The alarm went off at 4:40. I got up and went about my routine to get ready. Only hangup--something happened to my big toenail and we had no bandaids, so I wrapped a paper towel around it and taped it. Makeshift bandaid.
Kathleen picked me up at 5:30 and we headed downtown. Met up with Jody. It was COLD and dark--lots of shivering while we waited. We visited the bathrooms twice, met up with my running buddies Marsha and Gynetta, and waited. Kathleen and Jody are faster than us, so they moved up a little. We'd meet up at the end. I tried to ignore the nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach. I ate a few energy chews--more on that later.
Race started...it was awesome. Such a cool feeling...all 8,000 of your closest friends all running down the streets of downtown.
Miles 1-2: great. Cruising right along. Running at a pretty fast pace (for me at least). Enjoying the brisk cool morning air. This stretch was through Power and Light.
Miles 3-4: Holy Hills Batman. Two pretty steep ones around the Liberty Memorial. Tried my arm pulling the rope thing and it didn't work so well. Gynetta and I would yell when we got to the top--felt good to yell. Even with the hills, still moving at a good pace. Feeling good.
Miles 5-6: Sun coming out now, warming up. Legs feeling pretty good, no shin or ankle pain. Bobby and the girls had come down with Kathleen's family, and they were somewhere between 5-6. It was so neat to see their signs and hear them cheer for us! This stretch was through Westport. About this time my stomach started hurting..won't go into details, but it did not feel good. I think it was the energy chews.
Miles 7-8: Rolling through the Plaza. Legs still feeling good, stomach still not feeling well. A friend from college of mine and Gynetta's was along this stretch. It was good to see friends cheering! A former student was supposed to be along here, but she got confused and sat over by the full marathoners, waiting for me to run along. Oops. Gynetta pulled away a tad from me and Marsha at the end of 8. This was a nice stretch.
Mile 9: Bobby, the girls and Kathleen's family had moved over somewhere along this stretch. Legs still good, stomach still not good. I had to walk at the end of 9, and Marsha pulled ahead a little. I was on my own. Hyde Park was this area, an area of town I've never been to.
Mile 10: Was a big blur. I remember one really, really long gradual hill. That's about it. It was not a pleasant mile.
Mile 11: Really cool DJ at mile 11 marker who was strangely inspirational. Somewhere at the beginning of mile 11 I was passed by the full marathon leader. Yep, I was passed by someone running 26 miles while I was running 13. That really helped the spirits. NOT. Somewhere along here Eric ran with me a tad. He had already finished his half (1:27--seriously!!) and was going back to walk with his dad.
Mile 12: mostly downhill. Made up a little time from the horrid mile 10. Legs slowing down, but still not in pain. Stomach still hurting. This stretch ran through the Paseo...yikes.
Mile 13: I swear this mile was actually 3 miles long. Seemed like I'd never reach the finish!! It was mostly flat with a slight uphill by the finish. Bobby and the girls had moved over by the finish, and again, it was SOOO nice to see them cheering. I think Macy yelled "Faster" but I couldn't move any faster.
Afterward, got water and food, visited the port a potty, took pictures, cheered on Eric and his dad, Bobby got us lost in the parking garage trying to find the car. Got my official time: 2:42. A personal record since this was my first half marathon. My goal had been 2:45, so I was 3 minutes ahead of that!
I was pretty pleased with my first effort. I had been worried about shin and ankle pain, and I had NONE. I am kicking myself for eating those energy chews--really think they were the root of my stomach pain. Marsha finished just 2 minutes ahead of time; wish I could have caught up with her.
What a fun, fun experience. Can't believe that at age 35, I just ran my first half-marathon.
Here's me, Marsha and Gynetta before the race. Not the best pic.
Marsha and Gynetta too. At that point, I just wanted to get in the car and get food.