Monday, January 14, 2013

13.1 on 1.13

One of my bucket list goals was to run a half marathon. I am not a runner at all. I would love to be one of those people who puts on their running shoes and without any effort, goes for a run. That's just not me. When I run, I pretty much look like I'm dying from the very beginning until the very end. It's a struggle.

Last year I did the 5k that is with the Houston Marathon and Half-Marathon. Seeing all those people out there was a huge motivator for me and I decided that next year, I was running the half-marathon. It's a pretty big deal here in Houston and you have to enter a lottery to be able to register. Well, I didn't get selected in the lottery so my other option was to fundraise for a charity to get an entry. In the 4 months of fundraising, I raised over $500 and was able to register for the race! I ran on behalf of the Houston Center for Literacy.

Side note- did you know that 1 out of 5 adults in Houston are illiterate? Crazy and scary!!!

I was so excited and a little nervous. 13.1 miles is a long way. Just looking at the race route made me exhausted! But I had committed so the training began. I ran the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day which was 6 miles. December was a horrible month and I didn't run hardly at all. After Christmas, I had an "oh crap" moment when I realized on January 13th I was running the race. So I spent about 3 weeks hardcore training. I did 2 longs runs (9 and 10 miles). Looking back on it, this probably wasn't the best way to train for a half-marathon. But I figured I knew I could run 10 miles so 13.1 wouldn't be so bad.

Race Day- all week long I had been obsessively checking the weather. The forecast varied all week from 30% chance of rain to 70% chance of rain and the temps were anywhere between 45 and 70. The rain would be horrible but 70 degree humid Houston weather would be worse. On Sunday morning when I woke up, it was about 45 degrees. A cold front was in the process of coming through. AND it was RAINING. It went from misting to drizzling to downpour. The race started at 7am and I went through the start line about 7:20am. By that time, it was pretty much a downpour. There was nothing I could do but keep going. It rained. A lot. For the entire first 5 miles (about an hour). I was drenched. My gloves were so wet I could wring them out. I lost them about mile 3 because it was just too uncomfortable.

Seeing the people cheering us on in the rain was fabulous. It brought tears to my eyes several times. In fact, I had to walk if I felt like I was going to cry. You see, I'm one of those ugly, can't breathe, criers so running and crying doesn't work.

The way the route was set up, I knew if I could make it to mile 5, I would be good to go. Thank goodness for me, the weather gods knew that also and at mile 5, the rain stopped. I was soaked and freezing but at least the rain wasn't pelting me in the face any more. At this point, I'd take what I could get from the weather gods. Mile 5-9 were awesome. I walked some but mostly ran. I felt good.

Then at mile 9, you turn around and run the other way on the same street for 2 miles. It was probably the most boring part of the run. And to make matters worse, I could see the race crews cleaning up the other side of the street so I knew I needed to hustle.

Once I got to mile 11, I knew I was on the home stretch. 2 miles is no big deal normally. My legs disagreed with me. I could not make them move any faster. I knew I was on pace to complete the whole thing in 3 hours (my goal) so I gave it everything I could. About mile 12, I saw my dad with our 2 dogs on the sideline cheering me on. It gave me the final push to finish! The last mile was amazing. People were lined up on the streets cheering you on. I was able to dig down deep and run the last mile. Once I could see the finish line, I had an overwhelming feeling of success. And to cap it all off, my mom was cheering me on at the finish line! I had set a huge goal and I couldn't believe I had actually ran 13.1 miles.

Crossing the finish line was the best feeling in the world. I all of a sudden forgot all the pain I was in and how tired I was. I took my race picture, got my food, and met my mom. All I wanted at that point was a warm shower and to get out of my wet clothes. It was about 40 degrees and windy by the race finish so I was miserable.

I finished the entire 13.1 miles in 3:03:38. I ran a 14 minute mile. Finished in 8,877 place (out of about 10,000 people) and 4,727 in the women's category. I was #877 in my age division. For my first race, I was pleased. I didn't finish last (by a long shot) and almost met my goal. I'm already planning for my next race and am excited to start training again!

And I haven't purchased the official race pictures but if anyone if interested in seeing how wet and tired I looked, here's the link:


Domesticable said...

One day I will do a marathon but I want to start with the half My husband was supposed to complete the full but didn't do either one.
GREAT JOB BY THE WAY! When you race it's not about where you finish...only if you finish!

Also, not that I don't love commenting on your blog but are you planning on taking word verification off your blog. You may get more comments. OF COURSE, this is your blog and I don't want to tell you what to do. I'm just speaking for other bloggers who HATE word verification.


Lauren said...

You crazy marathoners! I want to join your ranks one day but I have a looonnnng way to go! Congratulations on getting through it and on planning for another one!