So, for the past few months, you’ve heard me talk about training for my first half marathon. I’m pretty happy that the training is officially done. 🙂 Note to anyone wanting to run a half….don’t train for one in the dead of summer! Running 10 miles in 95 degrees is a little brutal. Overall, except for a few rough runs, the training went really well and I felt prepared for Sunday. I was still a little nervous because I wanted to run the entire time and I’ve been having tummy issues (I have Crohn’s and it’s been acting up this past month). Thankfully, I didn’t have to run for the bathroom during the race…or the woods. 🙂
My Mama came to DC on Thursday night…she’s always been my biggest cheerleader and I was so happy she came to see the race! We spent Friday sightseeing in DC, but I’ll tell you about that later. Important things first, right? 🙂 We got up very early on Saturday to drive to Virginia Beach. I swear when I signed up for the race, MapQuest told me that the drive would take 2 hours. Nope, it’s 4. We were lucky and didn’t have any traffic and made it to the race expo around noon. I got my race bib, t-shirt a few free goodies and then we headed over to the hotel. Mom and Nick made fun of me, but I got everything ready for the race before I would go to the beach. I wanted to make sure I didn’t forget anything! Type A right here folks.
This is the first time we have been to Virginia Beach and let’s just say we weren’t very impressed. I think we are a little spoiled from going to Hilton Head and Destin and VA Beach just looks old and isn’t very pretty. But hey, I’ll still park my butt on the beach and relax!
We had to get up eeeeaaaarrrlllyyyy for the race around 5:15. I actually got right out of bed and was ready to go, which NEVER happens during the week. Must have been adrenaline kicking in early! Mom and Nick dropped me off at the start line. I watched the “real” runners take off and the wheelchair racers, which was awesome. I was in Corral 13 and we started around 7:15. Nick and Dad were getting text updates throughout the race of my pace and what mile I was on.
I felt great starting out. They have bands every mile and there are people everywhere cheering as you go by. I actually saw Mom and Nick around mile 3!
The entire course, except for the last mile, goes through the tourist part of VA Beach, neighborhoods and a military base. It was a little overcast and the sun didn’t came out until I was almost done…YAY! When I was heading into mile 4 or 5, the elite runners were passing on the other side heading into mile 11. I only started 17 minutes behind them! The winner crossed the finish line in 1:02:22–13 seconds…that’s my pace for a 10k! Oh, to be Kenyan.
I felt great and my only complaint was trying to get water to throw on my face. Dear runners, do not stop and walk right in front of someone when you want water. Move out of the way! End rant.
I felt great until about mile 9 and my knees starting hurting really bad. I haven’t had any problems during training, except if I missed a short run during the week, then my knees would hurt a bit during my long run. I think they started hurting because I’ve been doing shorter runs the past few weeks. Next half, I will not taper my runs down so much before the race. I was determined not to walk, but it was really rough those last few miles. All I wanted was to stretch and ice my knees! Thankfully, I’m stubborn, but unfortunately my Garmin was a little off, so I had farther to go at the end then I thought. I swear, I never thought I would make it the last half mile to the finish line because I was practically hobbling along at this point! I saw a few people quit when they were about .25 from the finish, but I kept thinking, “I made it through the last 3 miles,no freaking way am I walking now!” It really helped when I spotted Mom and Nick at the end and I finally finished in 2:18:08.
They were handing out ice cold rags as soon as you finished and it was a small piece of heaven!! So was getting that medal around my neck. 🙂 I had to walk on the beach to meet Nick and Mom…have you ever tried to walk in sand after running 13.1 miles? It’s rough!
I got some ice on my knees from the medical tent and it was amazing!! They have been pretty stiff the past few days, but I’ve stretching and icing and they are feeling much better.
I’m so glad that I was able to train and run the entire 13.1 miles. I’m not naturally a runner and I really had to work at it and build up my endurance, but somewhere along the way, I’ve fallen in love with running! It may suck sometimes while I’m doing it, but I love the feeling of accomplishment when I’m done. It’s also great to get outside and work out after being in an office all day…running is definitely a stress reliever.
Thanks to my fantastic husband for getting up early every Saturday with me so I didn’t have to do the long runs alone…even though you were riding a bike and not running, it was still a huge support! Thanks to all my friends and family for so many words of encouragement while I did this…you guys made me feel like I could really do this!! And Jenn, thanks for all of the running advice!!
I can’t wait for the next one. I’m off to stare at my medal. 🙂