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My first half marathon. I did it!

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

So on April 6, 2014 - I ran my very first half marathon. I DID IT! So here's the good, the bad, and the ugly (also known as me being petty, I had one of those moments during the race).

So the day of my half marathon, I had a really bad case of nerves. REALLY BAD. I can't recall the last time I was that nervous and emotionally distraught about ANYTHING. I've even been on job interviews in the last month, and I was nowhere near as nervous as I was when I got ready to run this half marathon.

So I pull up in the parking lot of the fairgrounds (where the start line is) and it is pouring down rain. I'm talking about an amazon forest type rainstorm, complete with heavy rain, thunder, lightning, wind, and the temp was approximately 49 degrees. So I'm sitting in the car, with the devil and the angel having a battle in my head.

Devil: "Wait, Lexie, we can drive home right now and you'll be back in your warm comfy bed in about 30 minutes. Screw the hundred bucks you paid for this race! You've wasted more money than that in your lifetime!"
Angel: "Lexie, you've worked really hard since December to train for this race. Why throw it all away now because of a little rain? You've run in subfreezing temps - what's a little rain?"
Devil: "But you spent $150 bucks on your nice lovely running shoes! You're only going to RUIN them in this rain!"
Angel: "Tsk tsk. What a shame it would be if you didn't get to christen those shoes with the purpose they were intended - running your first half marathon."

So I am sitting in my car - fuming - 300 degrees hot, angry about SOMETHING I COULD NOT CONTROL (the weather). So eventually the angel in my head wins (why are you mad about something you can't control?!), but I storm to the meeting area, still mad. As I'm walking to the meeting area, I'm hearing a few comments about the weather, but no one seems to be as royally pissed off as I am.

Angel: "See, Lexie, no one is really mad about the weather. No one is taking it personally like you. Do you really think God intended to only piss YOU off with the rain? How self centered is that? Get over yourself."

So I continue my stroll (or should I say angry march)...and encounter two people who are leaving. Someone asks them if the race has been cancelled. They state that it hasn't, but they've decided they're not running in these conditions.

Devil: "Follow them. They have the right idea. Go home Lexie. GO HOME."
Angel: "All that training out the window. All those days you wanted to sit at home on the sofa but you got your ass up and ran anyway. All of that for NOTHING."

Angel = +2. Devil = 0. I continue my march on up to the bag check area.

So I check my bag and try and mentally psyche myself up for this endeavor, despite the rain, cold, lightning, thunder, and wind.

Gun goes off...and we're off. Not very many people out since Dallas currently resembles an Amazon rain forest. Not exactly the kind of start line fan fare I was hoping for.

After I start running, I start crying. YES, CRYING. I figure no one can see me cry anyway because it's raining SO.DAYUM.HARD.

Before I started the race, I also set the goal that I wanted to finish around three hours (no more than three hours and ten minutes). I've been averaging 13 - 13.5 minute miles so I figured it was a reasonable expectation.

So after my first mile (around the 11:20 mark) I stop crying and get into my "zone". Super thrilled because I'm way under that 13 minute mark. I also stay with the 3:00 pacer and I tell myself to NEVER LET HER LEAVE MY SIGHT.

I really don't remember miles 2 - 10, but there were a few notable things I did remember:
1 - I had to use the portapotty around mile 4. Thank God for toilet paper. It's the little things in life.
2 - Around mile 6, we arrived at the area I did a lot my training at. It made me extra happy and seemed to give me an extra burst of energy
3 - Around mile 8, I encountered a little skinny chick (no offense to the horizontally acute, maybe one day I'll be one of you) who seemed to be using me as her pacer, because every time I passed her she'd speed up just enough to pass me and start back walking. Well, she finally gave up and "let me leave her in the dust". Nyah nyah nyah boo boo the fat girl beat you (the devil sings in my head).

Mile 10.5. UGH. So my left ankle and my right hamstring start talking to me. "Ummmm, Lexie, are we done? No...we only have 3 miles to go. You can handle 3 miles. That's nothing but a 5k and you've run plenty of those." So I'd rest and walk a bit, try and start running again, and left ankie and right hammy want to keep crying and whispering to me. "Lexie, let's stop. Pleeeeaseeee."

MILE 12.5. ARE WE THERE YET? It feels so close, yet so far away. I'm back on the fairgrounds and I know this S*** is almost over. I am getting VERY ANGRY AT THIS POINT. WHERE THE EFF IS THE FINISH LINE?

Mile 12.93 - I'm running next to this girl who also seems a little distraught and pissed off. *Reminder, it has rained the ENTIRE race. And the rain is just adding to my anger. I ask her - "Where is the finish line?" Her reply - "I don't know but I wish it would show the **** up!!!"

(Deep down I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who's distraught at this point).

Well I can tell that we're finally at the finish line because the 10 idiots who had nothing else to do but cheer at a half marathon in rainy, windy, 49 degree weather are standing around cheering, and I see something that looks like finish line arches. Considering the fact that I paid for all my pictures I figured I should try and have at least one cute picture (because I'm sure the rest of them look like s**t), so I try and smile, and run across the finish line in a blaze of glory.

Yes, I did it. I ran 13.1 miles. And yes, I was afraid. AND I GOT MY 13.1 for MY CAR!

Here's a few pics. The short lady in my pic is the 3:00 pacer. I thanked her immensely after the race, because she helped me with my goal.

I'll post one or two more after I get the official race pics.

Completed in 3:02
Avg pace - 13:54
Fastest pace - 10:00 (yaaaaay!)

This isn't going to be my last half. I'd like to do one next time with more fanfare. So lemme explain...

Since I've been racing, one of the things I've realized that usually, the "nicer" races cost more. The entry fee for this race was only $60 (plus pictures it was $97). To be honest, the medal is nice, but the finisher's shirt SUCKS. TERRIBLE. Also, the expo wasn't that great. And I'm going to attribute this to the weather, but there wasn't much "fanfare". Those signs and people encouraging you along the way REALLY DO HELP.

My next half will either be the Rock & Roll or the Nike Women's (which I tried to get into this year but I didn't get picked in the lottery).

And I REALLY REALLY HOPE next year it's not a monsoon outside.

P.S. My shoes are dry! They don't stink! Just remove the insole, stuff em with newsprint, and let them sit for a day.

So I'm resting for a few days, then it's back to running. Next year - time to beat - 2:30! Let's hope I drop a few more pounds in the process. :)
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