Bucket List Item Accomplished!
I slept surprisingly well the night before, I had gone to bed around 8:30p and would say I was out by 9:15p. I woke up a few times during the night but nothing that I couldn't go right back to sleep, I got up right before my alarm would have gone off at 4am sharp. I had everything I needed in the living room as to let V rest. I must admit I enjoyed the silence and my own wondering thoughts. It was the first time I really started to think about crossing the finish line. After I as all dressed I stood in the bathroom and just looked at my reflection for a moment; WOW, I really did it, I'm really here and I'm about to do this! There was no fear just a general "wow" feeling. I ate some scrambled eggs and a tiny cup of coffee and before I knew it I had to head out.
I drove under the cover of night through our city to downtown (just blocks from our home), parked my car and scurried over to the bus line. Luckily I ran into a friend! We both shared nervous chatter in line and on the bus ride. Our city was still in slumber when we arrived at the stating area. We still had a good 40 mins so we stretched, warmed up a little and took potty breaks. They lit off fireworks every 15 minutes as a countdown to start time, the sun wasn't up yet and it was a fitting celebration. My friend and I parted ways as we both had different race styles.
Then at 6am sharp BOOM! With a cannon shot the race began! I was near the front but slower so I made sure to move to the side so others could pass. I jogged for a few miles then decided to conseve energy and start my walk/jog pattern (not timed just according to my body's direction). We started in a less populated area, the river was so pretty! Even at that early hour people had come out of their homes to cheer us on! My mother-in-law surprised me throughout the race three times! I knew she planned the first one, the second time had me super teary (I had to pull it together quickly as to not trigger my asthma), the third time she had V and Liam! I felt so very loved!
The first 8 or so miles of the race didn't seem that difficult, other than the fact that the race organizers didn't have as many gels as I assumed from the race material. Until 9 I was running on mostly Gatorade! Yikes! Finally around mile 10 I was able to get a gel pack and an orange! It was exactly what I needed to finish the race! Also around this time my co-worker found me! She had some difficultly getting her training runs in so I was happy to see that she had indeed decided to do the race!
Along the race I texted V, my bestie E and another friend where I was and when I expected to be done. The last three miles were hard and I had to walk a lot. In the back of my mind I really hoped to finish in less than 3 hours (I knew I could do this if I kept my average of a 12 min/mile). I promised myself I'd be happy as long as I finished the race! The people cheering us at the end were extra nice and supportive You are doing great! Keep going! You are ALMOST there!! They called out! Many of them throughout the race had sprinklers out in the street for us to run through, this was especially helpful now! I couldn't have cared less if I ruined my ipod and phone as long as I got to cool off for a minute!
Around mile 12 the first full marathoner lapped me! He would be the winner doing 26.2 miles in 2:32! Dang! I rounded the last corner determined to run/jog to the finish line! Then out of the corner of my eye was my bestie! She had a prime spot and would take the pics I've posted below! She kept cheering me as I slowly inched toward the finish line (I really needed her support right then!!)
I remember hearing a stranger say Smile they are taking pictures! But I was spent, my exhausted look was all I could give....until....the finish line, in all it's glory there it was!!! We all had these chips on our shoes to give us official times, they also provided the announcer our names so as we crossed they would call them out, not gonna lie it was one of the most awesome moments of my life! A metal was placed around my neck by a stranger that I really wanted to hug! But...I hadn't seem my mother-in-law, V or Liam....had I missed them? I wondered. I had just seen them 4 miles ago. Then to my left there they were! I started to ball because, well, that is who I am...it's a knee jerk reaction. Liam was completely confused. I was still in the "runners only" area so I told them I'd see them shortly. I should also mention this is where I started to go into my own little world. It was like my body was on auto pilot and high at the same time! Thankfully you are forced to go through a area where you can get beverages and food if you choose. I choose water and some fruit. My co-worker found me again and we kinda half spacey chatted (I have no idea what we talked about!)
At home I quickly showered, I've never felt so gross in my lifetime! While Liam napped I ran out and got the food my heart desired, came home and ate with V. It's almost 8pm now and I still haven't napped. I'm begining to feel the wear of the day and after this I plan on hitting the hay. It's back to the real world tomorrow, it seems so unfair to have such a life changing day today and have to work tomorrow!
This will surely be just the first of many half marathons for me! Currently I don't plan to do a full marathon but I guess you never know!