Yesterday, I ran my first half-marathon. Today I feel like I have been hit by a truck, not a little one but an eighteen wheeler.
Through the weeks of training prior to the half, I had run almost daily, dealt with minimal pains the worst being a swollen foot but all in all nothing too bad. Of course nothing bad enough to want to make me not pursue my goal and truthfully I am unsure what those conditions would be.
Following is a play by play of the events that began yesterday morning, one of my proudest moments, the day that I do not think I'd trade for the world and the icing on the cake, my children were there.
I had set the alarm for five a.m. We had to leave by 6:45 so had all my rituals to do before we left. They include an Epsom salt bath, coffee, drinking a lot of water, eating rice and two protein bars and just getting my body moving. I made one error that morning I forgot to eat the second protein bar, a 300 calorie deficit was against me already and would reflect in miles six and the rest of the race. I remembered after the race what I had forgotten.
Lori met us at the house at 6:30ish so that we could leave, I was really surprised that my children were in tow.
The temperature was about 35 but there was frost in some areas. It was cold but once the race begins, the body warms up drastically and even in that cold temperature, sweating begins. I was dressed in shorts and a short sleeve shirt with just a thin zippered jacket on, which came off after mile one.
First off let me clarify that mile markers make me crazy. I like the timers that register what the pace was thus far but the mile markers. (Make a growly face because that is what I was doing at them.) Don't get me wrong I enjoy knowing how much longer I have as far as distance but when I thought I was going to just sit down and wait on someone, anyone to come and get me at around mile seven I was hating those things. My perspective of mile markers changed though once I saw the 10th one. However when the motivational people who were all perky at mile 6.5 or so kept saying that the race was half done, I wanted to take them out.
Lori is the best running partner I could ask for. She tried her best to distract me throughout the whole race. We had done really well at mile 1 we were at a flat nine minute pace which we maintained for the first seven miles believe it or not, then I had to pee. Believe you me I though seriously about peeing in my shorts just because it was cold and I knew that my legs were going to hurt to start back running, they feel like lead and I started asking myself what the hell was I thinking. We started back though and let me just make a point known I hate Lake Cathryn. Lori tried to get me to look at all the pretty houses, but I was looking at the EMS motorcycle passing by to see if I could fit on the back which was a big old negative. We kept running around Lake Cathryn and now I am in search of a shrub, I needed to puke, I was green Lori said. Once we entered Five Points down the hill by Bank of America we met up with another time register, we were 12 miles and 2 hours and 1 minute. Just then this old man who had to have been running since Jesus was a little boy passed us and kindly said we should enjoy this downhill because it is the last one. The last mile of the race is UPHILL back the Horseshoe at USC. It took me 12 minutes to get to the finish line. During those twelve minutes, Lori starts quoting Lance Armstrong's motivational sayings to me which now is comical but when I was trying to get up that damn hill. Had I seen Lance Armstrong I probably would have punched him in the face. She also kept telling me you can do anything for this last mile, she said she knew I could do it. Lori tried enticing me with bananas at the finish line, saying in five minutes we will be done and eating bananas, I just looked at her blankly. Then this was the kicker, she played on my pride which was all it took. She said that Nik and the children were at the Finish Line and she knew that I didn't want them to see me walking. That did it because after we topped the hill I spotted them, my family, yelling my name and cheering for me and something came from within and I finished in 2 hours and 13 minutes. Lori and I finished as they called our names when we were crossing the finish line she grabbed my hand. Then the race officials took our chips and replaced them with our medals for completing the half-marathon.
Writing this I am filled with pride and a huge sense of accomplishment as I am reliving every little thing that happened even the most horrible calf cramps I had on the way home which required a stop so I could stand up. Overall the pain was minimal, I expected much more but nothing that ibuprofen, rest (yes, I said it) and a massage will not help. I am also the proud recipient of two black toes nails.
And just in case you were wondering I will be doing it again next year, I have to beat my own time you know. My family is going to meet me at the last mile next year to get me up that blasted hill.
I remember distinctly smiling when I saw them on Saturday. I was happy that they were there to see me finish, I want them to know they can do whatever they want in life despite what they may have been told. It was worth it all of it.