Wow, I can’t believe that it’s been so long since I’ve been on here.
Let’s back up a little bit
a) I’m now more settled in my new job
b) I’m now settled in my new apartment
and c) I JUST FINISHED MY FIRST HALF MARATHON!
So, obviously a lot has happened in the past couple of months, and while I’m sorry to have left you all for a little, I just wanted to let you all know that I’m back!
Now, onto the good stuff – I finally completed my first half marathon… the B.A.A. Half Marathon yesterday. I had trained, I was prepared, and I was ready to go. I was ready to hit that 2ish hour time.
Until Saturday threw a curve ball.
I had horrible abdomen pain, and I hauled myself to the clinic when I was sure that the pain wasn’t going to go away on it’s own. Turns out, I had developed a bladder infection. Whoop De Do. Mind you, this is now less than 24 hours before I was supposed to run the half. Let the freakout ensue.
After basically a whole day of pounding antibiotics, cranberry juice, water and trying to feed myself, I laid my clothes out and started mentally preparing for how the race was going to go the next morning. My boyfriend had just come home from a week away, and just seeing him made my mind feel a little bit more at ease. Just having him back reassured me that I could do it. My time goal went out the window… I just wanted to finish.
So, early Sunday morning, I put my running gear on, plus some sweats and headed to Franklin Park Zoo. After an agonizing wait in a portapoty line, I started having the fear that I wouldn’t be able to run a couple miles without visiting bathroom. That fear was swiftly put out, when I realized that I didnt bring a bottle of water to drink something before the race started. Because I didn’t have any water, I had to wait until mile 2 to eat my 30 EnergyBits (they were a life saver).
We made our way to the field, and I quickly took my sweats off and headed into the corral. I was running late, and there was not really any time to slow down and think. Before I knew it, the corral I was in (wave three, closer to the 9:59min/mile) started moving.
The course was beautiful. The first two miles warmed my legs up, and I had to fight the urge to just fly down the downhill. I knew I was going to be facing an uphill battle for most of the course, so I tried as hard as I could to start off slow. I really had no idea how fast I was going (my Nike+ app wouldnt start without crashing), but I figured I would settle into a nice pace.
Mile 8 is where the head games started. My calf started cramping – even with the compression sleeve, and I just started getting fatigued. I ate EnergyBits at mile 6, and had planned on finishing them at mile 10, so I grabbed a cup of Gatorade, and hoped that it would help replace some of the salt that I had lost. It did the trick, and I got a new wind.
Mile 10, I could have punched someone for making a little strip that runs out and back… before you get into the zoo. This was the biggest mind game, you are seeing people coming back at you, but I couldnt see the turn around. I swear, mile 10 to 11 was the longest mile of the whole course.
Going through the zoo… I think I hyped it up more in my head. It smelled like animal poop, it was dusty, and there was a small stretch where it was single file. I only saw sleeping camels, and I had to dodge actual patrons at the zoo.
I saw my boyfriend as I was coming out of the zoo – and even though I might not have looked like I was smiling, seeing him gave me the last oomph I needed to go that last ¾ of a mile.
The finish was in White Stadium, and when I crossed the finish line, I had the biggest smile on my face and felt like if I had more water in me – I would have been crying. It didn’t matter to me at that point how fast I ran, but I crossed the finish line – and that is what mattered most.
Turns out, I ran the race in 2:21. It was slower than I was hoping for, but based on all the given circumstances, I am happy with it. I earned it – literally with blood, sweat and tears.
Also, since the BAA Half was the last of the BAA Distance Medley that I was a part of, I got two medals. I was so happy. I was hobbling, and at one point, I’m pretty sure I used my boyfriend as a crutch while walking back to the car, but I did it – and no one can take it away from me.
If you were to tell me two years ago that I would have completed a half marathon, I would have just laughed. But I did it. And I’m still in awe that I did it.
I promise I’ll be on here more often now – thanks for still sticking around!