23 September 2008

I did it!

I ran my first half marathon. It's a huge deal for me, because I am the queen of starting things and not finishing. I told anyone and everyone who would listen, that I had signed up for the race and I was running a half marathon. That way, I'd HAVE to do it, or else I'd have to explain to umpteen people why I wussed out.

I got pretty nervous in the week leading up to it, and began thinking of lame excuses. Then I went for a 7.5 mile run, and honestly it wasn't that hard, and I thought, "Hey I can do this. Don't be such a skirt, put on your big girl running shorts and do it." So I did :)

I found a few people I knew at the start line and I ran the first three miles or so with a guy who works in the chaplain's office across the hall from me. He was a good running partner, we just chit chatted about this and that and before I knew it we were already at the first water station. But he was running the 10K and that route split from the half marathon route at about mile 3, so we high fived and wished each other well. I didn't need to walk until about mile 8. I took a short walking break, only a couple of minutes and got back into my pace.

I stopped to use the bathroom more than I should have needed to but with my stomach issues I didn't want to take chances. I drank water and gatorade at nearly every station, and they had some fruit just past my halfway point. Plus I had those jelly beans that are really candy but masquerade as energy food.

It got really hard at mile 10. I struggled for the last three miles and my legs felt like they weighed about a hundred pound each. I held my tension in my shoulders and I could feel like getting really, really heavy. But then with less than a quarter mile to go, I saw Matt and the kids and the boys were so cute....they had those silly cowbells that the race sponsors gave out and they were ringing those things and cheering for all they were worth. That was what I needed to haul my tired ass across the finish line, and down the chute to have a colonel who looked way too young to be a full bird colonel put a medal around my neck and congratulate me. I gave the medal to Lucas and he said he wanted to run with me next year. Seth....not so much.

But, I set a goal. I worked toward it (although, in the spirit of full disclosure, not nearly as hard as I should have) and I did it. It felt so good, once I got past the ache in my legs. Seriously from the top of my hip, all the way down to my ankle, the backs of my legs felt like rubber bands that were stretched too far. It hurt. Bad. But after a massage, a long hot bath, and a good night's sleep, I felt a lot better. I ran on Saturday, today is Tuesday and I still feel it just the tiniest bit in my calves.

I don't think I am aspiring to 26.2. Not yet at least. Maybe after I have a couple more halves under my belt.

OK, time to go and get my nails done. I'm going on the coolest TDY ever on Thursday, and it will go much better if I am within regs for not only my uniform but hair and nails and silly things like that.

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