Yesterday was the half-marathon! After months of following a training program, the day had finally arrived!
On Saturday, I picked up my race packet:
And here was my pre-race meal for dinner the night before. Spaghetti with eggplant “meatballs” (see recipe here). The meatballs turned out to be pretty good. I will definitely make them again, only next time I will peel the eggplant and I will add more spices, as I thought they were a bit bland. I loved the texture, though, and they held together well and looked and felt like meatballs.
I got a good night’s sleep and woke up yesterday feeling ready for the race! My husband, youngest daughter, and her boyfriend came along to cheer me on.
The weather was forecasted to be warm and humid, but the race was at 8:00 and it was still cool and breezy in shady areas. It was a scenic route, for the most part. During the first part of the run, we ran along a river. There was enough shade along the way that it didn’t get too warm. However, at about mile 4, the route changed to a county road, where there were a few hills and the sun was bearing down on us at that point, with no shade for relief and this lasted for a couple of miles. At the half-way point, I was feeling pretty good and the route changed to some recreational trails and that was my favorite part of the run. There was plenty of shade from the trees and I really loved running the trails. The trails lasted until about the 10-mile marker and then we were headed back along the river again. It was sooooooo hot at this point and I felt like I was starting to feel a bit dehydrated, even though I drank water at every water station. I was dying for a Gatorade. I wish I had brought some with me. By the time I got to mile 11, guzzling an ice-cold Gatorade was dominating my thoughts and whenever I seemed to find a groove with my pace, I would start to feel a bit nauseous. It was at this point, where I hit my wall. I was walking a lot, and the last mile and a half felt like they would never end. When I got to the last quarter of a mile, though, I could hear the post-race party, I could see that the finish line was up ahead, and so I just started running. I passed quite a few people at that point; people who were walking and looked like they had hit a wall as well. It was then that I saw David, Kayla, and Riley and they were yelling and cheering for me and I felt like I wanted to cry, but it was just what I needed to get me to the finish line.
I DID IT!!
After getting congrats from my family, my first thought was, “Where’s the Gatorade?” I don’t think a Gatorade has ever tasted so good! I had a banana and then a bottled water. So thirsty. The muscles in my legs were tightening up, so I stretched.
My dear, sweet family just beaming at me with pride. I don’t think it had sunk in for me at that point; I was just so tired, thirsty, and sore. But they knew. They knew that I had done it. I had completed a half-marathon.
As we were walking back to the car, my daughter asked me if I was going to be able to do a marathon next. My first thought was hell no. Why would I put myself through that torture? I could barely finish a half-marathon. I told her I just wasn’t sure. She asked if I’d do this half-marathon race again next year and I answered yes, I believe I would like to do it again. The pain of the race already forgotten.
We were all hungry so we decided to go somewhere to have pancakes. The local IHOP was way too busy, so we ended up eating Jimmy John’s. A veggie sub (sans mayo and cheese) was just what I needed. It tasted so good!
Once I got home and took a very long, hot shower and put on clean clothes, it really started to sink in what I had done. My legs moved for 13.1 miles. 13.1 miles. There was a time when I thought I would never be able to run a 5k, let alone a half-marathon. But I did it. I actually did it. And guess what? I want to do another one. And I want to do it better.
I woke up this morning feeling a bit stiff and sore, but really not bad. I will give myself a couple of days off and then I’ll get back into a running routine. I have a 5k that I want to do at the end of the month, and a 10k next month. I also told my virtual running partner that I would do a virtual half-marathon with her once she is ready (she is getting over an illness and hasn’t been able to run for a few weeks). Otherwise, I think I really want to reassess my nutrition, my running program, and how I can start preparing for another half-marathon later in the fall, and eventually a full marathon next spring.
I’ve only just begun on this running journey. So many possibilities, so many goals to yet accomplish.