Air Force Half Marathon 2014

Where to begin?  I guess I have been putting off writing this because I don't know where to begin.  So, I guess I will start by saying that this was my worst half marathon in terms of my time and feeling like death, and my best half marathon in terms of having fun. 

The night before I started getting ready, I was starting to have anxiety about it all but did my best to not flip out.  My anxiety about stuff like this usually manifests itself to obsessively packing and checking and re-checking my stuff 500 times.  This was no exception.

I took a bubble bath before bed, tried to relax, and I actually got a really good night's sleep.  This surprised me because last year I was so nervous the night before that I barely slept at all.  

The next morning I resisted the urge to hit snooze and was out the door by 4:20.

I picked up Dianna and Michelle and we were off.

My race day breakfast is always low-sugar Maple and Brown Sugar oatmeal and a banana.  I packed this to bring along and get water at a gas station to eat once we got to the base, but there were no gas stations open yet at the exit I stopped at, so we went through McDonald's.  I got a coffee and ended up just getting oatmeal there.  Not really that smart to try something new on race day, but it didn't seem to affect me.  

We arrived at the base with plenty of time, traffic can be a nightmare with this race, but last year we stumbled across the best way to get in, or so it seems, so that's what we stuck to, and sure enough, we were there and parked within 10 minutes of getting of the highway.  Hallelujah.  We sat in the car for awhile, eating our breakfast, etc, then made our way to the starting line area at about 6:45.  The marathon and 10k start at 7:30, the half doesn't start until 8:30, but we wanted to see the marathon start.

Finish line area

Have you ever seen so many bananas?

Dianna, Michelle, me

So, the race itself.  We were all pretty undertrained, honestly, so our game plan was to be walkers, run if we felt like it, with our goal being to finish the race.  We all stayed together for the first three quarters of the race, talked, laughed, had fun, and enjoyed ourselves.  We really just had a good time and it was fun to be together.  Around mile 6 it crossed my mind that if we were doing the 10k, this would be it, but I still felt pretty good.  

Between mile 6 and 7, I started losing steam and started having trouble keeping up with my friends.  I was working on a huge blister and as a result was starting to walk funny.  

At some point I just told them to go on ahead because trying to keep up was stressing me out.  My little pinkie toe just felt like it was shredded and as a result of walking weird my left foot started really hurting also.  I never really felt like I couldn't finish, but the miles from 9-12 especially seemed very long.  My husband and youngest son came to the race and he did a good job of texting me nice things to keep me going.  Toward the end he told me they were waiting for me at the last turn, and that was seriously ALL that kept me moving those last few miles.  I felt like total crap, for lack of a better description.

Happy to see some friendly faces

My son was so happy and excited to see me it made me tear up.  I think he wanted to jump over the barrier and run with me.  

Crossing the finish line was an electric experience as always, the finish line is at the Air Force Museum with planes everywhere, and Air Force officers actually put your medal over your head and congratulate you.  That's the best part, by far.

I'm glad to say we all survived and finish the race.  These ladies are awesome, Dianna drove up from Florida just to do this race, and this was Michelle's first half marathon - did I mention that she has five small children at home?  I am incredibly proud of these two.  

My official time was 4 hours.  I am not proud of that at all.  I was hoping to beat my time last time, not extend it.  But it is what it is.  I did not train for this race like I should have, and I paid for it.  I did enjoy the experience though (except for the whole blister thing) and that's really what matters most to me.  

After we were done we all sat in the grass, ate pizza, and the girls got their free beer.  I passed along my beer ticket to one of them because my stomach wasn't having it.

This boy did awesome and had a great time, he loved all the planes and he thought the whole thing was super cool.  It's been over a week now and he's still talking to me about my race and medal.  

Overall, the experience was a good one, and I am proud to have finished my fourth half marathon.

I've always sort of wanted one of those 13.1 magnets for my car, but couldn't decide if they are obnoxious or not.  After my fourth one though, I don't really Honda is now sporting the most obnoxiously bright fluorescent pink 13.1 magnet I could find.  :)

Half Marathon Weekend AKA The Weekend I Didn't Sit Down

Well, first things first, I did finish the Air Force Half Marathon on Saturday.  

It was the hardest race I have done, and yet the most fun.  However, I still feel beat down tired and not ready to do a lengthy race recap, so I'll hit the high points of the weekend and get back to the race later in the week.

