Thursday, April 19, 2012

my first half marathon {race recap}

I figure it's time for a race recap, I've had a few days to digest the event, stare at my hard earned medal and recover.  I really don't know where to start...but here's my attempt.

It's finally race day, it's my first half marathon and my alarm goes off around 5:30 am.  I wasn't too happy with the wake up call seeing how I slept horribly the night before.  Somehow we had booked the loudest hotel in Kansas City and we had the loudest 'neighbors'.  I heard every conversation in the hall and every door slam shut all night long.  I managed to sleep inbetween the noise, so I had that going for me.  I had a banana, granola bar, some Starbucks and water.  I was SO ready to get out there and to get this done.  I know if I start the race, I will finish it.  Even if I have to crawl across that finish line, I'm going to finish this race.

The weather gods were good to us, storms were forecasted for most of the morning, and although it was humid, there was a cool breeze and overcast skies.  When I finally got to my 'corral', I knew a potty break would be nice, but there were FAR more people than porta-potty's, so I started my race without a pre-race pee.  Really NOT a big deal, but I had hoped to get that done.

Mile 4 and I see a line for the 'restrooms', and I decide to stop.  I waited in line and then I enter the dirty stall, close the door behind me and stumble.  I have my phone in one hand and I'm keeping that from a fall into the pit of waste, but as I regain my steadiness, I find that I caught my balance by sliding my hand into a wet urinal.  Wait, a wet urinal coated with fresh....vomit.  YAY.  So, I sanitized my hand, stepped outside, found a puddle, washed in puddle, went back into the porta-potty, santized my hand again, stepped back outside to the puddle, lather, rinse, repeat.  It was so gross but more than was time consuming.  Very time consuming.  I'm trying to recall if I thought any of this was funny at the time, and I'm pretty sure I wasn't laughing.

Miles 5,6,7 were fine, nothing fast but still running.  Mile 8 I notice that my GPS is saying I'm longer into my run than I am. least a mile longer.  So, in my mind, I've just tacked a mile onto an already long run, I know this isn't what actually happened but it really got into my head.  I still don't understand why this happened, but it affected me a lot.  Now I see a Garmin in my future.

I started to slow down.  I began walking through some water stops, and then the sun came out which is beautiful but hot and more humid.  I never stopped, but I did slow down.  I know I walked mile 9, picked it back up here and there and ran mile 12 to finish.  When I saw the finish line I wasn't all re-energized or excited...I was like "FINALLY".  I was spent.  Drained.  I don't think I could have gone any longer.  I was done and no matter what my official finishing time is (3:10:00) - I AM A HALF MARATHONER.  

I hope I don't sound like 'Debbie Downer'.  I loved this race, I loved the weekend, I love having this huge achievement under my belt.  I love knowing I have a 12 mile race in about 40 days.  I love LOVE all of my support from SO MANY PEOPLE that took time to send me messages and emails, tweets and facebook posts.  There were all beyond awesome and I truly wish I could thank you and tell you all personally what that meant to me.

My goal this race, my first half marathon, was to finish.  I finished, I learned and I will use what I've learned to teach me to be a better and stronger runner.   I know using what I've learned for my next race will be invaluable.  I won't become much faster in just a month, but I can get stronger.  I'll work more on my stride, my pacing, focus more on actually running than the music or podcast during my run.  I've realized that I need to 'get to know' my run, we need to meet, we need to know what to expect from each other....I've realized that I need to learn to respect my run.  I work too hard not to.


  1. Ah yes, I felt the same way at the finish of my first half - there was no "wahoo" just a "finally!" You've done so well and this is a step (a big step) towards so much more. Can't wait to see what's next! Congrats half-marathoner!!

  2. Like Barb said, I felt the same way. I was really kind of let down at the fact that everyone tweeting and texting felt far more elated than I did. It took awhile before I finally started to feel that elation. In a way, it's kind of like Christmas morning. You work up to it, you tear open the presents and then you're like, It's over? Now what?
    Not to mention how mentally and physically taxing a 13.1 mile run is!

  3. Sooooooooo very proud of you :)

    - your husband

  4. Well I can't even begin to put into words how proud and amazed I am ! I still cannot even fathom running that far. I'm sure anyones first half marathon is so much of a learning experience, it'only going to make you next one that much better!