I was nervous because it was my 4th attempt at my first half marathon. The first was six months ago in Myrtle Beach, I trained and sweated and froze my rear end off in the brutal Idaho winter only to arrive in Myrtle to find the race had been cancelled due to a light dusting of snow. Not to be deterred I did what thousands of other frustrated runners did that morning: took to the streets and ran anyway. Somewhere in the last mile I noticed the cramp in my knee that wouldn't go away. By the time we got back to the hotel, I couldn't even walk.
The diagnosis was devastating: stress fractures and tendonitis. The treatment even worse, shots in the knee and no running for 9 weeks at least. This meant that I had to sit on the sidelines and watch while others ran the Disney Princess Half and the Salt Lake Half Marathon. Both of which I'd registered for months in advance.
When I started running again in May, I took the Doctor's advice and cut down my running from 5 days a week, to 2-3. I supplemented my off days with long walks and yoga or pilates DVDs.
It must be working because I haven't felt so much as a twinge in that knee since. I've run miles and miles since the injury and even done long runs well past 13 miles. But I was still nervous this morning because there was just this slightly ominous feeling that something could go wrong. That perhaps I wasn't ever meant to run a 13.1. And truthfully after the terrible night, I had started to think maybe there was some truth to that.
But when the gun went off, I felt good. The first 2 or 3 miles are always my warm-up. They're usually the hardest for me to get through because my body is protesting in every way it can and my mind is telling me I should have stayed in bed. After that though, things really get clicking. Miles 4-9 flew by. I felt good and poweful and strong. One at a time I'd zero in on someone in front of me and make it my goal to catch them. Then I'd keep the pace by telling myself to make sure all they saw was my back for the rest of the race. It took me 12.6 miles to take down a girl in a yellow tank top I'd been chasing all morning, but in the end, I'd saved a little in the tank so I could push hard the last couple miles, and it was easy to see she was fading. And truthfully my last 2 miles were two of my fastest! And I still felt great when it was all over & I triumphantly crossed the finish line. It was a great course with a lot of rolling hills that made it challenging. I was disappointed that I was about 45 seconds off the mile pace I had set as my goal. Still it was a full 16 minutes faster than my previous attempt and given the level of fatigue my body was feeling, we'll call it a success.
The day wasn't without it's disappointments, however, first there was no one there when I came across the finish line. No one giving out medals or cheering on the finishers. They'd already started the awards so it was like those of us at the back of the pack had been forgotten. It was almost completely demoralizing. Just an empty chute. No one even handing out water saying, "Great job, you made it!" Even my husband and son were across the park and didn't see me until I was across the line. And then Trav's camera went on the fritz so no pictures.
Myself and those who finished near my time asked at the timer's table if we were going to get our medals and were told, "Well, I'm not really in charge of that, I don't know where they went." We asked another volunteer who was equally unhelpful, "I didn't have anything to do with that" was her answer. Finally the 3rd guy we talked to went off to find them for us and brought them back, "here you go," he said and he shoved a half dozen medals toward me, expecting me to just hand them out. (For those non-racers reading this, part of the joy of running races is all the volunteers and spectators who make you feel like a rock star at the end of a race. This was just sad.)
After I claimed my medal, I saw the water & sandwich table for the finishers across the park, so I headed that way only to find the water coolers completely empty and no volunteers manning the table (which turned out not to have sandwiches, but just various flavors of bread. That's it. No butter, honey, or anything. Just bread.) When I found another volunteer to inform them that the jugs were empty I was told, "Oh yeah, we're out of water." When I asked if someone was going to fill them I got a deer in the headlights look and a "Well, I'm not really in charge of that" Now how on earth do you tell someone who just ran 13 miles that you're out of water and that you're not getting more? How hard is it to pick up a cooler and head to the nearest spigot?
Anyway it was frustrating and the race director (who is actually a neighbor) got a lenghty email from me on the subject.
There was no time for naps or resting though. After a shower and lunch we were off to get Gideon a new big boy bed.
And boy did we get one! We bought this off one of Trav's cousins and as you can plainly see the munchkin is super excited.
We bought a twin mattress set today as well, but it doesn't come in until next week, so for now we just put the crib mattress in it and packed it with whatever spare bedding we could round up. I'll take more pictures when we have it all together. Either way Gideon's pretty stoked about it.
After getting that set up, we moved the spare bed up to the office so that will now be the guest bedroom/office and we set up the crib in what will now be Parker's room. But I'm not going to post pictures of that until we're closer to being done.
Anyway it's been an extremely busy day and I'm very exhausted, so I think I'll sign off for now and head to bed myseld.