My first half marathon ever was Sunday, March 21 @ 7:30am and what a half marathon it was!
Friday the weather forecasts were calling for thunderstorms Sunday – NOoooo! But by Saturday that had changed to just cold rain – Well, that’s better I guess. We ate the traditional pre-run spicy Thai food (HA!) at Bangkok Alley Saturday night to celebrate our friend Morgan’s 25th birthday. We stayed out a little bit later than we wanted, but it was worth seeing everyone.
Saturday I woke myself up at 4am, fearing I was oversleeping – Arrrgh! Got back to sleep, but woke up again at 5am – Grrr! Then finally slept and woke up properly at 6am. Had my clothes and shoes laid out the night before. Applied some Band-Aid Blister Block (this stuff is GOLD!) to my arches, big toes and other areas. Brought chapstick, 2 Band-Aids and tissue (which I would later realize would be stupid) in my pocket. Ate some oatmeal and drank some orange juice. Put on my trusty pink baseball hat (perfect for rain – thank goodness I wore it!)
We met Bobby’s brother Danny at 7:00am at the Germantown Municipal Park gazebo (they couldn’t think of the name of it and called it a podium – Whaaaat? Boys…) By that point we could tell it was going to be a cold and rainy day. I decided then that I would run in my cotton hoodie and that I’d just tie around my waist if I got warm.
We hung out in the Germantown Great Hall for a bit. We met up with Keshia. Then we all decided to use the restroom one last time. The boys got in and out in 5.2 seconds. Keshia and I were in line for a good 10 minutes (note to the Germantown Great Hall: You need more woman’s bathrooms!), and I am pretty sure Keshia and I missed the Half Marathon start and started with the 5k folks. But no problems.
The first 6 miles went by fast for me. Saw Mike (father-in-law) at around the 5 mile point. Then we headed into the Houston High School and Houston Levee park (where I worked my 2nd summer as a day camp counselor). Saw the folks from Breakaway, Janice (mother-in-law) and Keshia’s husband James. About this time I started to get a little HUNGRY. I’d never gotten hungry at a race before, ever.
Mile 8 was when the muscles around my knees started to ache a bit. But at least it wasn’t a sharp joint knee pain, which I’ve had before too – that is worse. And I started to get HUNGRIER. Keshia had some Jelly Belly Energy Beans and I asked for a few. Those suckers are good – I’m definitely going to get some next time. Around this point they offered some Gatorade for the first time, so I snatched that up too. Mile 7-8 was also about when we came out of the park and started coming back down Farmington/Wolf River. So now the chilling wind was coming right at us in our faces.
Mile 9 was when we took a turn in to Cameron Brown Park, where Bobby and I worked together my first year as a day camp counselor.
Mile 10 I started to get some aches around my hip muscles – Boo! But the knee aches were going away (worked themselves out). Most importantly, I STILL had not gotten a blister, even with sopping wet shoes (see the wonderful Band-Aid Blister Block above). To me, blisters are the worst. So as long as I didn’t get one, I could keep going a long time (even if it is a slow pace).
Mile 11 I started to slow down a bit. I was getting hungrier (dreaming about all the food I would eat when I was done) and hips still hurt some. I told Keshia to go on. I was tempted to walk near the end, but it was only 2 miles! That was nothing compared to how far I’d come. Proud to say I kept running (a slow run near the end!) and crossed the finish line at 2 hours, 21 minutes and 40 seconds, quite a bit under my 2 hour & 30 minute goal. As I crossed, I surprised myself by getting a little close to crying – I was SO happy. Not happy it was over, but just proud of myself and caught up in the moment – they were even announcing people’s names as they crossed like the St. Jude Marathon.
Bobby, Danny and Janice met me right away. Dan gave me a banana and Bobby gave me some awesome chicken chili. Then we spotted Keshia and James. We all sat down and devoured our food. I looked in my pocket and found the completely soaked band-aids and tissue – glad I didn’t need them (could you imagine me trying to blow my nose in that downpour?).
It was a great day and a great race.