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Fontana Days Half Marathon

Sunday, June 02, 2013

I was sitting here thinking about what to write and suddenly my legs started cramping up. What better to write about than the exciting weekend that I have had?! About 6 months ago I registered for a half marathon; not any old marathon, but my FIRST local marathon. This was my third half marathon to date. I made plans to meet up with friends at 4:15am. I thought I had all my bases covered when I decided to set 3 alarms the night before; one for 3am, one for 3:15am and one for 3:30am. To my surprise, my dogs woke me up at 4:39am Saturday morning. It wasn't until mile 5 of the half marathon that I realized what had happened; my alarms were all set for Monday through Friday. Sigh. I somehow managed to get ready in time and conned my mom into driving me 45 minutes to the finish line at 5:15am. We were bused from the City Hall up into the woods! That's right, the start line was at a campground which was very exciting. Unfortunately, this race didn't start until 7:30am and it was slated to be 104 degrees. By the time I got up to the campground at 6:15am it was already 88 degrees. I found my group though! We were all dressed up like a Pit Crew for Nascar and the other local team was dressed up like Super Women. We are called the Moms Run This Town team and we have local branches throughout the country. We took pictures and stood in line by the lovely portable potties for over 40 minutes. The first 8 miles were down a steep mountain on a windy the sun! It was so incredibly hot. The sun was beating down on us. I think I wanted to quit by mile 4. By mile 5 I felt that vomiting was eminent. My hands and feet started swelling up around mile 5 also. Oh it was good times. For some reason, they only had four water stations throughout the 13.1 mile course. I'm not really sure why they started the darn thing so late or why they only had 4 water stations, but I am not a big fan. I have to say, by the time I hit my 6 I was having serious thoughts of quitting. People were stopping and sitting on the side of the road and we all were soaked in sweat.....drenched! I decided to keep pushing. I cannot express the pain that I felt in my feet and I had to run with my hands above my head quite a bit to try to reduce the swelling. I felt like an over-stuffed sausage. There were very few supports from the start line through mile 12. There were however, lots and lots of cops. THey looked about as amused as us runners looked. We were all suffering in the sweltering heat on the asphalt together with no end in sight. This race was a "must run" course or get disqualified. Ironically, I saw more walkers during this race than I have ever seen in another race. Not one official pulled a runner off for walking. I think that the heat made everyone feel sympathetic towards one another. By the time I hit mile 10 I kept thinking "all that is left is a 5k...I can totally do a 5k". By this point I had grabbed a water bottle from the third water station because I thought I would die if I didn't run with some water. From the start to mile 8 I only had two Dixie cups full of water. I felt like spongebob when he goes to visit his friend sandy the squirrel. It was awful! There were also NO fuel stations and the one promised Gatorade station was not manned enough to hand out the cups to the runners as we went by. Good times. The only thing that kept me going after mile 11 was knowing that my daughter was going to be somewhere between there and the finish line and I absolutely could NOT let her see me walking. She ended up being at mile 12.4. I was soooo excited to see her! I stopped really quick, all teary eyed and emotional to give her a kiss. Then I was off again. By that point all I could think was, the faster I ran, the sooner I would be done. My friend had finished about 40 minutes before me but stuck around and ran the to the finish line with me. I was SO exhausted. So hot. Unfortunately, my plan to stop and stretch while I drank water didn't go as planned. Immediately I had a rush of pit crew mommas and super women descend upon me for pictures, high fives and hugs. I have to admit, that was my favorite part. We all talked about our times (I PRed, beating my past marathon times by over 8 minutes). My beautiful daughter brought me roses!!!! I have to say, this was my LEAST favorite race of all time. I will not do it again next year. I am in more pain today than I have ever been after any workout or race. But, I finished. Talk about a huge accomplishment!

Noteworthy things:
1) Downhill running sucks
2) I had a PR at 2:52
3) Running in 100 degree weather is beyond ridiculous
4) Swelling up like the Pillsbury dough boy is not fun, nor cute
5) Nothing tastes as good as that first meal after a half marathon...thank you beans and rice
6) Picturing the finish always gets me emotional around mile 9...and continues to hit me with each mile
7) Seeing my daughters face is always my favorite part of every race
8) The Running Community is amazing
9) I'm a rockstar
10) I love my body
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