Some of my friends have asked for details on my race last weekend…here it is!
So the “half” is a done deal! The half marathon was last Sunday. When I entered the registration in late 2012, I had intended to do a rookie half marathon training where I would schedule specific runs with specific distances and would help with my time and endurance. I entered the race, and so did my friend, Mandie. We also did a 5K together on New Year’s Day. She is an avid runner and has had great success in getting herself in a very healthy state and I am really proud of her accomplishments! She is a ball of energy and a great motivator. We have known each other for about 12 years. She’s known me at my worst and also at my best. She’s seen me at my heaviest and she’s seen me at my lightest. We’ve been through some stuff together. We have a friendship that I treasure. She is a blessing. I have never been a runner and don’t particularly LIKE to run, but it was one of those goals I really wanted to accomplish in a timed setting. I had done the distance before with a walk/run in my area a couple of times. I figured if I could do it in 2.5 hours in an non-organized, non-timed setting, I could surely make better time if I trained for a half marathon in an organized race! I was feeling stronger by the day and felt invincible when I registered. SO very enthusiastic about this
Boy- do things change- and fast. I talk about my Achilles heel injury probably way too much. I probably just talk too much:) Between my new-found love for boxing (last November was my first class) and training for this half marathon, I really angered the injury and had NO business running at all. My right Achilles is always swollen and there’s always some sort of stress on it, but I usually medicate with ice, stretching, and sometimes vodka, and move about my business. At the time of the race, it was distressed already. But I was not about to back down. I was hell bent on finishing. And I did finish!
It took me about 3 hours because I had to walk most of it. I jogged the first 4 miles or so and was on track to finish in a little over 2.5 hours. But with every mile came more distress. 3 hours is a long time to walk – 3 hours is a lot of time to think. I listened to music…had internal discussions with myself and with God. I wasn’t in church that day, but I was praying to just get through it. I watched people run past me…there were runners older than me and younger than me. There were runners with disabilities and without. There were runners thinner than me and heavier than me. I was amazed by their enthusiasm and endurance! There was a woman who fell in front of me. I felt terrible for her- she’d suffered a knee injury and was waiting for the EMS folks to come and get her. I so knew how she felt. I hurt, too. I could see the anguish on her face. I used it to keep me going. I didn’t want to disappoint myself.
Miles 1-4 were really great. I kept my pace and felt really strong. Mile 5 was when the first sharp, shooting pain radiated up the back of my heel. I made believe that I didn’t feel it. Five miles, in the grand scheme of things, is really not a long distance for me. I knew I had a lot of distance left in me and I wasn’t slowing down.
Mile 6-7 …ok…it’s gettin’ a little warm down in the Southland on this day. A couple of weeks before it was practically freezing, but today the high was in the 80’s. By about 9am the sun was gorgeous and I was NOT sporting any sunscreen. OOPS. And I wondered how long it would take for me to have to go to the potty. I was worried about this because I have pee-itis, it seems. With weight loss, my bladder must have gotten smaller, too:) I had to stop at the grossest porta-potty I’ve ever seen. Nasty.
Mile 7-9…one of the ladies who’d passed me earlier said that if I got to mile 9, it was all about loving myself and appreciating what I was accomplishing. I dare say, what I felt about myself was not love. It was more like WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING HERE and why are YOU NOT STILL IN BED?! IT is SATURDAY MORNING, for crying out loud! Mile 9 was a bitch. I am not gonna lie.
Mile 10. I text my friend Mandie, who has already finished this race and is waiting for me. At least I think she’s waiting for me! My legs feel like they have lead in them. My back is starting to hurt. My feet are burning. The sun is now at my back and I can feel my skin burning.
Mile 11. Thank you, itunes….you must have known my energy was fading very quickly and i needed some music to get my butt moving faster. Randy Houser’s “How Country Feels” is MY song. You might like it, but it’s not yours. It’s mine. I know he didn’t write it for ME but that song just fires me up. So, Mile 11 got a little better. Sheryl Crow’s “Easy” is not a fast song, but it’s one of my favorites, and the lyrics talk about drinking beer in the sun all day. I’ll drink to that, Sheryl. I’ll walk a little faster at this point because I remember there’s a beer tent at the end of this race and I am a thirsty girl. Gimme some Def Leppard Pour Some Sugar on Me and this race is as good as DONE. I’m cookin’ by now.
Mile 12. I’m getting stupid. It’s warm. I am hurting and I am in tears for 2 reasons. First reason is that my body hurts. Achilles is SCREAMING at me. I know it’s gonna kill me when I do stop running/walking. Second reason is that I had this epiphany of sorts ,I guess. I was having one of those “holy crap! I am really doing this thing” moments. I could never have done this 2 years ago when I had an additional 80 pounds on me. I think about how it took me more than 25 minutes to walk ONE MILE. And there I was, keeping not so terrible time in a freaking half marathon. That motivation carried me to mile 13.
But shortly before getting to the finish line, I see a little figure to my left and she’s smiling at me. I didn’t have my glasses on, so I couldn’t see exactly who it was, but I knew by that radiant smile, that Mandie was waiting for me! She’s already made awesome 2:11 time, crossed the finish, received her medal , and came back to get me:) What a sweetheart. I think she knew by the look on my face that I was in pain. Together, we walked/ran to the finish and to my delight, Jason was waiting for me at the finish line. He totally does not get why I had to do the race. But he was there to see me finish. Mandie and I went to get our beer. THEY WERE OUT. No, we don’t normally drink at 10am but hell, we just finished a freaking half marathon. We were going to celebrate! We had a mimosa instead.
After a couple of kodak moments, I crawled to my vehicle and make the 25 mile trek home. I feel delirious. I need to eat. I need to sleep. I need a beer:) I took a hot bath, got some ice for my achilles, which is about 5x it’s normal size at that point, and I laid down. DUMB thing to do! I should have kept moving but everything from my hips down felt like it was on fire. I slept for a couple of hours and while I enjoyed the sleep, getting up from the bed was really painful. I had to keep moving. I walked the mall, met a friend for a couple of adult beverages and said goodnight with some Advil.
I am glad I did it. But I am even more glad that it’s over. I am sure I would have enjoyed it more had I trained properly and been without injury. I will do other races. I will do mud runs and 5Ks to keep myself active and accountable. But I won’t do a half marathon again. I am too old for this crap:)
I think back to a couple of years ago when I was getting my mind in the right state to lose weight and make changes for myself. I was a 200+ pound woman who was unhealthy shell of a woman who lived much of my adult life on the sidelines. Those days are over. I will always be a “healthy” girl…a woman of size….I will always be a curvy girl and no amount of weight I lose is ever going to change that. I am proud of this accomplishment and I have other activities on my list to accomplish! MAYBE there’s a Tough Mudder in my future! Maybe…
But for my girls out there who think you can’t do it. I am here to tell you that you can. Curvy girls, unite! You just have to put one foot in front of the other. I didn’t finish the race with good time. 3:04 is awful time if you look at it competitively…but it was MY time. I did it and you can, too. You just gotta set your mind to it, and go kick ass and take names. I have faith in you. It’s because of people reading my little blog that I find motivation to keep moving. It would be my pleasure to motivate someone else.
Thanks for reading and happy Sunday! I can finally walk, a week later, without limping or flinching:)
|Mandie and me:) We did it!
|Half Crazy— depends on who you are and if you think I am half or really crazy!
This one is on the back of my car:)