It’s not often that I thank Facebook for ANYTHING, but with recent changes to the newsfeed (again!) I have rediscovered old notes that I had written. Remember notes? They are kinda like mini-blog posts/diary entries where you could tag people. Well, lo and behold I found a note I wrote about my very first half marathon from Sunday, May 1, 2010! I thought seeing as I have just completed my third and first ever in the US that it was fitting to share this. I also wanted to point out how truly crazy I am, having run my first hal marathon less than 6 months after completing C25K, plus it was a cross country race!
Oh and not to be a Debbie Downer, but check out my chubby cheeks! I’ve mentioned it before that even though I was running regularly, my nutrition was just not up to par. I was fooling myself into believing that I could eat whatever, whenever because I was running 4-5 times per week. Proof that what you eat and how you exercise go hand in hand. You can’t have positive results if one is missing. Hope you enjoy this stroll down memory lane!
I remember waking up around 8AM and thinking, wow what a great sleep in this would have been if Master P hadn’t started up his usual chorus of “C is for Cookie” sometime around 4AM. But I still felt somewhat refreshed yet altogther anxious at the same time. I had porridge with yogurt for breakie and read a few emails, tweets and Facebook messages from people – was so great to have that last minute encouragement and reminder that you’d be able to track my progress live via Runkeeper. There was no turning back now, I had to start and finish this thing. The race briefing was pretty low key. Us half marathoners would set off at 10:30, the 10K runners 15 minutes later. Mr P was in a great mood, so he joined me in my dynamic stretches and Mr BAM kept talking to me, calming my nerves. I was doing better than at home where I thought I was going to puke. I’d literally never had such a strong case of the butterflies. I knew the course was to be hilly as we were ascending into the Hanmer Forest, but I had no idea just how hilly. To my credit, I do A LOT of crazy things because I only half research and I have no idea just how crazy it is before I jump in. Hellooooo, you think I woulda started with an easier run, this was more like a cross country race than a road race. The race took off with one run around the school oval and then we were off up the open road. We ascended pretty steadily for the first 5K. And though I had wanted to not walk the course at all, by the 6th minute of the race I broke into a quick walk at 11:19 minutes per km….a far change in pace from the average 6:30 I was doing before. I couldn’t believe it, all I was thinking is, I haven’t even done a K and I’m walking!. I was slightly devo and then just thought to myself I can do this, I just have to finish. I was concerned cause I realized I didn’t actually know how long the ascending was going to last for. It wasn’t leveling out long enough for me to recover and pick up speed. Just keep moving, it’s gotta level out soon enough.
At the first water station I shot back my Leppin squeeze for fuel and guzzled back the water from the cup to wash it down – another reason to slow down. The sickly sweet lemony flavor tasted so good. It was probably my imagination, but it seemed to kick in almost immediately and I was able to pickup pace again and started to feel my natural rhythm over the rolling inclines for the next few ks. Did I tell you their were also some very steep descents in that first 5K? I felt someone brush the back of my shoe as she came hurtling down the mountain, please don’t let her collide into me and send us both rolling down the hill . Their were a few people that seemed to have no control on these descents. I had control, but not necessarily the best form, its definitely an artform that I have to practice. That along with more hill runs. My husband asked me if I ever hallucinated or had horrible I can’t do this thoughts at any point. I really never did. Once I got over the incline at the beginning, I just settled in and enjoyed the beautiful view. Just before the 2 hour mark a recording of Master P babbling that I slipped into my playlist came on and it made me smile. Every 10 minutes or so afterwards I smiled and it helped remind me of how cool I felt to be doing this run.
As my sister said, I was earning bragging rights.
Just after that clip of Master P, “Boom Boom Pow” from the Black Eyed Peas kicked in and I suddenly had an urge to dance. I punched my arms in the air and did a few forward punches as well. It felt good to stretch out my back and seemed to give me another boost. Did I look crazy? Yes. Did I care? No. The run through the 2 fords around 17K wasn’t as bad as all that. After a few squishy steps I just reminded myself that this meant the end was near. I thank my friends for your support and encouraging words. I could see your messages in front of me as I ran. I thank Black Eyed Peas, Lady Gaga, Muse and Beyonce for your bumpin beats, as well as the podcast Hamish and Andy for the laughs along the way, and I thank my body for taking me through to the finish. When I got to the the finish chute, Master P was calling me in. He’d been practicing all morning with Chris. Apparently I got one of the loudest claps in to the finish. It was a combination of being one of the stragglers that finished strongest, most people that came in behind me walked in. People also felt compelled to clap for me cause Master P was so loud with his “Go Mommy”. Ultimately though, I think it was cause I looked so damn fine with the underarm and underboob sweat marks 😛
Thanks again everyone. I finished at a modest 3:04:29 after having only being able to run 5K at the beginning of January. Look out for my next adventure. I’m thinking much more flat…maybe the Auckland Marathon in October? Anybody up for it?
Do you take time to notice your progress?