Monday, May 2, 2011

Country Music Half Marathon!

Amazingly enough, I actually got a pretty good night's sleep Friday night, but I woke up bright and early at 4:30 on Saturday morning!  I was soooooooo nervous (like, I couldn't eat that morning for fear of throwing up, nervous)!!!!!  However, before I headed out the door, my sweet mom woke up to take the only pic of the entire day when I looked like I wasn't dying:
Next, I was off to meet my work friends at LP Field (the finish line where all the runners park their cars).  I immediately felt better when I saw them.  I'm not sure why, but there is something to be said for being with people who are in the same boat as you to really calm you down.  After Leslie's husband gave us a ride to the start line, and we walked around for a bit, it was time for the race to begin.  Because the Country Music Marathon is so freakin' big, there is a wave start, and since Leslie, Mark, and Sandy all were in a much lower corral than I was we went our separate ways and I headed to get in line with my fellow runners.  As I got closer and closer to the start line though, a strange thing happened.  My nervousness began to fade and excitement took over.  I began the race at 7:40 am and immediately was feeling really good.  I had to slow myself down during the beginning of the race because I didn't want to tire myself out too early.

Miles 1-3 went really well, despite the fact that there were several hills.  As I finished my first 5K, though, I started filling a twinge of pain in my knee...I told myself that I was just imagining it and that I just needed to keep running. 

As I came up to mile 5, my knee was really hurting, but I knew my family, Patrick and Alysia were waiting up ahead, so I decided that if I could just make it to them, I would be okay.  Also, around mile 5 is when my cell phone decided to die...yes, along with my phone, I also lost my sad, but I just hoped that there was enough stuff going on in the crowd that I wouldn't get too bored.  As I came around the curve, I saw my cheering section waving and cheering for me!  It was amazing!  I didn't stay at that stop for very long, but I was there long enough to pass off my cell phone and to get a few hugs from my Mama and my Beau:

My mom is always there to give a big hug!
 Sidenote:  Having my family and friends there to cheer me on a few miles in was the most wonderful thing ever!  I really was beginning to have a hard time, but as soon as I saw them, I got a renewed sense of energy.  I immediately felt better.  I saw my family again at mile 8 and I still felt great (except for that pesky knee problem).  Also, during the 30 minutes since I had seen them last, Alysia had been working hard creating playlist of music on her Ipod.  I was so freakin' excited that I was going to have some help to get me through the final 5 miles.
Alysia had my armband ready and everything!

Still smiling even after 8 miles!
I had decided a few days before the race that if my knee started hurting badly that I was going to walk miles 8-10.  I thought that if I could take a break in the middle that I would be able to finish strong.  Looking back on it, this is the one thing I regret of the day.  I did walk miles 8-10 and I thought that it would be easy to start running again when the time came.  However, it proved to be very difficult.  In fact, the last 3 miles of the half marathon were extremely difficult for me.  Not only did my knee hurt with every step, but I was REALLY tired.  I couldn't believe that I had felt so good at Mile 8 and then felt SO BAD at mile 11.  However, I still managed to finish the race in 3:00:58.  It wasn't the best time in the world and there were certainly THOUSANDS of people who finished ahead of me, but I am very proud of my accomplishment and am very excited that I beat the time from my last half marathon by over 15 minutes! 
Me, very tired and in a lot of pain, after finishing the race!

At the finish line I had MANY supporters:
Mark, Leslie, and Sandy (my work buddies) and Ainsley and Libby (Sandy's adorable kids)

Alysia and Patrick

Mama and Daddy
Thank you sooooooo much to all of you for coming out and supporting me and for giving me encouragement throughout this entire experience.  I appreciate all of you more than you will ever know!

When asked if I would run another half marathon, my answer is definitely "yes." I will absolutely do another one, and would love to improve my time by another 15 minutes the next time! =)

1 comment:

Christina said...

Way to go! I'm glad you're already wanting to do another one :)
I have a hard time starting to run again after walking too.