WHAT?!?!

I ran a half marathon.  I am officially half crazy – if not more.

My first half marathon was today.  And it was great.  I am so proud of myself for doing it.  And I am so so proud of myself for the time that I was able to accomplish.

Let’s back up a little.

A few days ago, I started to get really nervous about my run.  We were in taper, which isn’t something that I thought I would like – or something that I thought would work – and I was getting antsy.  I wanted to run more.  I wanted to run quicker.  I wanted to make sure that I was going to reach my goal time.

So, I was getting nervous…which is only natural when you are about to run 13.1 miles for the first time ever.

But I pushed it aside.  I had work to do.  And friends to see.  And a whole life that could not solely revolve around this race.

Then, last night (technically, this morning), I woke up around midnight.  I’d already been asleep for a few hours (as I’d been out way too late on Friday evening).  I did not feel well at all.  My stomach was upset, I thought I was going to vomit.  I got up and went to the bathroom (you don’t wake up in the middle of the night for no reason).  And I just did not feel well.  I actually thought I was going to have to call my friend I was driving with and call the people I’d trained with and tell them I wasn’t going.  That is how bad I felt.

But I went back to bed.  And then when I woke up, I was feeling better.  Still nervous, but a good nervous.  The kind of nervous that you should be.

So, I headed off to my friend’s apartment and we went to the race (she was running the 5K, but decided to come early to cheer me on and get pictures of some of the other teachers as well).  And we met up with the people that I had trained with.  And we chatted and used the restrooms (just before the line got super, super long).  And then, we were off.

I began my run with one of the people I had trained with, just a little ahead of the rest of our group.  We set a good pace.  Just under 10 minutes…which was actually a little quicker than we probably should have been going, but it felt good and I wasn’t breathing heavy and it was fine.  I stayed with my training partner for the first 5 miles.  We each stopped for water and we kept tabs on each other.  Somewhere between the 5 and 6 mile mark, I lost her.  I just started to pick it up a little.  And I started running into people that I didn’t think should have been in front of me, but were.  And I started passing them.

I saw my friend again.  And as I was turning to get close to mile 7, I saw the winners coming down the homestretch, past mile 12.  I wasn’t sure if I should be inspired by them – I mean I hadn’t even reached mile 7 yet and they were a mile from the finish line – or if I should be disgusted with myself (I was not really disgusted with myself).  Miles 8-10 featured the hills of the race.  None of the hills were that bad and with so many people around, the hills seemed even better.

At mile 10, I started to pick it up again.  I got water and there was a little bit of a downhill.  And I started fishing.  I started picking people to follow to see if I could keep up with them…if I could pass them.  There was a couple that I was hoping to stay with, but I didn’t…and that’s okay.  But there were plenty of people that I did pass.  And I kept kicking it up a little bit, the closer I got.

When I hit mile 12, I didn’t want to let anyone else pass me.  But there were a couple of guys that came running up real hard and I knew I couldn’t keep up with them.  Besides that though, I passed people.  And I felt good about it.  There was a guy that I started pacing myself against in an orange shirt.  At one point he said hello and I asked how he was doing.  That was the extent of the conversation.  And about the 12.5 mile point, he started to pull a little ahead.  But then, in the last stretch, I was able to really sprint it out – my good, modified cross country training coming into use – and I passed him…finishing probably seconds before him.

My finish time was 2:04:20.

I am so proud of that.  And so proud of myself.  I wanted to finish around 2:10.  And I beat it.  And that makes me so happy.

I’m not without pain.  I have two blisters.  One is really, really big.  The other is a little smaller.  Both are painful.  The worst part about those is I knew they were coming.  I could feel them beginning before I ever left my training partner (so maybe now you can tell how bad they might be).  I also (and I’m sorry if this is TMI) have some pretty horrid chafing.

But my muscles are feeling pretty good right now (I’ll update on that more tomorrow).  And other than being tired (so very, very tired), I feel good.  And if it weren’t for the blisters and chafing, I dare say that I’d just be feeling like it was any other Monday tomorrow.

It was a great weekend.  And I’m so glad that I did this.

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