As usual, I don’t even know where to begin. The weekend started with my parents driving down from PA Friday night. This was the first time my Mom had a chance to see me race and I was real excited to spend the weekend with my parents.
Friday night we took it easy. Enjoying some pizza and sipping on pina coladas I made with a new product I’m reviewing. I can’t wait to share this one with ya. SO tasty and easy to make. I hope to have a video review up this week.
Anyway, we had fun. Saturday I took my parents by the new home site to show them where the house will be built and we had lunch at a local Bar and Grill before getting on the road to Annapolis.
Once we got there and checked in we walked around the mall by our hotel and ate at an Ausin Grill where I might have gotten the best vegetable burrito eva! Seriously it was that good. Did I eat a bit too many tortilla chips? yup. Did I have ice cream afterwards? yup. Do I feel guilty? nope.
After dinner the husbands were nice enough to take the kids. Oh… yeah did I mention the kids?
That’s the toddler with the cousin. :) How cute are they? Anyway, the husbands took the kids back the hotel so my mom and I could do a little shopping and get our eye brows done.
By the time we got back I was all about getting to bed early. I wanted a good night of sleep for my first ever half marathon.
5:45 the next morning I was up and ready to go. Mom was driving me over to the event alone so everyone else could get a little extra sleep. I kissed the husband and the toddler and headed out. I was about to shut the door when the toddler, in a very sleepy voice says, "Mom, give me a hug and a kiss first." I almost melted. I told him I’d see him at the finish line and he gave me a smile.
All weekend I didn’t think twice about the weather as all reports said it was to be a beautiful day. WRONG! As soon as Mom and I stepped out of the hotel it was pouring out. POURING!
At first I was disappointed. I wasn’t mentality prepared for it but then I remembered my training runs in the rain. What was the big deal? As soon as I started running I knew it would be nice and the more I thought about it the more I realized I’d rather be wet then overly hot.
Mom dropped me off at the starting line 3 minutes before 7. Traffic was HORRENDOUS! But we made it. I hopped out of the car and joined the other 3000 runners at the starting line. The buzzer buzzed and we were off!
Well sort of. There was about a 3 minute delay before I could even move and I was so cold and wet all I wanted to do was MOVE.
Finally I crossed the start line and now I really was off. As usual the first half mile or so was navigating around people until you start to fall into place with other runners at your pace. I passed the first mile marker and I thought about Renee’s comment,
"…‘remember a marathon is just 1 mile - 26 times’. So, just remember that all you have to do is run a mile, and you know you can do it! Just 13 times, which I know you will do with ease!"
I smiled and kept on running.
Soon I found myself running over the Naval Academy Bridge. It was nice even in the rain which I think was letting up by this time. Over the bridge and running up an unexpected hill all of a sudden my iPod informed me I stopped running. I was like, ummm no, no I didn’t. Please, PLEASE don’t do this too me. But alas, the battery died in my receiver. Total BUMMER! as I really wanted to to track my first half marathon. All I got was the first 2.7 miles of it. :( DARN IT!
oh well. I kept on trucking. Mile 3 crept up on me, probably because I was fiddling with the iPod. Just before mile 4 I was happy to see a water station with 2 porta potties. I snuck in as there was no lines and no way I would make 9 more miles without a pee break.
By this time the lead runners in the 10k were already heading back. I cheered them on as they passed. These women were running like the wind! Very impressive.
Around this time I started to see quotes that were placed on the side of the track. One in particular spoke to me. It read,
I have met my hero, and he is me. - George Sheehan
What a powerful concept. I’m not kidding, it almost made me cry right there on the road. It must have been the running hormones. Yeah that’s it. the hormones.
Mile 5 started on a trail called B&A, I believe. At this point I’m just moving. My feet started bothering me as my shoes and socks were soaked through and though. It started to effect the way I was running but it wasn’t so painful that I had to stop. So I just ran. Passing and being passed. It was about mile 6 or 7 were runners in the lead were already looping around. I got excited as I figured the turn around point was approaching.
My excitement was premature as it took FOREVER to reach mile 8 which was where we turned around and were I realized I had to rerun the entire trail. I started to get a bit discouraged. I was getting tired and I decided at the next water stop I’d take a bit of Gatorade and stop for a second to drink it. My feet needed the rest and I wanted to refuel for the last leg of this run.
So that’s what I did. I believe it was just after mile market 9. I grabbed a water and a Gatorade, mixed the two and stepped to the side to get out of the way of other runners. I drank and hit the road again in about 30 seconds.
Soon I saw mile marker 10. I was now in uncharted milage. I’ve never run more then 10 miles in my life and I was real nervous about the last 3. I kept repeating to myself, "slow and steady wins in the race." Soon I saw marker 11 and I was exited. The trail was coming to an end and we’d be back on the road soon. I knew most of it was a slight downhill slope and I welcomed it and the change in scenery.
I see mile market 12 and I’m running on empty. I’m slow and I don’t care. At this point I knew I could finish and had no energy to pound out my fastest mile at the end. Slow and steady, right?
All of a sudden I take a turn and I know I’m getting close. There are more and more people cheering on runners and letting us know we are almost done. Plus Mr. Roboto came on my iPod. :) I start scanning the sidelines looking for my family….
I have one turn to go and I hear… "Roni!" There’s the husband and the toddler!! I see them a few hundred meters from the finish line. I wave to he toddler and book it to the end…
The husband snapped those two great shots. What I love about them is my facial expressions. Here’s what I look like after 13 wet miles.
Here’s my favorite shot by far, even though the toddler would not look up at the camera. Ahhhh KIDS! :)
So what does one do immediately after a half marathon? well walk a mile to the car of course! Actually it was a nice walk and I think my muscles needed to it stay loose. We enjoyed walking back over the bridge together and had a lot of fun doing so.
My favorite shot it the last one. My mom, my husband and my child. The 3 most important people in my life just walkin’ down the line. :)
We spent the rest of the day exploring Annapolis. Taking a boat tour and having lunch at Pusser’s Caribbean Grille.
When I got home I looked up my time on the official results and I was ecstatic to find I finished my first ever half marathon in 2:07:57! That’s just under a 10 minute per mile pace with a pee break and water stop! And to think exactly a year ago I ran my first every 5k ever!! This past year I added 10 miles to my distance and shaved over a minute off my mile time. *shaking my head in disbelief* Who am I?
I’m not going to lie… a full marathon SCARES THE CRAP OUT OF ME. but…. I can see progression. I can feel the sense of accomplishment. I KNOW I can cross that finish line. I am ready to be my own hero. :)