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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

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