Thursday, February 18, 2010

13.1, again

Sunday, February 14, 2010 I ran my second half marathon. Mr. Brick ran in a 5K. Yep, we were feelin' the love!

Last year I ran in the local half marathon. It was my first one ever and I completed the training and the 1st 9 miles of the course with some very dear friends. What an accomplishment! My goal then was to run more than I walked and to finish running. I complete both of those goals in 2 hours and 31 minutes. I was very proud of myself, but didn't really feel like I had run a strong race. In fact, I mainly walked the last 3 miles, unable to run at all til the finish line.

My running buddies and I ran off and on after that race, but our commitment kinda fizzled. I knew I was losing my fitness level and I needed some motivation, strong motivation.

Another friend of mine is a racing queen. She travels all over the country and runs in marathons and half marathons with what I perceive to be ease. She told me how awesome the race atmosphere was in big cities. I was intrigued. I bit the bullet in December, paid the $75 entry fee and found myself duly motivated.

One of my running buddies, the non pregnant one, felt similarly motivated and we were doing the 12 week training schedule again!

Training went well, especially after the week we ran 7 miles. I pushed thru some sort of mental barrier and had predominantly good runs after that. Then the big weekend loomed.

And I started to get nervous. I had 2 major fears. I couldn't find my friends at the start line last year and ran the first mile or so without them. Totally freaked me out. I was worried that would happen again. And during my training runs I often felt pretty sick afterwards, unable to warm up. I greatly feared either or both of those two things happening.

{SPOILER ALERT.......neither one did!}

Wendy and I met at our predetermined spot a few minutes after our predetermined time. There were a LOT of people there, on those dark capitol city streets. The mister took a picture of us, then left to find his start line. We started walking among the crowd, trying to find the sign that had our estimated pace on it. Note- the crowd thins near the back, ;)

I said a quick prayer, we set our watches and then we heard lots of cheers.....WE WERE OFF! We knew this was going to be a hilly course and the first three miles didn't disappoint. It was fun, seeing all the people, checking out the wacky clothes folks wear and noticing the sun coming up.

At mile 6 we stopped for water.

Right around mile 9 we turned a literal corner, ran up a very literal hill and things became different in the race. What didn't change was the crowd support. There were people everywhere! Lots of signs for running mommas and daddys. Lots of family members cheering their support. Hugs, high fives, excitement. It was a great scene.

The hills didn't stop after mile 9. There was a constant up and down. I quickly found that it hurt more to walk downhill than jog. The mile 12 marker was at the bottom of the biggest hill I have ever had the joy of walking on, let alone attempting to run up. Which in fact, I didn't. And I don't think I saw anyone else running up it either. I have told folks I felt like I was hiking up Enchanted Rock. It was some serious elevation.

I huffed and puffed my way to the top. It was really hard. Though, at that point I realized there was less than a mile to go! The last .5 mile or so winds around the capitol grounds. I started to get verclempt in the shade of the pink limestone, but my lungs were in no condition to cry and my wheezing stopped any sort of sentimental moment I was trying to have.

I had a burst of strength and really finished the race strong. I felt good! I think honestly, we didn't walk much more than a mile, total. And though I finished in 2 hours and 45 minutes, 14 minutes slower than last year, I felt much stronger and felt much better the rest of the day.

I ate a banana, mini bagel and downed a thing of chocolate milk within 20 minutes of finishing. I stretched some, sat down for a few minutes and hobbled to the car with Mr. Brick helping me out. I was extremely sore the rest of Sunday and I was worried the tops of my feet were supremely bruised. Monday I was not near as sore but I was really really tired. Thankfully it was a holiday and I could sneak in a morning nap and an afternoon doze. Tuesday I woke up and felt completely recovered. Yea!

It was really really a great experience. It must be a bit like childbirth because I can't honestly remember my feet hurting at all during the race {and I know they did} and I want to register for another one. In fact, on Tuesday I was even reading over a full marathon training schedule. I still don't think I have the hours in a day to devote to training, but maybe someday........

Whew.........this is long..........thanks for reading it! I had many, many friends praying for me and for the weather and the Lord was very gracious in providing warm sun for the run. I enjoyed myself, the beauty of the city I was in and the camaraderie of running with 8700 others. I can't wait to do it again! Though maybe in a town NOT known for its hills, ha!

Happy Thursday!


michelle said...

Congrats! I ran a half once (slowly, but I did run the whole thing)...and felt like super woman afterwards. I am signed up for a few some adventure type races coming up and really have to get back into training!

Bible Readers said...
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Sarah L. Knapp said...