It's funny because it was really no big deal. It was thrown in there on Saturday. I actually signed up for it months ago, but planned to skip it. I didn't even buy new shoes after running them through the mud/water a week ago. My shoes are old too. Over a year at least...I've now run three half marathons in them. I also didn't eat carbs the night before (to give me more energy), I didn't go to bed before 2am and I drank way too much coffee before the run (plus I ate nothing besides a yogurt before running 13.1 miles in 85-88 degree heat at 4pm). Basically I was ill prepared. BUT, the cheapo in me could not justify skipping a race that I was able to run just because I didn't feel like it. I had spent $65. I was going to run it.
I drove down to Olympia, pulled into the starting location and realized that I had forgotten my energy GU gels, my watch and water. I also had a huge coffee stain on my shirt. Awesome. I watched people jog by in all their cool gear, thinking to myself "I should buy some gear now that I'm actually a runner". Then I shoved my ipod and car key down the center of my sports bra (boobs to the rescue!) and got out of my car. I went to stand in line for my bib number and overheard the girl in front of me ask if she could switch her registration from the half to the 4K. The lady said no problem and gave her the 4K bib. Easy as that. I was SO tempted to do the same. Shoot 4K was fun, I could run that in 20ish minutes, get back in the car and go home. But, I was already there and I was committed. So I sucked it up and took the half marathon bib. I mentally told myself that it was okay to walk, it was okay to stop, it was okay to turn around after a few miles and go back to my car. Seriously I gave myself no goals that day. It was nice.
The race started as I was getting out of the porta potty. Turns out all that coffee made me nearly pee my pants. And the yogurt wasn't great for my running either, I seriously thought I was going to crap on myself like this guy, but the feeling passed after a few miles and then it never came back (Gross fact: Uta Pippig, a famous female runner, got her period while running the Boston Marathon. She also starting pooping herself...AND SHE WON! Yes, she won the Boston Marathon with period and poo running down her leg. Holy crap that is determination! Apparently weird stuff happens like that all the time with marathoners.).
Besides the whole stomach churning thing, I actually felt great all the way up to the halfway point. Seven miles seems to be a nice good run for me, then I start to get bored and I hit my wall. If there weren't people running with me I would have just stopped. And I did. I walked with every water break. I think there were 4. I also walked up one hill on the way back. It was a rolling hill course, constant hills in open sun, it was a really really hot race (I know, I know! I'm a wuss now that I'm used to running in 50-60 degree weather everyday!)
I finished with a terrible time of 2:26. I was pretty bummed about that 20 minute gain, but then again I was proud that I finished and happy that I am actually able to run. I thought about that a lot during this race, how grateful I am to have the ability to do this. How proud I am of my flabby child-bearing body; my knees and my legs. It's sad to think that when I was in high school with a perfect body, I nitpicked every little thing and I hated my body. Now that I'm older, flabbier, heavier, have stretchmarks, love handles and cellulite everywhere, I love my body. Don't get me wrong, I know it's not the prettiest thing, but damn it has been good to me and I used to treat it like crap. Now I appreciate it. I respect it. I want to take care of it. K, now this is getting a little weird. Back to the run. :P
I got a horrible side stitch at about mile 9 (keep in mind I had no watch and the course didn't have mile markers, so I really had no clue what mile I was on). The side stitch stuck around all the way till the end, in fact I still have pain on my right side two days later. I probably pushed it too far. (I read up on how to avoid them and thought this article was interesting for those that want to prevent them.)
The only reason I pushed through at the end was because there was this one chick that I had been trailing far behind for the majority of the race. I had given up on trying to beat my own previous times, but the competitive side of me wanted to at least "beat" this one chick that seriously looked like the perfect runner; thin long legs, cute outfit, long braided hair, barely a drop of sweat on her. She looked like she could win the race, so me passing her was a huge mental accomplishment for me (it sounds petty now, but you gotta do what you gotta do to push through at the end!). I summoned up enough strength to sprint by her right before we hit the finish line. Looking at the results I am shocked to see that I came in 37th out of 130 people (really small race). The girl that won had a relatively "slow" time for a winner (1:44). Usually the winner of half marathons is in the 1:15 range. Seeing that I had actually done pretty decent for this course made me feel better about my slow time.
I called Mike on my way home to tell him about the race, but all he said was "baby crying, cant talk, grab some detergent on your way home". It was a totally different experience from my last half, but I kinda liked that we didn't make a big deal out of it. I got home and took over parenting duties ASAP. I didn't even take a shower till about 6 hours later (I know I'm gross). I felt accomplished, but I didn't feel like I needed to shout it from the rooftops or anything (nevermind, I just did with this post, huh? lol).
Anyway, I want to run another one soon, I am sorta addicted to the feeling when you finish. But, realistically I need to aim for one every 2/3 months. They are expensive and time consuming... plus Mike wasn't thrilled with sitting at home for 5 hours with the girls while I drove to the race, ran and then drove home. Not because he's an a-hole, but because he was with them for hours Friday, Saturday and Sunday (and does that most weekends).
His 30th birthday is on Wednesday, I better do something amazing for him. :D
PS: I put a link up on top ot my Daily Workout Log. I thought it would keep me accountable, plus let people see how I train (I follow Hal Higdon's novice plan).