My training schedule was set. I printed it out and it took up a temporary residence on the front of the refrigerator. I logged each run and kept track of my total mileage during training.
After I recovered I was back at my running. I was easily excited by each running milestone I accomplished.
Running 1 full mile.
Running a 5K without stopping.
Running my longest to date, it was 8 miles, then 9, then 10.
At no point during this 8.5 week training did I think that I would not be able to do this. I knew I could and I knew I would.
I only had 3 goals to hit. (Okay, I secretly had 4)
1. Finish the race
2. Don’t be the last person to finish the half
3. Run as much as I could
Secret 4. Finish between 2:37 and 2:48
Yup, these were easy goals to hit. Hey, I didn’t want to let myself down at all so I made attainable goals.
Everything was made monumentally easier since my best friend Michele was there by my side. She is even crazier than I am because her first major race was the Disney Marathon. 26.2 miles of crazy and Disney character fun. She loved every minute of it.
Michele arrived on Saturday and we took off for the Expo. Surprisingly neither of us purchased anything.
But after we got home we did feel the need to model our new tech race shirts. And if it looks like someone is standing on a ladder to take our picture it is only because the fabulous boyfriend, Jeff, is a giant (6’6″).
After a relaxing night of no tv (remember, it’s still broken!), an easy pasta dinner and a lot of girly time catching up we were beat and headed to bed at 9pm. Michele and I were checking the weather every half hour or so from our phones to plan how to dress for the morning. We already knew there would be a steady wind of around 30 mph with some gusts into the 40 mph range but we were not expecting it to be in the mid-30’s for our race.
So when we woke up at 4:45 we ate breakfast and then bundled up in our cold weather running gear. We were both hoping for more out of you, Mother Nature, for an April 17th race.
With 3,000+ runners ready to start the race I started near the back so I wouldn’t get trampled by all of the real runners as they took off. In fact we were SO far back that after we heard GO! we didn’t actually start moving until 3 minutes after that. At that point the running began.
I started strong and had 3 great miles.
Then the week off and the sinus infection blah’s seem to take hold of me. I had slower mileage after that, no biggie, I was still moving forward.
When I hit a leg pain induced wall around mile 9, Michele was right there to cheer me on. She was my saving grace. Sure, I could have done it without her. But it made it all the more special that she was there. For me. To share in my joy. She celebrated each mile with me and gave me great pep talks along the way.
The dull scenery along the University Parks Trail for 5 miles, the stupid, stupid wind and my leg and foot pain made the end of the race mind numbing. I just kept telling myself to “Suck it up, Princess” (thanks for that one Lynds!). Before I knew it we were on the University of Toledo campus and I knew the end was near. Michele kept looking back at me with an excited face trying to share excitement with me. I probably looked like I wanted to cut someones head off at that point, but she smiled at me still. (THAT is true friendship)
As we raced into the Glass Bowl to the finish line I was not only happy it was over but I was thrilled that I started.
I scanned the crowd for my giant of a man and when I locked eyes on him I couldn’t wait for that victory hug. I was so happy he was there to share in my moment.
After I stretched out my super sore legs we retrieved our finishers medals and mugs. Then we found the food and I had the most orgasmic oranges I have ever had.
After the drive home I realized just how happy I was and Michele captured a great picture of me at that point. This shot sums up the day in my mind. I am so happy that I started this half marathon journey.
Now I am going to rest my aching legs…then plan my next race!
How did I do on my goals?
1. Finish the race Finished!
2. Don’t be the last person to finish the half There were roughly 150 people behind me in the half when I finished!
3. Run as much as I could I am sure I could have run more but I was struggling. I am happy though with my running!
Secret 4. Finish between 2:37 and 2:48 Haha, just made this one! 2:45 finish time!
For those who would want to know, here are my splits for the race (average pace 12:32):
Mile 1: 11:34
Mile 2: 11:51
Mile 3: 11:48
Mile 4: 12:32
Mile 5: 12:54
Mile 6: 12:32
Mile 7: 11: 58
Mile 8: 12:56 <——– Right where my leg pain and mental anguish started
Mile 9: 13:05
Mile 10: 12:21
Mile 11: 13:35 <——— I had a lot of pain in my foot and took it slow and steady so it didn’t get worse. Thankfully, it worked!
Mile 12: 13:52
Mile 13: 12:12
.1 Mile: 2:18
Total time 2:45:35