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All's well that ends well

Sunday, September 15, 2013

That's great news considering the "start" of today!

Today was the day of my first half marathon in over a year! My training had been going great up until about a couple of weeks ago when I kind of slacked off (being at home just does that to me, gotta find a way to fight that in the future). My last long training run was 12 miles and I had only run twice this past week (5k & 10k), but I wasn't going to let that stop me.

Last night I made sure my running outfit was laundered and ready to go, and had an alarm programmed so that I could wake up at 3:30 (three hours before the start of the race) so I could eat something. I don't like to run with anything fresh in my stomach, but I knew my performance would be affected if I ran without eating anything. The second alarm was set for 5:30.

First alarm goes off...Great! i go to the kitchen fix my little "power snack" drink some water, brush my teeth again & go back to bed. ...where's that second alarm? I feel like I should be awake right now, but I don't want to disturb my sleep by getting up earlier than I should, just to check the time & find I still have 30 minutes to sleep, so I just lay in the bed...still no alarm. Hmm... a few minutes later I go to the bathroom (and check the time). It is 6:23!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! The race starts in 7 minutes an it's a 35 minute drive to get there, that is if they haven't shut down the streets to make way for the runners. *Face Palm* What happened here?!?!

After going through 5 stages of grief in about 5 minutes I pull myself together and realize, It's a half AND a full marathon! If I leave nowI'll still have time to complete it before the course is shut down! Luckily all I have to do is put on my outfit, pack a quick post-race bag (greek yogurt, banana, powerade, water), & get out the door. It's 6:30 am on a Sunday morning so traffic conditions are, well...what traffic? I make it there and am heeded to go slowly by one of the policeman race marshalls, but still allowed to go through (THANK YOU JESUS!) AND there's still parking close by (THANK YOU JESUS AGAIN). I run to the start line and ask permission to start, Permission granted! YESSS!

So I start the race about 10 minutes into the 5k race, which started 30 minutes after the half and full marathons. I pass up the 5k turnaround point & the marshall is like "You're gonna keep going?" I reply "Yep, I'm doin the half, just a lotta late!" I'm all alone on the road except for a few race marshalls along the way to notify motorists to be cautious and mindful of the runners. Around mile 3, I see what appears to be the first place half marathoner on his return trip, 10 miles down for him, 10 miles to go for me! I continue to encounter runners on their return to the finish line, but around mile 5 I begin to catch up with the back of the pack (WooHoo!!). I ended up finishing just minutes before the first full marathoner crossed the finish line, lol. Even though my "gun time" was nearly 3 hours (2:54:xx) and I couldn't register my chip time, I'm glad that I was able to complete the race and earn my bling!

Great learning experience, hopefully I'll be better prepared to wake up for my next half about a month from now!
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