It’s been almost a month. Whoops? I guess I should probably post my recap SUPERAWESOMEHALFMARATHON
This post can almost be seen at CLICKTHISLINK which is the blog of the super lovely Diana’s. I had commented on a post she had written concerning pre-HM tips and advice. She then contacted me and asked me to guest post with my adventures in running. Wheeee it was so nice of her to ask and thank you again for asking Diana! You rock 😀
Let’s start from the beginning.
So blah blah blah I picked up my race packet at 5:30 the day before and let me tell you, that was complete chaos. The pre-registration area, a restaurant called Spicy’s, was located on the second level and there were no signs informing anyone of that. I made friends with a tiny older lady who was running it too and her husband found out where we had to go. Then there was the typical waiting in line and general confusion for fellow line goers. Also, the swag bag was lacking and aside from papers advertising races I wouldn’t be able to attend, this was about it.
I don’t know why but I find the TD tissues to be REALLY funny. MORE BANK, MORE CONVENIENCE….FOR YOUR NOSE! Bwahahahaha. But otherwise, Good Chips are good and I have wanted to put one of those stickers on my car for so long…for obvious bragging rights.
Afterwards, I indulged in the traditional dinner before the race.
Roast beef and ham/provolone with a romaine pile topped with the grilled Shoprite veggies that I LOVE.
Not really the stereotypical pasta-bonanza-carb-loading. I’m not a big carb eater as it is so I can’t imagine having had eaten a plate of spaghetti the night before. That’s my own preference though so, as always, it just depends on what works for you! As long as it’s considerably healthy and not something you don’t normally eat, I’d say its fine in my book.
Like Diana, when it comes to races I become a big ole’ anxious mess. But thanks to Diana, I was able to put myself at ease when remembering the half marathon tips. They REALLY helped and I suggest anyone running a long distance race should read through them! (CLICK THE LINK ABOVE!!)
I headed to bed around 9 PM (after watching 3 episodes of Two and a Half Men) but before I did, I set up everything I could have possibly needed for the next day.
Race tag, all my clothes (my shirt was new but I made sure to run in it once before to be sure), IPod, headphones, watch, deodorant, etc. etc. etc. Also, you can’t see it but on the floor was my gym bag FULL of provisions. From band aids to toilet paper to sunscreen to my race chews, I had everything but the kitchen sink. Having too much stuff is better than not having enough!
I had 3 alarms set on my Itouch and made my niece set an alarm on her phone, just in case. Turns out, however, that the moment the first one went off at 5:55 I shot up out of bed and was AWAKE
5 minutes later I was in eating mode.
I wanted to eat as early as possible in order to give myself enough digesting time. Everyone has seen the photo of the runner with the, err, explosive problem. And if you haven’t, click THIS LINK and see what I’m talking about. It’s gross and not for the weak of stomach. I’m a dedicated runner but not THAT dedicated. *shivers*
My mom woke up 10 minutes after me and immediately left the house to go to 7-11 and I could barely contain my jealousy.
While on the topic of GI problems, as much as I love it, I avoid coffee like the plague when running is involved. My digestive system gets turned upside down when I mix the two but some runners function better after having coffee. Gotta know your body kids, that’s the only way to perform the best!
Mom and I headed to the boardwalk (a 20 minute drive) and arrived around 9. I stretched, we people watched (because pre-race runners are seriously the most interesting people to observe EVER) and the rest of my family showed up at 9:40 and picture taking ensued.
Thanks familyyy! After a bunch of good lucks I headed to the starting line at 9:50. I was towards the middle-back, amongst a team called “Brooke’s Miracle”, 3 high schoolers and a pink bandana-ed man. Quick pledge of national anthem singing was lovely and then we were off!
As for the next 13.1 miles, I shall break down for maximum experience benefits.
Mile 1 & 2 = We ran on the boardwalk and then took to the streets. I was keeping my pace slow but steady and my legs were feeling good! There really weren’t too many spectators (aside from a man playing the trumpet) so I had to keep myself entertained with music and my own thoughts, “WOO I’m really running this! I feel so awesome right now. The boardwalk is so cool, I wonder if Snooki is here. Hey, a water station, eh I’m not going to take it, I don’t need water right now. I don’t want to have to pee in a bush.” Apparently, I’m paranoid about the bathroom. Yikes.
Mile 3 = I realized that it truly does help to break down a half marathon into separate races. Once I hit this I was like, “I just finished a 5K! Now I’m running a 10K!” 13 miles doesn’t seem as daunting this way.