This week at preschool is safety week and the police department is coming to talk to the kids about bike safety and hand out helmets.  The kids are supposed to bring their bikes and they're doing a fun obstacle course.  Well, my kid didn't have a bike, which probably isn't that big of a deal (I'm sure he's not the only one) but in my mind, I could picture him standing to the side sad while everyone else has their own bike.  So Friday night, we went and got him one.  Spoiled kid problems.  On the one hand I felt like a bike is a big deal that should have been a Christmas present or something, on the other hand, I feel like a bike is a rite of passage and every kid should have one.  At any rate, he has been burning it up all weekend long.  I am asking Santa for a bike for Christmas because I am dying to take him to a bike trail and ride together.

Saturday morning I had no plans...hahahaha.  Actually I was out the door at 4:15 to pick up my friends for the half marathon.  We had no problems getting to the race, and overall we had a great time.  

After the race I got home around 3 pm and promptly put myself in a bathtub filled with ice.  I actually felt better than I have after previous half marathons...still tired, but not like death.  Still, the ice bath helps a lot and I figured it was a good idea.

Saturday evening we had an engagement party to go to, which was really fun, and honestly I ate the delicious food there pretty much guilt free, which was great.  I should do 13 miles every Saturday just to eat.  Or not.  I thought I cleaned up pretty well  for having finished a half marathon that morning, but I was shocked at how tired and puffy I looked when I saw the pictures later.  

I could barely keep my eyes open, so we called it an early night, and then I went home and did this:

Wine, ibuprofen, popcorn, and Christmas with the Kranks,..and in bed by 10.  My favorite half marathon recovery plan to date.

On Sunday I thought it was supposed to rain, and had psyched myself up for a day of watching Disney movies on the couch and listening to it rain.  But, it never did.  I actually woke up feeling ok (thanks, Ibuprofen), so we headed to church, and then when my friend texted me to see if we wanted to go horseback riding, I said ok.  

One of the best ways to spend a Sunday

It may or may not have been wise on my part, because I was definitely hobbling after.  But it was fun.  Sunday evening was filled with more bike riding, laundry, having friends over for coffee, and finally sitting down with my husband to watch a show at 8 pm.  It was a fun-filled, EXHAUSTING weekend!  

I hope you all had a great weekend!

Undertrained But Enthusiastic

Tomorrow is the day I've been dreading  looking forward to - the Air Force Half Marathon...which will be my fourth half marathon.  Crazy.  I know that I'm not as well trained for this race as I should be (which is no one's fault by my own) but I still feel confident in my ability to finish it, and after the expo last night, I'm excited.

Parts of the Air Force Marathon/Half Marathon take place on Wright-Patterson Air Force base, so security is tight - there is no packet pick up the day of, you have to go to the expo.  Last year we went on Friday and it was SUPER crowded...this year we decided to go on Thursday which was a good idea.  Much less crowded and I think we will feel much less rushed tonight knowing we have to get up at 4 and have a big day tomorrow.

My friends Michelle (she's my cousin too...and she is a mom of 5!) and Dianna (who drives up all the way from Florida for this race) are doing the race with me, and we went together to the expo last night.  Michelle and Dianna didn't know each other before last night at all, but they clicked right away and we had a blast!

Super fun girls night, even if I had to work today and was home by 9 :)

I really love the expo, there is so much to see, and so many freebies to be had.  The picture below is a very small portion of all the booths they had, the entire upper level was packed with stuff too and even some outside as well.  

We got our packets and bibs of course which includes a very nice long-sleeved t-shirt, and I also picked up two other shirts (one free, one $5) and a very random assortment of free stuff - everything from a light bulb, to chapstick, to glow sticks and slap bracelets which made me a hero to my three year old when I got home.  I really wanted a zip-up jacket that says Air Force Marathon but they were $100 and up which is too rich for my blood.  

After the expo we got dinner at a mexican restaurant and I restrained myself pretty well.  No temptation for margaritas because I was driving, and I stuck to chicken and got no rice.

In other important matters, for the race I'm wearing a tank I got at Maurices (wearing something new is never a good idea but I was specifically looking for a tank long enough that I won't be tugging on it for 13.1 miles so I'll take my chances).  Maurices recently came out with an activewear line, and I've only tried on the tanks so far but I have to say, I'm obsessed with them - they are LONG!  And lightweight and just seem to fit really well.

And of course, a matching headband from Brady Bands, because, priorities.

Until last night I was feeling very apprehensive about the race, but the expo got me really excited, as well as getting to do this race with my friends.  Our plan is to stay together, have a good time, and finish the race...and that's about it...which is good enough for me!  Really looking forward to a fun race weekend!

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