Thursday, March 29, 2012

13.1 New York Half Marathon--March 24, 2012

I ran 13.1 miles.  13.1 MILES!!!!!  I've accomplished what I'd always called my "ultimate fitness goal" over the weekend.  The race was held in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens and I had a freaking BLAST!

I'm not going to lie though, I was really worried the day of the race.  I'd had all sorts of interesting problems while training for the 1/2.  I had this weird back pain for a week, a sore right ankle from the 2nd week on of training, and in the last two weeks of my training, this AWFUL pain in my right calf along my shin.  On Monday night (race week) I was only able to run 1.5 miles at the Pub Run because my calf/shin was hurting so bad.  I mean BAD!  So I took off the rest of the week and prayed it wouldn't hurt Saturday morning.

When we got into the city on Friday we did all of our site seeing. (more on that later.) I wore sneakers for the day because I didn't want my feet or shins to be too sore on Saturday.  It didn't matter though, because after walking around from 10am-after 7pm, my feet hurt and my legs were restless.  That caused more nervousness for me.  I have a bean bag heating pad I use on my legs before I run, so I called the front desk at the hotel that evening and they sent a microwave to my room so I could warm up my "bean" as I call it. :) I heated my legs before bed and took a few Ibuprofen too.   Bedtime for me was around 9:00.

The next morning I was excited and nervous.  After I got ready, heated my legs, and had my breakfast and coffee, I did a little jog around the room.  Guess what, my leg was hurting!!! Ahhh!!! I had already taken three Ibuprofen so I took 4 more.  Yes, 7 Ibuprofen.  I like to load up on caffeine too before I run.  Starbucks energy drinks are the best for me, but guess what?  I wasn't able to get my hands on one (which actually put me in a panic because I was already nervous and I didn't want to drink something I'd never had before a run) but I needed caffeine so I settled for a Starbucks Frappuccino and about 10 minutes before the race I downed a Red Bull.  (I'm so healthy, huh?)  My running buddy Erin was pretty nervous too.  She told me she tossed and turned all night and the poor girl threw up her tea and oatmeal like 5 minutes after she ate it.  We were all kind of freaking out!

That was short lived though!  :)  Once we got to Corona Park and met up with some friends, everything changed.  Nervous, what?!  Our adrenaline was going and we were too excited to worry about anything.  Check out our pre race pics:

 Erin, me, and Jennifer.  

 Erin made us all headbands for the race to match our shirts. :)  Such a doll!

 Here's where we lined up.  Super happy that I finished the race under that time! 

 Here's where we started the race.

There's the start!

Minutes before the race began. :)  Ahhhhhh, we were so pumped!!!

When we started running it felt like we were going soooooooo slow in comparison to everyone else.  But we'd trained enough to know what pace we needed to run at to not burn out too quickly.  (We've made that mistake before.)  So we just kept it at 10:30 and cranked up our music.  Oh, and about that pain in my leg...gone!!!  I'm sure the meds, drinks, and adrenaline all had something to do with this.  I felt amazing.  No really, I don't think you understand.  I felt A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!!!  

We were having so much fun too!  There were people holding up signs offering "free high 5s" and words of encouragement, lots of peeps cheering us on, and then there were the photographers snapping pics.  In almost all the race day photos taken of me I am smiling and giving the peace sign. :)  There's also a picture of Erin, Jennifer, and me together all smiles.  I'm planning on buying that one! :)  We ran the first 6 miles together. After we hit the halfway point Erin and I picked up our pace (as planned) and pulled away from our friend Jennifer.  By mile 8 Erin started pulling away from me.  Home girl can run!!!  When I got to mile 9 I couldn't even see her anymore!  I had my iTunes playlist blasting and some caffeine chews and gu ready for when I needed a push.  

Throughout almost all of my training, except when I ran 13.5 miles (best run of my life) I was dying around mile 10 and cursing the world.  Not this time.  I was too happy and feeling really good.  So good that I started tearing up twice because I was accomplishing a goal I never thought I had in me.  By mile 10 I wasn't feeling too tired and just knew I was going to KILL the last 3.1 miles of the race.  I picked up my pace and started pushing myself.  I was so far in the zone that I missed mile marker 11 and then there it was, mile 12.  I started running so hard.  I knew it was going to be over in about 10 minutes and I could do anything for that long.  When I passed mile 13 and saw the straight away I began sprinting.  I was passing so many people and I loved it!!  When I was about to cross the finish I was screaming, "I'm almost there!" and then it was over.  I did it.  I ran a half marathon.  Damn!!  That felt good.  12 weeks of hard work had paid off. :)  After the race, when Erin was taking my picture, tears were streaming! 

 My official time time: 2:15:40
pace: 10:20

 Erin's official time: 2:11:44 
pace: 10:02
(She's got some puma in her!)

Jennifer's official time: 2:31:46
pace: 11:35
(I am sooooo proud of Jennifer finishing hard because her longest run before the race was 8 miles.) 

Before headed out, and after changing out of our sweaty shirts and getting out of our sneakers, we took some pictures.  We took our pics in front of the Unisphere.  


Before we even did our half we talked about doing an ice bath afterwards.  It's helps repair the tiny tears in your muscles.  Erin's dad ran track in college and agreed we should do it.  Ummm, yeah..can we say FREEEEEEEZING and PAINFUL!!!  Right before Erin hopped in I checked how long you should stay in.  It recommended 15 minutes and also noted that the first three minutes are the worst.  No kidding!!!  

Here are a couple pics I snapped of Erin. 

 1 minute in

 After going numb!!

When it was my turn Erin filmed me getting in.  Please excuse the profanity!!  You'd use it too if you knew just how cold that water was!!  The camera's shaking so much from Erin laughing!!

Well there you have it, my 1/2 marathon adventure!!  Erin and I got back into Raleigh Sunday afternoon and picked out our next race over lunch.  We're going to be doing the 13.1 Dallas on October 27, 2012.  The best part about this race is I'll get to see Megan!!!!!!!

Megan with her sister (Megan's on the right.)


  1. Awww...that story literally brought tears to my eyes! I could FEEL your accomplishment in it...YAY YOU!
    So, Dallas huh?!?! You know, Dallas isn't too far from Austin, lol!
    THANK YOU for sharing your story, it is truly inspiring - xoxo

  2. So excited for you! You did awesome!

  3. You go, girl!!! I'm SO proud of you. Loved reading this recap. You're an inspiration to me (and I'm sure many others!).


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