Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Half Marathon

Hi dear friends near and far.  It has been a long summer.  A busy one for sure!  We spent a month visiting family, friends and going to Ohio to visit more friends.  It was fantastic!  One unfortunate event?  I managed to exercise for a little over a week, but my right hamstring muscle started to seize on me.  It was painful.  And, while I stretched it, it didn't want to let go.  I babied it, but by doing that, caused my quad to get grumpy too.  So, I did some bike riding and surprisingly had some really great rides!  I even went on a bike ride with my dad.  He kiddingly asked if I needed him to bring the 'tow rope' with him.  I said no. :)  We logged a 13 mile ride together!

We came home, and I ran a couple of times.  Then, I took that Friday off and took on my first half marathon that Saturday (August 10th).  My plan going in was to run as much as I could.  I also planned to start with the walkers at 6am because I just didn't know what to expect.  Friday evening, I picked up my 'race' packet.  I knew full well that this wasn't a 'race' for me, but a scenic route that I had never taken before.  After getting home, I organized all of my gear for the morning.

Surprisingly, I slept fairly well.  I got up at 4:30, had a little something to eat, and as I got ready to put my chest strap with heart rate monitor on, my watch battery died!  Ugh!  Thankfully I had a back up *the kind where you put your fingers on the sensors.*  Eh, it would work.  I got into 'town' for my 'race' around 5:35-5:40 which gave me a few minutes to throw on some sunscreen and go to the bathroom one last time.  We were to hear a speech from the race director at 5:45.

While we stood there, the 'trackers' recorded our bibs into their 'computers' and the director talked.  He counted us down to 6 and we were off.  I started like I normally do, with my 5 minute brisk walk.  Then I turned it over to running: 3 minutes on and 2 minutes walking.  That was fine until I really hit the trail.  It was a very steep trail.  According to my map, it was only a 700ish foot gain overall, but it was enough to kick my pants.

With that said, I walked quite a bit.  When it leveled out, I ran.  But even in places where it had 'leveled out', it wasn't completely runable *is that even a word?*  There were large rocks in the path which made it difficult to actually run.  When I finally felt like I had gotten in my groove *around 9 1/2 miles oddly enough*, I was going down a small knoll *hill?* and my left knee started to give out.  All I could think of was, really??  I had stopped a couple of times to stretch, but now my knee was giving me grief.  It wasn't my right hamstring which had been giving me problems since being in NY.  It was my left knee.  Argh!!!

From there on out, I stopped making any attempt to run.  I was there to enjoy the views.  And they were magnificent!  At mile 11ish, an older lady passed me who had been walking the entire time.  As she passed me, she says, "It's all down hill.  It's burning up the quads!!!"  Ha!  At that moment, my quads were the least of my worries.  My knee didn't like going down hill.  A volunteer saw me around that point too and asked if I was okay and if I was in the half.  I told him that I was supposed to be running, but was definitely walking at that point.  He asked if I was okay and I told him that my knee was sore, but that I was going to make it.

I was going to make it!  I might crawl across that finish line, but I was going to finish!

I was getting close and I was able to hear the cheers of the finish line.  It was just me and my victory.  No one to give me that last boost.  But, I finished.  Time doesn't matter at this point, because I set a goal and accomplished it.

A couple of days after the 'race', I checked back in to see if they had posted the results and they had.

I didn't finish last.

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