It’s officially official: I am a half marathon finisher!
Despite taking Sunday off work, there was no sleeping in for me. The alarm went off at 5 am and I got up and got to getting ready. Since it was St. Patty’s day, I was scrambling to find something green to wear. Thankfully, the awesome folks at Janji running sent me an awesome green “Run for Kenya” shirt to wear. Keep your eyes peeled for a review of their goodies!
Pardon the Kim Kardashian-esque selfie face I’m making. It was 5:30 am.
I paired the tech shirt with my favorite Adidas running capris. I considered throwing on my ProCompressions, but let’s face it, capris plus compression socks ups the dork factor exponentially. And I already look like a dork when I run.
I don’t like to eat before a long run, but I knew I had to get something in my stomach or die, so I ate one of the Larabar samples from the expo and drank some Crystal Light to wake up. I try not to run on caffeine—it leads to some serious running heartburn.
Then, cue the drama: my ride to the race got a late start on the morning and wasn’t going to be able to grab me and get to the race on time, so I started panicking. I called my dad (keep in mind, it’s before 6 am still) sobbing. As always, Daddy pulled through and got up, picked my pissed off, whiny butt up, and got me to the start 3 minutes before the gun went off. I managed to slide into my corral as they walked by on their way to the start line.
So with no warm up and tons of adrenaline already flowing, I was off!
My stated goal was just to finish, but my secret goal was to break 2:30. And up through mile 8, I was totally on track. I was holding just over 11 minute miles, and feeling pretty good. Then the total lack of training caught up with me once the hills hit in miles 9-12. Seriously, who maps these courses? Lots and lots of late hills? Lame sauce. At least for crapola climbers like me. Also, kudos to the lady on one of the hills who kept yelling, “do you know how many people wish they could do what you’re doing right now?” That was the most motivating thing I heard on the entire course, and there were tons of people out cheering for us.
And here’s where the bargaining started.
“If you run two more light posts, you can totally walk for 30 seconds.”
I continued on running and walking until I finally saw a sign that said we only had half a mile left to go. I told myself to suck it up, and freaking RUN. I knew that even with the walking, I was still in shape to finish under 2:35 if I just pushed through.
And. I. Freaking. Did. It.
As I sprinted to the finish line like a maniac, grinning like an insane clown, I knew that I’d gotten under 2:35. I just knew it (we started after the clock did, so I didn’t know my exact chip time). And sure enough, I was 2:34.47. Not bad for slackeriffic training.
And the coolest thing? I’m hooked. I cannot wait for my next race. I’d lost some love for running since last summer, and I found it again in a big way. This was a game changer and a half. I’m already plotting my next half, a slew of shorter races, a possible relay, and considering (!) training for a marathon in 2014. We’ll see.
All I know right now is, this race reignited my love of running. And that endorphins make me goofy as crap.