>13.1…and I Lived to Tell About It

I.ran.a.half.marathon.today.

Seriously.

I have worked for this day since December. I may have definitely cried a tear or two at the starting line today when the MC of the race said “Alright! The hard work is done – enjoy your victory lap.” So true! I’ve seriously never been so proud of myself and felt such accomplishment.

So, race recap. Last night (Friday) Mom and Dad came to town and we went to Magganio’s to carb load. YUM. We did the family style meal and it was so delicious. Cyndy especially loved it. 🙂

We came back to the flat to crash early and get lots of rest for the big day. Um…not so much. I think I slept maybe 4-5 hours. A little anxious, to say the least.

Up and at ’em, stretched, ate my Luna Bar, energy chews, had a teency bit of coffee, geared up, and then heard them announce the race would start 15 minutes earlier to try and beat the rain. Dang – don’t be throwing my schedule off! I wasn’t mentally psyched up to start at 6:45.

My fave stretch for the foot and the calves.
Callie, watching the people gather.

Rog put my number on for me, and I was trying to decide if the position was ok. I said “look – this is what I’ll look like at the finish…can you still read it?” Ha.

Ready to go!
So I headed out the door, and was “ready ready ready ready to run.” (Again, thanks for the loud country music, CMM, with obvious running metaphors.)

Heading out the front door!

The mass hysteria.


I found my corral and continued to stretch – totally marveling at the people. There were SO many people. Unbelievable! I took off about 15 minutes after the first gun (with my corral) and did a perfectly paced first mile. I was afraid I’d start too fast, so this was a good sign that I’d be on track. Did I mention the rain was holding? The sun even peeked out! Amazing. All that praying and non-rain dancing we did must have worked.

Can you find me? It’s like Where’s Waldo.

Looking towards home.


The first 4 miles were seriously the most humid miles I’ve EVER run (besides the beach, seriously.) I got a little discouraged, thinking “I’m going to heat stroke out…and that will be embarrassing.”
I hit my stride about mile 4, and was really settling in. I needed to take a Gu at mile 5, which I had to CHOKE down. (Um, jet blackberry flavor? more like jet crapberry flavor.) So I found it necessary to stop at the mile 5 water stop and shoot some Gu, gag, re-swallow the Gu, gag, and then finally re-re-swallow it whole with a water chaser. I took off again and felt immediately re-energized.I saw hilarious signs on Belmont – and the craziest spectators! Some favorite signs – “Don’t worry – you’re not going to win. So just enjoy the run!” “Beer and Smokes this Way!” “Keep Running – There’s Beer at the End!”And the spectators were just having the best time – lots of folks drinking in their front yards, offering beer and bloody mary’s to the runners (and seriously, some people stopped to drink bloody mary’s. Um, no. I’d rather eat donuts….also being offered by the dozen.)

I HATE the Belmont stretch, by the way. Most folks love it – I just despise it for some reason. The return on Belmont is a straight, steady up-hill. So I guess this was like mile 7 – and I needed a breather – I was gassed. So I let myself walk for 30 seconds.

I picked it up until about mile 10.5 (headed out of the Gulch) where I took a sip of water and it came right out…of me. Ha. I was like “ah – well,….we’re hydrated.” So I had to peel off at mile 11 and take a quick bathroom break. I was crashing hard at this point – I knew I needed another Gu or Cytomax, but after that first Crapberry flavored gel, I couldn’t stomach it. So after carrying it for 10.5 miles, I tossed my Espresso Love Gu by the curb. And stomped it. I did grab a Cytomax, which I had never tried before and took a small sip. (don’t want to test the ol’ bowels this late in the game with a new substance.) It was like drinking nectar – ew. So sweet. I tossed most of this on a fellow runner’s shoes. Sorry about your luck, lady…but I have no control of my body at this point.

Miles 11-13 I have SERIOUS beef about. Why, are there so many hills in the last grueling two miles of the race!? Wow. Kill me. So a little more walking, so I could be sure to finish strong 🙂 (The goal is to finish here…not PR…well, actually finishing is a PR since it was my first race, I guess. Ha.)

Finally, finally, I reached the bridge leading across the Cumberland River to Titans Stadium. A steady downhill. I was going to be a few minutes behind my very loose goal of 2.20, but I was finishing and so happy. My knee felt fine – my foot felt fine – no previous injuries seemed aggravated. However, I was sure my feet were bleeding and looked like hamburger. (Upon inspection later, they did not, you’ll be happy to know.)

I turned the corner to turn down the last .1 stretch, and saw Mom and Dad. So happy! My Dad told me back in December that if I did this, he would be at the finish line jumping up and down and squealing like a girl. I used to think about that on long training runs and it would keep me going 🙂 And he came through! Ha.

The finish line!


I finished at 2.25.26. Woo hoo!

Rog was missing though, I didn’t see him – and I thought “he did NOT go pee during this…” Turns out, there was like a 30 minute line at the parking lot to pay, and he told my parents to go on – he reminded my Dad that he (my Dad) was the reason I was doing this – to see him jump up and down like a little girl. Ha. So bless his selfless heart – he let my parents go on while he parked their car and paid.

I was so glad to be done. So glad. I chugged two waters and wanted more – ate an apple, banana and go-gurt (yogurt), most of which ended up on my shorts somehow.

This picture was right at the end and Dad said “how was it?” I said “it was pretty terrible.” Ha. That’s just cause I was cranky. In hindsight, it was terrible AND awesome all at once.

Check out my sweet medal! I’ll be wearing this for a week straight. Sleeping in it even.

The rents – couldn’t ask for better.


It started to rain about two minutes before we got to the car. Perfect. I felt so bad for folks still on the course, but was so glad it worked for me and most of my half buddies.

I came home and did a quick ice bath – ick. And then a 2.5 hour nap. Divine.

Ice bath. Callie is very curious about ice baths. (Those are bathing suit bottoms – don’t get too excited thinking you’re getting a peek at my undies.)


Mom and Dad asked on the way home if I’d do it again – I said it was too soon to say. Ha. I was still miserable and a little delusional. But now, several hours, sleep and recovery later, yep…I’d do it again. It feels like the ultimate physical test for me – and I’ve never been prouder of myself. So yeah, I’d do it again.

Ultimately, I wish I would have pushed it a little harder – slowed down, but not walked those little stints. But honestly, I thought I’d pass out if I didn’t. So am trying to remember that this was the first effort – and by God, I aced it.

Nashville Women’s Half Marathon in September? 😉 OR, the I Run for the Party Half in October. That’s some hot summer training…I’ll sleep on it.
XOXO,
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5 thoughts on “>13.1…and I Lived to Tell About It

  1. >Congrats on beating the rain! I also did the half this weekend and the last 2 miles was pure down pour for me 😦 finished at 3:10 with major hip pain but I'd do it again and am doing the Woman's Half in September!

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