3:37PM

    emoticon emoticon

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FLEURGARDEN 4/30/2013 1:59PM

    Woo Hoo! Way to go, Lori! emoticon

I think it's awesome that you beat your daughter's time. What a great way to put that whipper-snapper in her place. LOL.

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BIGPAWSUP 4/30/2013 12:42PM

    That is so awesome! I love your descriptions! How fabulous!

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BUTTERFLY-1976 4/30/2013 11:07AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SIMONEKP 4/30/2013 10:43AM


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LESLIELENORE 4/30/2013 10:15AM

    Awesome time! You did great. Thanks for the race report.

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CHEMCHIC2006 4/30/2013 8:54AM

    Congrats!! I remember my first half.. what an exhilerating experience crossing the finish line! Good luck training for your next one!

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FITFOODIE806 4/30/2013 7:35AM

    Congrats! What a great blog. I live reading race reports and feeling the joy. Glad you had such a good experience!

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WORTHEYMOM 4/30/2013 6:23AM

    emoticon emoticon

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PMRUNNER 4/30/2013 4:50AM

    Awesome! Way to go on the race ans a fun report.

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DALID414 4/29/2013 9:55PM

    You are SO inspiring!

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TEALHAWK 4/29/2013 9:33PM

  Super and high fives to you

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SANDLADY48 4/29/2013 9:25PM

    Awesome! And it's kind of like chilebirth. You quickly forget the pain and want to repeat the experience.

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HAYBURNER1969 4/29/2013 9:24PM

    Way to go on your first half marathon! I can tell you have been bitten by the bug!

I was going to tell you to check out Runner's World "dress the runner" online tool, but it looks like it no longer exists. Too bad; that was very helpful when I was a newbie.

After some experience, you'll learn what you like best. As far as cold temps before a race go, there was the trash bag advice given by someone else. Another thing you can do, particularly before a large race, is buy some sweats at Goodwill and wear those. You can ditch them at the starting line and often they will have volunteers gathering them up to donate (back to) Goodwill.

I've done the trash bag thing too, but I don't cut holes for my arms. I keep them inside the bag and only my head sticks out!

It's not bad to be a little chilly at the start of a race because you know you will warm up. Even after all these years, I still have to remind myself of that because I hate to be cold! LOL

Congratulations again on your race and I wish you well in future events! Happy Trails to you!! :)

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SHANTODD420 4/29/2013 8:30PM

    Wahoo that is awesome way to go. Good luck with your next goal.

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  Way to go! I enjoyed reading this and hope to run my first half this year. I also am a new runner of 3.5 years and will be 50 this year. My birthday gift to myself is going to be a half! (Who woulda thunk it!)

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LCDM83 4/29/2013 8:07PM

    I LOVE your new mantra (have to love Bon Jovi) and the inspiration it gave you on the way. WTG beating DD- how fun (ha!) and keeping ahead of the pacer! Sounds like a great race!!!!

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KKAZEBEER 4/29/2013 7:19PM

    Excellent job! As a somewhat seasoned marathoner I love hearing stories and continue to be inspired by the experiences such as yours. Living in Florida, I am used to running in the heat, however I have found that some races are much colder at the start line... I ran a race this past winter that started in 30 degree weather. All the women were huddled together in the ladies restroom trying to keep warm up until 5 minutes before the gun went off! LOL- I was not the only one who was underdressed. I highly recommend arm warmers! As you warm up during your race you can push them down or even take them off and simply tie them around your race belt. Another great tool is trash bags. Just make a hole at the top for your head and a hole on each side for your arms... voila Plastic Poncho! You can rip it off at any point and dump it. Hope you find these tips helpful. Please let me know if there is anything I can help you with!
I am always so excited about new marathoners! Maybe because I love the sport so much... or maybe because I love the running community... Running makes me happy and I feel like if everyone felt as good as I do when I run the world would be a better place!
Run Run Run!!!

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PIXIEMOM13 4/29/2013 7:15PM

    Shoot, your time is better than my best 1/2 marathon time!! (Which also happened to be my first)... 2:48:35 (The only other one I did was a 3:07 something... and a 3:02 in training)

Awesome job!

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WONDERWOMAN 4/29/2013 7:14PM

    How VERY, VERY impressive!

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