I cannot believe that the day has come. I am writing my very own half marathon race recap! I feel beyond proud of myself and my friends, Casey and Jen, for completing what we all set out to do this year!
I will start my story on Friday evening…
It was gloomy. It was rainy. It was COLD! I had been checking the weather all week with hopeful dreams of sunshine and seventy degree weather for race day. Yeah right! My Weather Channel App was telling me otherwise…it was going to be in the thirty degree range and windy…very windy…with a chance of rain. YUCK!
I checked into my special room, Chateau Habermehl, at my girlfriend’s house around ten at night. We did some catching up, I set out my race clothes for the morning, and tried to get to sleep. I had been drinking water all day to make sure I’d be fully hydrated for the race…which meant that I got out of bed five times to go to the bathroom before I fell asleep.
I dreamt that night that the race was over…I remembered thinking in my dream, “Wow, my legs feel great for having just ran 13.1 miles! …..oh wait, I’m just dreaming right now, I haven’t even ran yet…darn it!”
I woke right up when my alarm went off at 5:05am because I had to go to the bathroom very bad again! I looked out the window…still raining. That meant one thing……I had to bring out the waterproof mascara! (I cannot live without mascara!)
…finishing touch…my PIZAZZ!My personal taxi (AKA Casey) picked me up promptly at 5:45, and we set off for our 45 minute drive to Olathe, Kansas for the race. Luckily it had stopped raining, but it was freezing cold and really windy!
We arrived about 20 minutes before the race was set to start. We quickly pinned our numbers to our jackets and put our timing chips on our shoes…and of course, set off to find the porta-potties.
Uh oh. The lines to the port-potties were LONG! However, there was NO WAY I was going to run 13.1 miles without having emptied my peanut bladder one last time. Casey and Jen and I waited…and waited. “Fourteen minutes left,” Casey would say. Then it was, “Eight minutes,” then “Four minutes to go.” When we got close to the front of the line we heard the National Anthem being sung. We finally made it to the front of the porta-potty line, and as I went in the process of emptying my bladder, the start gun went off!Wipe. Pull up pants. Open door. RUN!
I like to think I started my race from the porta-potty 😉
I quickly caught up with Casey and Jen and we all ran to the start line. We were in the back of the pack…the way back. It was a little hard at first to maneuver past the large group of walkers, but I finally crossed the start line.
In the weeks prior to the race, I talked with my husband to try to come up with a reasonable time goal for my first half. We came up with two hours and fifteen minutes. I thought I could probably beat that time, but I also know how hard I am on myself and how disappointed I would be if I didn’t reach my goal, so 2:15 it was.
As I was passing people to try to catch up to the 2:15 pacers, I thought to myself, “I feel AMAZING!” I had never felt so good running before. I had never felt so strong before. I was ecstatic to be feeling this way, especially since my training runs for the past couple of weeks hadn’t been all that great. I finally caught up to the 2:15 pacers…and then I passed them.
I reminded myself that I shouldn’t use up all my energy in the very beginning of the race, but I just felt so good that I kept up my pace. The first two miles FLEW by…when I passed the two mile marker I didn’t believe it…the only reason I knew it had actually been two miles was because I had already used up 4-5 songs on my playlist.
I saw the 2:10 pacers.
I passed them.
I saw the 2:05 pacers.
I passed them.
I really couldn’t believe how awesome I felt.
And then I saw her…the 2:00 pacer. Now I must admit something…even though I set my goal at 2:15, I secretly and desperately wanted to run a sub-2 hour half marathon…I just didn’t think I’d be able to my first time.
But wait…pacer girl was standing at the porta-potty. I passed her, but soon after she sprinted past me so that she’d be back on track to run a two hour half. “Man,” I thought, “I won’t be able to catch her now.”
But she kept getting closer and closer to me (er, should I say I kept getting closer and closer to her!) Then sometime during mile four I did it.
I passed her! I passed pacer girl!
I couldn’t believe I had done it. I was on track to actually run a sub-2 hour half marathon! I kept reminding myself that even though I felt amazing right now, that I may have to slow down later, so I couldn’t be upset if she passed me…but I just kept trucking.
Miles four, five and six were a blur. I just remember feeling so strong (and fast), and my playlist was working miracles on my pace!
After six my legs started feeling really sore and tight. I wasn’t used to running more than five miles on a regular basis…so I was entering semi-new territory. The miles seemed so long now. I remember thinking to myself, “They must not have put up a mile marker for seven, because I have run way more than one mile since I saw the sign for mile six.” WRONG. Sure enough, I finally passed a sign that marked mile seven.
Miles seven, eight, nine, and ten were rough. My legs were hurting so bad! Somehow I managed to keep going…and keep going fast (well, fast for me!) I couldn’t believe that I had been able to stay in front of pacer girl for this long, and now I was more determined than ever to finished under two hours. There were a few times when I heard her voice behind me, encouraging the runners who hovered around her, and it motivated me to speed up a little more. I was NOT going to let her get in front of me!
A volunteer handed me a Gu around mile nine. I had never had a Gu before, so I didn’t know what to expect, but I liked it! My mouth was really dry, so it was a little bit hard to swallow…it took me an entire mile to finish the small sampled-sized package, but I am glad I did. I like to think it gave me more energy, but it could all be in my head.
When I reached mile marker ten I got really excited. That meant there was only 3.1 miles left. 3.1 was easy. I could run 3.1 any day, no matter how tired or sore I was. Only thirty minutes left, if that. (I can do it. I can do it.)
Again, miles eleven and twelve were a blur. I didn’t have a clue where I was running…I had never seen these roads, these houses, or these buildings before. I had never seen these people who were running next to me, but I was determined to keep up with them, and to stay in front of pacer girl.
The last mile was very enjoyable. We got to run on a paved trail through a park, and we ran over a couple of cute wooden bridges. I was ecstatic to be almost done, and I was starting to feel really emotional. There was a couple of times I started to get choked up and almost start crying, and then I tried not to cry which made me start to hyperventilate. Yikes! I calmed myself down (Come on Angela, at least wait til the finish line to start crying!)
I saw the tents…I heard the music…I saw the finish line. That last stretch…that one-tenth of a mile was sooooooo long!
I crossed the finish line as the clock read 2:00:35. An old man handed me my first ever running medal! I couldn’t believe it. I finished my very first half marathon! I immediately texted my hubby, my mom, and my dad.
I waited at the finished line for my friends to finish. I am so proud of them! Casey’s husband and his parents came to watch us finish (even though it was his birthday!), and he bought us all flowers. (He tried to tell me that they were from my hubby…that Matt had called him and told him to get them for me. Nice try Seth, but I knew better…he was still asleep!) How sweet!
Even though the clock had read 2:00:35 when I crossed the finish line, I was still hopeful that I had ran a sub-2 hour half marathon since I had started the race hovering (there’s no way my bare gooloo would ever touch a porta-potty!) over a toilet. I scoured the internet until I found the official chip time results:
First Name: Angela
Division: Female 25-29
Division Place: 28th out of 106
Sex Place: 113th out of 516
Overall Place: 274th our of 836
Official Time: 1:59:10.63!!!!!