Mile 4 through 10 = The street route took us runners onto a long stretch of road AKA Seaside Park. The turnaround point was at mile 6.5 and otherwise there was NOTHING but road and plants. This is a perfect example of how much of a mental test running long distances is. There were several times were I was just bored. Main points of these miles included:
- I saw a man pee in a bush and a woman pee in a bush…ahem, at completely different times mind you!
- An older woman, who was a vocal feminist, chatted with me for about half a mile about how she was distraught that the leaders of the race were mostly men.
- The turnaround point was through a parking lot at which point I took 4 of my FRS energy chews. I even managed to run and chew…although I was chewing like a cow which I can imagine wasn’t very attractive.
- I drank a cup of water AND a cup of Gatorade at every station, except for the first. Oh man did those help. Not just for the hydration but I designated these as the times to walk. I grabbed the cups, walked while drinking, threw the cups in the trash and then started up again.
- Throughout the entire span of the race I walked for maybe a minute at the most.
- Oh, I also grinned at an older man carrying an American and he yelled, “Now THAT is how you’re supposed to run a race!” That made me happy.
Mile 11 and 12 = At this point I started feeling many different things. My right knee started aching and although it wasn’t super bad, it didn’t help that I still had a couple miles to go. However, at the same time I was now in uncharted territory and had officially bypassed my PDR!! That fact alone filled my blood back up with adrenaline. Also, getting off of that long stretch of road was the BEST feeling…I think I actually said “Thank Godddd” out loud. It was back on the streets and back on the boardwalk!
Mile 13 = This was tough, I can’t lie. My knee was steadily hurting and my ponytail was soaked with sweat. However, my brain was yelling, “ONE.MILE.LEFT. YOU’VE GOT THIS!” and that’s essentially what pushed me through. Also, doing the last mile on the boardwalk was great. More spectators had appeared and the people sitting at the bars were hollering everywhere and were ULTRA encouraging.
I saw my sisters and niece in the distance and not too far from them was the finish line.
That’s when the runner’s high kicked in.
Now I’ve had my fair share of runner’s highs but this one was something else completely. I took off into a full on sprint and crossed the finish line at 2:21:04.
If you’re wondering why my hand is by my neck it’s because before the finish line a man was holding up a sign that said “TAKE YOUR HEADPHONES OFF” so I was spazztically trying to do that while sprinting. That messed up my groove a bit but, for the record, my iPod was playing “Hold Your Dream” from the FAME soundtrack which, as you all know, is the song I ALWAYS listen to when I finish a race.
I was handed my medal and then suddenly all my brain could comprehend was “OHMYGODIACTUALLYDIDIT”
After reuniting with my family and chugging a bunch of mini-water bottles, I ended up walking in a circle at least ten times. It’s very peculiar. You would think after running for so long you would want to sit but gentle walking was all I wanted to do. Good thing our car was parked half a block away!
The organization of this half marathon seemed pretty wonky and I was unable to find any avaliable food or any extra water for that matter. That really bugged me, especially when I overheard other runners saying that they didn’t feel well. My own eneergy levels were slowly dissappearing so the fam and I left and proceeded to fulfill the obvious priority, celebration food stuffs!
Hulloooooooo there! I’ve heard nothing but fantastic reviews about Surf Taco and knew it was one of the ultimate “down the shore” spots to go so when my mom suggested it, naturally I was on board.
I got a HUGE chicken burrito and to be honest, it was typical. I thought ordering a old fashioned burrito would suffice but it didn’t. Too much rice, not enough chicken or cheese and I ended up seriously missing my veggies.
When I don’t finish something in it’s entirety, you know something’s up. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking this place down in any way, shape or form. The rest of my family loved what they had purchased so next time, I’m going to go with my first choice and diverge from typical. I will say though, the tortilla chips were pretty awesome!
The rest of the day consisted of the best shower of my life, a celebration brownie (whee!) and a night of Netflix and knee icing.
Also, an icing mishap.
THAT is the recap of my first half marathon and and here I stand. Err, here I sit anyway.
Once upon a time, a girl was angry at the way a boy had treated her so she registered for a half marathon without batting an eyelash. 8 weeks later this girl, and her eyelashes, have emerged triumphant! I trained like a wonky wonk and was presented with road blocks along the way that came in the form of randomly painful knee, a swollen foot and Hurricane Irene. Roadblocks be damned though, I can now say *coughbragaboutcough* that I finished the Seaside Half Marathon and couldn’t be more proud!