Think about it- one half. One half of 2 is only 1. One half of my day dealing with whiny kids is better than the entire day. Sharing one half of a pizza pie with the hubby is better than eating the whole thing myself. But lets think about one half in miles. Half of a 10 K is a 5 K, which is only 3.1 miles. Half of a 20 K is a 10 K, which is 6.2 miles- Half of a Marathon is 13.1 miles. So yeah, that's what I did last Saturday morning, ran a half marathon. And what was it that you did? If the answer is stayed in your jammies, had eggs and sausage and sipped on some hot cocoa while watching a little TV, I envy you. If you envy what I did- let me explain something to you- it flippin hurt!
On Friday afternoon, 2 hours after I decided I was going to leave for Richmond, I finally left. Much to my surprise- as if I haven't lived in the DC area my whole life- there was traffic. So after calling everyone I haven't talked to in several months, checking facebook while stopped, and eating all of the candy I brought to last me the whole ride, traffic subsided and I finally make it down to the expo center and the pre race packet pick up. I head over to my girlfriends house, who is putting me up for the night, and plop my happy butt right down on the couch. Her dear hubby picked up some alfredo for me, and I scarfed most of it down- in record timing might I add. I knew I needed my carb overload for the morning.
Speaking of morning, it came VERY quickly. I didn't sleep very well the prior night because the vent was wide open and making a heinous noise- RIGHT ABOVE MY HEAD! I finally got out of bed, got dressed, and headed to Wawa for some water and some nutrition. Then I drove a couple of miles to downtown Richmond, but silly me, missed my exit and had to come in the back way. Scary!
I park, get everything I need, and say- where the heck do I go. I had to walk an additional 4 blocks- there was no time for warming up, no time to go potty, I barely had enough time to check my bags. I am glad I did find the bag check place, because my girlfriend was checking her bag at the same time. Whew- I at least had someone to start the run with!
I'm tired, cold, and excited all at the same time. I really don't LIKE running, but I do like racing. I do like kind of intense situations where there are winners, awards, stats kept, etc. It's the thrill of competition. I know I don't have a snowballs chance in hell to win any running event, nor is that even my goal, but I get excited for the people who pour their heart and soul into this sport and accomplish something they really want. (Like my friend who won a first place medal today in the 5 k we ran! In came in 4th place in my division- out of 4! HA!)
My girlfriend and I start out at a slower, but pretty moderate pace. We easily pass the 1-2-3 miles, I start to get warm and the first thing I ditch are my gloves. Every other mile there was water and powerade. We quickly walked while we drank, but picked our pace back up as soon as we contributed to the litter pile of plastic cups. (I hope they were recycled and not just thrown away.)
Mile 4 I bust out the sweedish fish for that extra energy boost, and start to feel my arches. Mile 5 we go up a nice sized hill and enter a park. I am wanting to stop and walk at this point, but our conversation about husbands, kids, being pregnant and giving birth kept me going. We got to the 10 k point and I couldn't keep up any longer, the pain in my arches was so bad, I had to slow down.
My girlfriend was only slightly ahead of me, so I sprinted up to her and that was it. Along with the arch pain, there was an excruciating pain in 4th toe (next to the pinky) of my left foot. I can continue to run through the arch pain, this pain, I can not. I was barely at mile 7, and I had to walk for some time- slapping my heel down first and rolling to the balls of my feet. After a swig of Coke and a gel pack, I start to hobble run again. At this point my toe hurt so bad, I literally curled my toes under and ran/ walked for a couple more miles like this.
At mile 9, I have to take off my over pants as the sun was beating down on me and I was HOT! I dropped my drawers for everyone to see! ha! I had spandex on underneath, and I tied my pants around my waist. I looked pretty dumb, but I was no longer hot, and it felt really good to stop and stretch for a quick minute. However, doing this KILLED my time, and I couldn't recover.
At mile 10, I feel the intense pain in my feet, and now my hips have joined in. Although I was in pain- I only had 3 miles left. The lady next to me who was running her 10th marathon said- hey, you can do ANYTHING for 35 minutes, right? She was right! The spectators had picked up the cheering, and the signs were really inspiring. I actually started crying at this point. There are a lot of people who can say they have finished a half marathon, but more that can not say that. I already have a pain prone body, my feet and hips were aching, but I had come so far, I was just going to keep on truckin'.
I ran a little more, walked through water stations a little longer, hobbled when I needed, picked up my pace when I could. Mile 11 was really hard for me because I had 2 more miles to and I couldn't see the end in sight. Mile 12 was when I decided I'm going all out. I have to run through this pain. Instead of shuffling, I was actually jogging again. I turned the corner and people were calling my name, encouraging me, and most of all, I could see the finish line. I got half way down the hill and thought- Damnit- I'm going for it. I sprinted as fast as I could straight through the finish. It was a surreal feeling. My legs didn't feel attached to my body, so there had to be something else that helped me sprint down that hill. That wasn't me!
So, I did it. My time wasn't great, a few minutes over 2 and a half hours, but I'm OK with that, especially since I was injured! Remember, I was someone who couldn't run 15 minutes without stopping, to someone who finished a 1/2 marathon about 5 months later- congrats me. And congrats to all of my other running friends who finished that race. Amazing.