Wednesday, June 6, 2012

June is Busting Out All Over

It has been a full month since our last post. As you can probably tell, we're busy. I was in Chicago (again) for the last 6 days for work. Getting ready for this trip, as well has half marathon training took up my entire life in May. I was so busy, I barely had time to think, let alone blog or even post pictures on Facebook. I traveled and I worked, and I worked and I ran. It was rough, and I am unbelievably glad it's over.

But let's get to the good part: I ran a half marathon!!!! :D

It was hard, and I didn't do as well as I would have liked to, but I did it, and I'm extremely proud of myself.

The race actually started out pretty well. I was super nervous, but I'd hydrated well, eaten well, and slept well the day before the race, so I knew my body was as ready as it was ever going to be. I was feeling good, but I knew I needed the extra push, so I asked my sister to run with me. She'd said all along it was going to be up to me if I wanted her to or not, and I am SO glad I asked her to. Not only was it great to be with her the entire time, but I wouldn't have finished without her. I know this for sure, because without her by my side I would have had to walk a lot more, and I would have been swept off the course for timing. But she kept me going!

We ran by my mom and the hubs for the first time at mile 3-ish. I was still happy to be out there at this point, and happy to see them. We had an out and back, so we knew we'd see them again around mile 9.

The out and back was rough. It was great to see all the front runners...and then the majority of the racers coming back, but it made it feel pretty long and slow. We ran for 8 miles straight before I needed a break...that's when the wheels fell off and I had a HARD time getting it all back together.

As you can see here....I was feeling rough....and there are people walking behind me...we fell into the walk-run crowd pretty quickly, and that's what I did from there on out. I tried to pull it together, but my leg hurt, and I was done. I kept pushing, and my sister pushed me with some tough love, which helped, but the last 5 miles were SLOW. When we got to 11, I wanted nothing more than to lay down on the road and be done, but I was too close for that. I walk-ran my way all the way to about 12.5 where my sister said no more walking. The finish was in sight and there was NO way we were walking that there were TONS of spectators at that point (mostly people who had already finished) so I got the extra rush I needed.

I was so emotional coming across the finish line. Much like at the end of the triathlon, I just couldn't believe I had actually done it. I don't know my time...I could look it up, but I don't want to. I forgot to stop my Garmin after I crossed the finish line because I was pretty much in tears. I just wanted to see the hubs and get my metal. I worked my behind off for the damn metal and I was not leaving without it. 

I learned a lot in training for the half. First, I am not good at following training plans. I didn't do it for the tri, and I didn't do it for the half either. I need to work on that. Second, I am NOT a long distance runner. I am going to focus more on getting faster at short distances. I like 5ks, and I am pretty sure I'd be good with 10ks too, but the half wasn't fun for me. I got really sick of running all the time, and I didn't like the feeling of having long runs hanging over my weekend. I am looking forward to splitting up my training this summer to get ready for the tri.

Speaking of training, I have taken an entire week and two days off from doing anything. Granted, when I travel for work I'm on my feet all day every day, so it's really only like I've been a lump of nonactivity for two days now, but I'm ready to get back into it. I've got to come up with a reasonable training plan for the tri (and stick to it) and I'm gym searching again. I miss my classes so much, so I bought a Groupon for Boston Sports Club to get back over there. Now that half training is over, I'll have time to get back to spinning and weight training, and hopefully get my arm tone back.

All in all, I am proud of myself for doing the half, and for pushing myself all the way to the end. I'm not happy with how long it took me, or how I feel apart near the end, but I did it. I'm not about to buy a 13.1 sticker for my car or anything, but I'm happy to brag about the fact I'm a half marathoner.