I DID IT! I'm so proud of myself! I actually made it through a training plan and participated in my first half-marathon. I think it was normal for me to be nervous last week (or so I hear), but now that I'm sitting here blogging about it, all I feel is pride!
Here's me! Bright and early (about 6:30am), about to head out the door to meet my friends. When I got outside, one thing threw me back a bit: fog. We had the most uncanny fog this morning. Luckily, but about 8:30 or so it burned off. It made for a chilly morning, though! When I got to my friend's house at about ten after 7, we started walking the 8ish blocks to the race start. It was about 45 degrees outside at this point and I was only wearing a light sweater over my race shirt and my shorts: BRRRR!! I tell you what! It was so cold I couldn't feel my hands!
We did take some photos before the race, but they are on someone else's camera. Hopefully I can add them later! The race started out still around 48 degrees and still pretty foggy. The second song I heard floating through my earbuds made me smile from ear to ear: "Ice Ice Baby". It was one of the songs Missy chose for my playlist, so it made me start out on the right foot (pun intended!). I was moving along at a pretty good clip and was feeling really good. Before I knew it, there was that lovely mile sign: 1 mile completed. I kissed my fingers, slapped the top of the sign, gave thanks to God, and sprinted ahead. Phew! It felt so good every time I came to a mile sign! Right around mile 2 I was reminded of Christina ("Hit me w/your best shot" came on!). Thanks Sunny G! You were with me the whole time and you didn't even know it! And soon after, "I Like It" came on, and there was Mary trottin' along beside me (bet you didn't know that, did ya? do you feel sore? lol...teasin!)!
Right after the 3 mile mark, I saw a sign in the distance. "Go Wizards Go!". Once again, I was smilin' all over! It was one of my teacher friends from school (our mascot at the school I teach at is the Wizards.) She was ringing a bell and cheering me on. I high-fived her with all I had and sprinted forth again. As I was slappin' her hand, she said, "You are killin' it! Way ahead of where you you thought you would be! Go girl go!". How exciting!
Soon I was approaching the 4 mile mark (once again, I kissed my fingers for luck, slapped that mile marker signed, and gave thanks to the one who gives me strength!) and thought it a good time to get some water and take a short walk break. I grabbed the water, sipped for about 15-20 seconds, then took off again. I was feeling great and didn't want to break my stride.
Miles 4, 5, and 6 were all on the Poudre trail. It follows the Poudre River in Fort Collins, CO and is pretty shady for the most part. I kept pushing on ahead and picked up my speed as much as possible. Around 4 1/2 miles my friend's family were by the side of the trail cheering me on. Sometimes that's all you need to keep going! I took a walk break at the 6 mile marker for another sip of water, then at 7 miles I fueled up with some Gu Gummies. YUM! :) I was "joined" by Blaize ("Push It"), Olivia ("Stronger"), and Karen ("Unwritten") during this part of the race. Thanks gals!
Just after mile 8 I took another 30 second walk break for some more water and some more GU Gummies. Just past this point, there was my hubby! Woo hoo! He made it! He had stayed up until 3am completing my race playlist, so I'm SO THANKFUL he pulled himself out of bed to come see me there! About a half mile later, there was my friend's family again, cheering me on. :)
(that's me, deviating from the course to give my hubby a kiss!)
Mile 9 gave me a severe sideache that lasted for about a mile, but I completely forgot about it at mile 10. My teacher friend had gone to the mile sign earlier in the race and attached a sign to it that said, "Windsor teachers are amazing! Run Anne Run! Run Jen Run! Way to go!" Even cooler was that there were two people running right next to me that got a kick out of the sign too. I work with the best people ever! Just a half-mile or so later, there she was AGAIN with her sign, cheering me on. Really, best people EVER! Once again, she said, "You're CRUSHING it! WOW! Keep running!" I'm so thankful for all the wonderful people in my life!
(yup, if you can't tell, I'm pretty tired here!)
Mile 11 approached soon. This was on a road that was slightly rolling hills. I did the most walking in this part, even though in the whole race I probably only walked a total of a 1/2 mile. Somewhere between mile 11 and 12, there was Mana right there with me as "Enth END" played through my headphones. Just what I need at this point!
And so, I'm running, running running, and feeling pretty darn tired at this point, but do I give up?? NO I DON'T!! I keep going. The last time I did 12 and 13 miles, I hit a wall at 10 miles and thought that I was going to "die" (okay, that's a bit dramatic) for the last 2-3 miles. This time, though, I kept running. I walked up a few very short hills, but all in all, I kept freaking going. I am most proud that the last full mile (from 12-13.1), I ran without stopping.
The finish line soon approached, and with it, my time: two hours and 22 minutes! SWEET! I kicked my goal time (two hours 40 minutes) in the @arse! :) And wouldn't you know, there were my hubby, my friend's family, my in-laws, my sister and brother in-law and nephew, all right there waiting for me. Truly, let me say it again: I have the best support system ever! And I have to say that if it weren't for the grace of God, I would have never been able to make it through something like this. For this reason, I gave thanks to the maker each and every time I made it to a mile sign. Maybe this will sound silly, but after each time I did it, it was like He was right there with me, almost racing beside me, because I got this jolt of speed for the next quarter mile or so. God is GREAT!
So, here I am, writing up a race report. I'm sore (yes, it's true), but I've taken my ice bath so hopefully the soreness won't last long. I'm pretty sure I won't be wearing heels to work this week! BUMMER!
Yes, I think a thumbs up is well deserved!