This has taken me entirely too long to get around to writing. It’s not that I didn’t want to write it. I did. I’m just super awesome at procrastinating. Luckily, I know this about myself and made a note of the important stuff.
This was my first half marathon. I signed up for this thing back in April. I totally thought I’d be ready, no problem. Heh, I did not, however, foresee jacking up my ankle in August. That set back training. Oh well. Shit happens, right? Life and injuries happen. All I can do is keep moving forward. (I smell a tattoo…)
Okay, so I woke up feeling like I was getting a cold, but I ignored that. At the start I felt great. I mean really great. Like, I totally forgot how ill-prepared I was for this race good. I got all teary when they said raise your hand if you have a loved one in Iraq or Afghanistan. I raised my hand thinking of my super-bad sister-in-law in Iraq and her husband who will be heading to Afghanistan in short order. After the national anthem, it was go time.
The first 2.5 miles were fine. Better than fine. I felt good and was having a great time. Apparently my IT band decided feeling good was out of the question. I felt a twinge in my right knee, but it wasn’t enough to stop running. I ran for another mile and a half before realizing this was a big problem. I finally had to admit I was in a lot of pain. I stopped to walk and stretch, thinking that walking a little wouldn’t be awful. I was disappointed because it was so early in the race, but whatever. What can you do? I kept up a decent run/walk/stretch/run routine until around mile 9. By mile 10 I wanted to cry, and at mile 11 I was barely moving. My right knee just didn’t want to bend. But I kept plugging along. I always carry my phone, so I was texting The Husband and Dickers who were both super encouraging. Dickers, tho, totally made me laugh instead of cry. Thank you, Sam!!! 😀
ME: “I can’t hardly walk! My right leg is shot!”
DICKERS: “Drag it!”
ME: “I wanna sit down so bad!”
DICKERS: “You can sit down after 13.1! Keep going!”
So I finished my first half marathon with a great time…had I run a marathon. 😉 Oh well. I’ll just have to try again. When my Mom called that afternoon to ask how it went and update me on my step-dad’s condition, she asked why, if it hurt that bad, I didn’t quit. Um, because I had to finish, duh. I told her, “Because Randy didn’t quit, so why should I?” Randy is my step-dad. He’s still in ICU after an abdominal aortic aneurysm almost killed him 9 days before my race. He shouldn’t have made it, say the doctors. Well, if he can pull through that and 8 hours of surgery, I damn sure can walk to a finish in a piddly-ass half marathon.
Here are some things that stood out.
1) The cute girl in the Camp Barnabas shirt pushing the man in the wheelchair. She totally beat me. She pushed a wheelchair for 13.1 miles. Wow!
2) Downtown there were a couple of homeless folks cheering us on. That was crazy, funny and very cool. I’ve seen those two before on my way to class a couple of times. I also saw a kid sleeping on a bus bench. Thought it was another homeless person, but turns out it was just a tired kid out to support their runner.
3) Something smelled positively awful on Jefferson between Walnut and Pershing. No joke, it smelled like Pascagoula in the summertime. If you’ve not ever driven through Pascagoula, MS, then think rotten broccoli. Blech!
4) Right after the nasty smell there was a rock band on the corner of Jefferson and Elm. I have no idea if they were any good. They stopped playing when I got close enough to hear.
5) With my gimpy knee, I chased down a woman who had dropped a fuel belt bottle. She only had the one on her belt so I figured it probably was important she have it. It’s not like I was going to be breaking any speed records, so I picked it up. Damn, she was hard to catch! But I did. Karma points.
6) Next time I run this, I’m stopping to pick up the damn beer tickets. I passed at least 6 or 7 on the road because people apparently didn’t know to tear them off of their bib before they start running.
7) About 2 miles from the finish, this guy doing the marathon came running past. He had blood on his shirt. My first experience seeing the infamous bloody nipples. Well, technically not the nipples. The shirt was enough to turn my stomach a little. No thanks. Ugh. Pretty sure THAT would slow my ass down. Ouchouchouch.
I know normally there’s “nothing new on race day”. But sometimes that doesn’t happen either. I couldn’t get to my gel because the zipper on my pack got stuck. So I grabbed one at an aid station. I’m a fan of Hammer gels because they never upset my stomach and they taste good. These were apple cinnamon flavored, but they tasted alright and no ill effects. Glad that worked out.
The other new thing I had on race day was my brand new Garmin. Seriously, I wanna marry it. I love that thing. That is all.
So not a great report, but oh well. I got the first one out of the way and got my first medal. I’m hoping to do another one in December. We’ll see. It’s 4 loops, so I’m not completely sold on it yet.