Well I know it's been awhile since I have blogged, but I finally completed my first 1/2 marathon yippee!!!. My time was slow due not putting in the time I wanted to for training due to my kids being sick. 3:02. It was the most exciting run I have ever done, but probably one of the toughest runs. It was worth every mile I ran it. I didn't realize how many folks wanted to do this race, only max of 4000 participants, registration closed a week early, I ended up getting two messages from folks who really wanted to run the course. I'm wondering if they were able to make it anyway.
First I have to say thank you again for everyone who had supported me, my coach, friends, family and blog buddies. Again, I struggle with training, my health and trying to find the time with due to my kids and myself being sick. If feels so great to be able to get over that hurdle.
Team In Training were wonderful, supportive and a great group. Unfortunately, my family wasn't able to bring the camera to take pictures, but I know TNT has some and they were their cheering me on to the finish line.
My coach picked me up roughly around 6:15 a.m. so we could get a decent parking spot. We arrived at the beach (where the race started) around 6:30 a.m. and starting seeing some participants with Team in Training. We worked our way to the tent, I was completely blown away when the participants started to show up. Total of 108 participants with Team in Training for the race between the 5K and the 1/2 Marathon. They took some pictures of us all together and than I picked up my number tag and chip. They had the coolest chips this year, electronic.. nothing to tie on your shoe. It's kind of nice when you don't have to bend down after 13 miles to take off a chip off your shoe.
Well as we all were waiting at the starting line up, temperature was a great 61 degrees (Yes 61.. and it's the end of June) we couldn't have asked for a nicer day. The excitement and folks saying they just wanted to finish there were of 3500 participants just for the 1/2 alone.
Running, the first few miles weren't so bad nice and flat no hills until we started to reach mile 3... uggg, there were hills (most of them up hill) until mile 11, finally not more hills after mile 11. I was hoping to use my gels at mile 3, 6, and 9, but it ended up being mile 4, 7, and 10. While I ran this race I kept on thinking of all the folks who were in my life that have suffered with blood cancers, this was only a few hours for me, but they battle for months and years for treatments.
My first mile I wanted to dedicate to a little girl, she didn't have cancer, but she was killed that week. Her name is Gabriella, she was a 3rd grade 8 year old little girl (who went to my kids school) who was so sweet and kind and was killed by her mother who than killed herself due to a murder suicide. A friend of mine informed me that the mother was her cousin... it devastated me because they had not clue to why she did this. I wanted to dedicate this first mile to the little 8 year old girl, although she didn't have cancer... she didn't have a chance to fight either. God Bless her heart and she will be in many hearts forever.
At around mile 6 I started to see folks running the opposite way, I said wait they're going the wrong way haa haa, but they were actually finishing. I started to cheer them on.. it was actually kind of fun knowing how fast they can finish.. it took me forever. I said at this point, wow I'm not even 1/2 done and they flying way to go!
Anyway, mile 7 I was my coach, Fred!!! I was so happy to see a familiar face on course, there was a pretty good hill coming up and wanted to know how I was making out. I actually didn't feel so bad, I was a bit tired, but I didn't feel to bad at that point. He told me he was going to try to wait for me right before the finish line, than I ran up this hill, ( I can't walk up hills, no matter how hard I try I just can't)
By Mile 9 I started to really feel it, my body started to cramp... uggg I've never had that before even when I did my 20K, my whole body every muscle, my back, my legs my arms.., so I pushed on to the water stop at mile 10 and walked a bit and had my final gel, boy I really needed that, my muscle eventually stopped cramping.
This course what may be very hilly, was beautiful. The homes and folks that came out to spray water on you or offer you water was great. The houses were really great to see, there were a lot of trees too, which made it nice.. kept the run a bit cooler.
Mile 11 came, I started getting excited, I said only 2 miles, I can do this. I thought about my kids and hubby waiting for me. (they decided to come later to wait for me) I wanted to cry. I worked so hard and fought(which caused some stress) to raise this $ for Team in Training and training and wanting to do this since last year. It was worth everything I did to get to this point.
My last mile came up and I started to see the finishers... they cheered us on saying to keep going your almost done. There were two other young ladies that we kind of all ran around the same pace. It was grueling, but I said nope I'm pushing through this last mile for everyone I'm running this race for, as slow paced as I was I wanted to run my last mile in strong.
I finally started to see the entrance to the finish line... I WAS SO EXCITED....I ran a bit faster, than I saw my mentor Jessica... she ran with me..(she has been so supportive) I ran faster and stronger if felt so good to be seeing that finish line and my mentor running with me, I had a huge smile on my face... than I saw my kids and hubby cheering me on at the end... it was so exciting.. than I finally crossed that finish line... it felt SO good. Two of the other girls that just finished the same time from TNT crossed that finish line and cried... it was the best feeling I ran over to them and give them a hug too, I told them they deserved this because the worked really hard to get to this point.
I was so excited and happy to finish. I'm definitely up for running another 1/2 hopefully soon, maybe September. They have a labor day the Stratton Faxon New Haven 20K, or I may do another 1/2 marathon in Norwalk, CT but I'm not to sure how organized the run is.
I'm feel pretty decent two days after my race, I'm actually ready to run a few miles or bike a few. Although my next race probably won't be with Team in Training, I can't wait for it to be here, so I can beat my PR of 3:02.
Oh by the way, I didn't have to use one porta potty once!! Yeah!!