Back in my early days of high school, let's just say that all the reese's pieces peanut butter cups and multiple visits to the Candy Shop on main that was then turned into Daylight Donuts...caught up with me! I weighed oh about 40 pounds too many and hadn't figured out low lights yet so my hair was bleach blonde which didn't match my caterpillar jet black eyebrows! Most people say "I wish I looked like I did in high school" and I start to laugh for multiple reasons. One being, I am totally happy to look better now than in high school. I would compare myself to wine...I get better with age :). At least my childhood didn't affect my confidence ;)!
The point of telling you all that was to explain, as you can imagine, running was something I dreaded. LIKE DREADED! When my coaches used to tell us we had to run a mile around Redskin/Redhawk Drive, I would cry! And on a side note to the coach that used to make us run a mile outside and if we didn't make it in an allotted amount of time, we would have to do push ups and sit ups... SERIOUSLY...punish the fat kids even more thanks! So did I ever see myself running for fun or even worse anything that had the word "marathon" in the title... GET SERIOUS!
In college I took up running, not sure why! Probably to burn off all the non-alcoholic drinks I had each weekend :)! Slowly but steady I started running 5ks and then after college I stepped it up a notch and did a couple 10ks. Granted by no means am I fast, but I complete them!
That brings us to the present and me completing my 1st 1/2 marathon! Yes I keep saying "1st" because I figure it's probably like having a baby...you forget the pain...and then get knocked up again! It will be no time soon but you never know. And if not ever again, I at least I can say I did it!
The training schedule I followed takes 3 months of preparation. I thought it was a great plan to follow and if you would like it just let me know! Let's just say you and the treadmill or pavement will get to know each other very well :).
I choose to do the "Rock the Parkway" 1/2 marathon because I had done the 10K last year and it had one gentle rolling hill and then you turn around and go back for the second part of the race. In my mind, that meant this would be a great race to do as it wouldn't be hilly....WRONGO! In fairness it wasn't straight up and down hills but definitely constant rolling hills!
The day before the race, I got myself some new earphones and practiced getting in the zone!
I also had what everyone needs before a big race...CARB OVERLOAD! If you are ever eating a pre-race dinner I also hope you get a HOTTIE to make it for you as well! Love ya Nate!
The morning of the race, I woke up ready! I had my BRIGHT green on so everyone could see me and also my toe socks! Definitely recommend those to anyone who tends to get blisters...they are like magic!
My mother decided to play photographer and capture every moment. So this is me on the way to the race. Don't I look ready? Ready to get it over haha!
At this point I am thinking..."Well...see you in a couple hrs...OMG"
Nathan and my mom came to cheer me on for the race! I can't thank them enough for being my biggest supporters! Hard to not feel blessed with family like that! They were so great! They dropped me off at the starting line and then they drove to mile marker 5 where they saw me for the first time. Still in good spirits at this point, though as you can see I am explaining to them that "I started off WAY too fast" lol!
They then went to mile 6 or 7 which I was totally surprised about! I had no clue they were going to be there!
I saw them for the last time at mile marker 9. Let's just say at that point my body was exhausted! I had done a lot of my training on a treadmill because well...it's cold as hell January through March! So I think the hills were starting to hit my body hard. When I saw them I looked at Nate and go "I don't think I'm going to make it". They later told me they were worried about me finishing and I then explained to them they should of been haha! I really just kind of hit a wall and every incline on the road felt ridiculous! It's funny though what goes through your mind, as it's just you, your iPod, and your own thoughts for a couple hrs as you are doing this. It's even more funny what your motivation or demotivation becomes...
"Crap, why did I tell everyone I was going to do this...maybe I just won't post anything on facebook and now one will know"
"Nathan is going to be so mad I paid money for this and then didn't finish"
"There is a girl over there who looks about my shape sitting on the back-end of the ambulance...wonder what you have to do to get to sit there"
"I want that damn medal"
At that point I truly leaned on God. Now you either know or are about to know I am Catholic so we don't really talk about God. We believe... but we aren't knocking on your doors, it's more of a private thought. But I told God and Jon they were going to have to run the rest of the way with me if I was going to complete this! When my iPod hit the song "I won't let go" by Rascal Flatts it truly gave me strength! Some people don't like slow songs to run to but I listen to the words...and those words gave me hope!
The other thing that gave me strength and helped encourage me was Jen Cisar and Georgia! I had told my friend Jen on her last day of work :( that I was running this race. She said she might come down and cheer me on. I thought "oh she was nice even to say that but I doubt she will be there". Well if you are friends with Jen you know where this story is going! A little after 9 1/2 miles there was Jen Cisar and Georgia with a sign cheering me on! Brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it! I feel honored just to know someone that caring and that has a heart that big!
Finally I made it to mile 11.5 or 12 and I knew I could do it! So I pumped myself up for the last part of the race with a little Adele- Rolling in the Deep and Rihanna- S & M and I went for it!
The last mile is kind of a crap-shoot because the people are lined up on both sides, so there is no turning back at that point! I ended up running by some race pacers for the last 1/2 mile and as we were coming up on the finish line they kicked it in gear. One of them goes "Come on girl", and I thought "Oh damn" haha! So I kicked it in gear... gave it everything I had and ...
I also got a medal ;)
It was truly an experience and one I will never forget! I am so happy that I can now say that I ran a 1/2 marathon. Probably one of if not my biggest accomplishments in life!
If you ever think about running a 1/2 marathon, here are my tips!
- If possible, definitely train outside running the hills to prepare your body.
- If you can convince some other idiot to run the race with you, a buddy would absolutely help for motivation.
- Push yourself harder than you normally would! Like my husband told me..."Would you rather set a goal you knew you could accomplish and never know if you could of done more or really push yourself and possibly achieve the impossible". Better to of tried and failed than never tried at all!
- Now after saying that, also know what you can do and what your goals are. The people putting on the races are sometimes great and tell you how to pace yourself to reach your goals. Listen to them!
- And finally, have people that love you come support you! It is what really pushes you to do your best and makes you know you can do it! And if no one can come, call me :) I need to return the favor!