Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I ran a half marathon!

Running: some run for enjoyment, for conditioning for other sports, to get cut into shape, or to really indulge their fat kid soul.  I started running when I went out for sports in middle school, did I enjoy it- definitely not- hated it actually.  It was boring, and used as a form of punishment (running wind sprints or killers come to any one's mind??)  I got into running this past year when I decided to sign up for Team In Training with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  For the first time in my life, I felt like I was doing something productive and impactful not only for myself but for so many other people.  This past few months I've been training for the Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon and this is how it went...

The week or so before the half, I was extremely nervous about the San Diego Half Marathon and just wanted to get it over with. More than anything I just wanted to accomplish a few things:
  • Manage my chronic scapula/upper back pain
  • Don't cry
  • Come close to my goal time of 2:30
  • Pretend to be a morning person (3:45 wake up call! what?? In the AM??)
  • FINISH and not annoy my brother by how slow I am

Pretty simple right? Wrong! I think I only accomplished 2 of the 5 - I'm not a math major but I'm going to assume that's not a good percentage.

Before the Race / The Expo:
When I arrived in San Diego, I just felt really uneasy about the whole situation. Adam kept asking me if I was ready or excited and in my usual answer I said "Sure, I guess?" To be honest I had no idea if I was ready! How do you know if you're ready?  Do you have a stellar long run? Do the running fairies grant you super powers? A large part of me just didn't want to mess up, at what I'm not really sure, but I bet it has something to do with the fact I don't like working out in large crowds.

The expo was so much fun, my other large expo - RnR Denver, was so much smaller and didn't have half the fun stuff that San Diego did. Free stuff to the max; I'm a fan!! Ha. Because I was part of TNT I had my official looking purple shirt on at the expo and people just keep yelling 'GO TEAM" which was cool but made me a bit weirded out. One guy was like 100 feet away, yelling at me (sensory overload much?). I never imagined so many people to be part of TNT/supporting LLS it was a very humbling experience to be surrounded by so many "good doers".

Race day:
TNT makes you get up so early, team picture at 3:45 AM then at the start line by 4:10 AM. Not really sure I needed the 3 hour warm up time but hey it got me there and let my stress melt away...sorta! At that point you can't feel your toes, you're standing next to a generator for heat, you're putting on 100 spf sunscreen in the dark, praying to have an IBS moment before the race instead of during or after, wishing you could have eggs on toast rather than a dry bagel with Cytomax (SICK- furry teeth for 13.1 miles just what I wanted!).

Holy crap there were so many people there - at the expo, in the corrals, on the streets cheering, zooming past me, and at the finish line. People everywhere. I knew there would be a lot of people but I wasn't expecting that. It was a bit overwhelming!

Miles 0-4: At the start of the race, I kind of noticed I run similar to how I drive-semi aggressively! Because of all the people, I just wanted to get my own little space on the pavement without having to weave in and out of people.

Mile 4-10: This highway portion of the race killed me, with the downhill slant followed by a 2 mile incline. My IT band and hip flexors are naturally tight and that combination of things did not help the situation. Miles 6-10 I definitely wanted to quit, stick a fork in me I was done! My pain was out of control, taking deep breaths only helped radiate it and I was mentally struggling. I also think I waited way to long to have my gel pouch and felt so tired and sluggish; I'm not a huge fan of those things/eating while running so I always prolong the process.

Miles 10-13.1: I just wanted to finish and found my 2nd wind to keep going. I definitely couldn't have done it without my big brother; when I wanted to quit he put things into perspective and kept me motivated. I kept reminding myself I was doing this to remember and honor our grandma. I never set out with the mindset of "I'm going to be a runner"; it simply was to impact the lives of others in a way my grandma impacted mine. 

Finished! At the end of the race, I was so happy to be done! I felt like death!! I knew I had fun, I loved the fact that my big brother and I could share this experience/memory, I finished close to my goal ~ yet at that moment I didn't have anything to say (which is unusual for me, I'm like a Chatty Cathy doll!) I was also disappointed that I couldn't manage my pain and allowed it to ruin several miles during the race for both Adam and I.

After The Race:
All in all, I had a great time, proud I finished close to my goal, and thankful my big brother was with me every step of the way. Will I do another half? Probably not, I don't like to say never, but I don't think my body was really made for half marathons. Maybe if I get more insight into my pain and how to control it better, I'd say "yes of course, I'm hooked!"  Who knows maybe at the end of the summer I'll do the Run Like A Diva Half Marathon in Vail, Colorado; but for now I finally enjoy to run and found peace with my grandma's passing and I'm totally okay with that. 

1 comment:

  1. Congrats Christine! So proud of you...sorry I couldn't be there!