Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Half marathon race report

I've never been regular when it comes to blogging, so forgive me for the extreme lapse in time from the last time I updated. Like I've said before, I write for a living, which makes it hard to write just for me.

But when I'm moved, I'll write, and the half marathon I ran two days ago really moved me.

Let's start at the beginning. I signed up for this race with one dream: get to the finish line. It seemed so unattainable. How can anyone run 13.1 miles? That's crazy talk. But it was a challenge I wanted to overcome, and I did. It took a LOT of work and it certainly wasn't easy but it was so worth it.

Not to mention the almost $3,000 I raised to help cure Leukemia and Lymphoma. My aunt died two years ago of leukemia so the cause is very near and dear to my heart.

Anyway, let me take you to what happened on race day:

I woke up at 3 a.m. bright and early in my San Diego hotel room after just having a dream that my wake up call was way too late. Not the best way to wake up, but nonetheless I hopped in the shower, threw on my singlet and my sneakers and headed downstairs. I hooked up with the rest of my team and I was nervous just because I didn't know what to expect. We started boarding shuttles at 4:30 a.m. and made it to Balboa Park in San Diego around 5.

We got into the extremely long line for the porto-potties. Normally when you're racing, they tell you to go to the bathroom, then get right back in line and go again. However the line was so long by the time we were done we decided to just get in our corrals. The gun went off at 6:15 but unfortunately I was in the third to last corral, so I didn't even cross the starting line until 7:08 a.m. So painful to just stand there for almost an hour! Ugh!

Anyway we get going and all of a sudden I'm like...OMG. I need a porto potty! Not even at mile 1 people! I pulled over and waited in line for the porto potty and finally went. Between that and some leg pain I've had regularly that kicks in between miles 1 and 3 and eases off, I ran a pretty crappy 5k time.

But after mile 3, I started to feel really good. I kicked it up a notch and went a little faster, and I felt like I had a good 10k time. Then at mile 7, the sun came out, and I was so done after that. I was very unprepared for the heat of San Diego...but in retrospect, there was really nothing I could have done to prepare for that. So I backed off in a big big way.

At that point we were running on the highway, on 163, and I was NOT a fan of that for many reasons. First, the road is SLANTED! So many people hurt themselves or their painful joints started acting up at that point. It is really hard to run on a slanted road! Second, the marathoners and the half marathoners merged at this point and ran together. It was really crappy to see all these people suddenly running past you and I'm sure it was annoying to them to have to weave in and out of slower half marathoners.

By then the heat was kicking my ass big time and at mile 9, a Team coach stopped me and was like "uhh...are you drinking water?" haha, yes I am sir, I trained for this race in the snow and was not prepared for running in 80 degree heat! But it worked out- at mile 10, people in grass skirts had hoses and were spraying water everywhere and it felt soooo good.

I really perked up after that and trudged through mile 11, and at mile 12 I met up with this girl, Kelsey, who was feeling really sore. Soreness had set in big time for me too but we decided to run together for a little while and talking to each other really took our minds off the pain.

Then all of a sudden a girl ran up behind us and was like "Less than half a mile to the finish! Let's do this!" and we were so ready to finish so we just let go of all the pain and pushed through to the finish. It was a great race even if I had to let go of my "happy time" time goal because of the heat.

As far as running another goes, I think I definitely will. I just don't know when. Knowing me, July will come around and I'll get the urge to train for a race in October. But I'm just going to let that happen and see if that really is the way I feel.

I feel really good about running my 10k on July 4. I feel like that is a great, managable distance right now :)

Thank you so much to everyone who pushed me throughout this experience and donated their time, effort, and money into helping me get to the finish line. Also thanks to the people who listened to me cry and moan after all my long runs. I really couldn't have done it without so many people who helped me get here!

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