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 care...my Honda is now sporting the most obnoxiously bright fluorescent pink 13.1 magnet I could find. :)