Monday, May 4

1/2 marathon.

Yup. 13.1 miles. In the books. Count it!

Running buddy and I headed off for Lincoln around 3:15pm yesterday. Checked into our hotel which was pretty nice, full kitchen. It was one of those "suites" hotels where it's like a little studio apartment. So remember how maybe Friday or Sat morning I was all "I feel so much better health wise...". Yeah, not so much. Saturday I felt so bad for running buddy. I was knuckle white from the pain for about 12 hours. I took ibuprofen, urostat, lots of water, anything. I've got a call into my doctor today to talk this over. Thankfully by the evening I was feeling a bit better. Turns out we had missed the expo. So we just picked up our numbers and posed for pictures cause we're dorky like that. Ate some pasta in a tent with other fellow marathoners and 1/2 marathoners. Grabbed ice cream and water and headed back to the car. I marveled at the start line and really started to get nervous. I was going to run a 1/2 marathon! They expected me to be able to run 13.1 miles all at once. Yikes. They must not know me very well. We made our very own expo by stopping by the Lincoln Running Co store and grabbing these cute shirts that say "run lincoln". Which I was excited about cause I wasn't thrilled with my race shirt. Sat night we popped some popcorn, I had some chocolate we watched movies, painted our nails to match our shirts, tried on our new clothes, pinned our numbers, etc.

Went to bed about 10:30 like good girls and woke up at about 5am. Slept really well once I got to sleep. Woke up nauseous, nervous. I get all cold and shivery and nauseous when I'm nervous. Not a good combo when running buddy wants you to eat some breakfast. I ate 2, maybe 3 bites or peanut butter toast, tried to polish off the peanut butter in my little container. Sipped some water. That was about it.

We got to the start line right as they were finishing up the national anthem (had to make a potty stop first). Jumped in the 9:00 pace group. We just wanted to get in line. And we were off, 6minutes to cross the start line. I do this at races, the start, for how exciting it is, mentally I just think "I'm not going to do this without walking, I'm not". Start this mental "it's just so far the finish!" business. So, I looked at my watch 5min in and said "maybe I'll walk every 20minutes, so I can walk in 15minutes". Which is stupid. Running buddy knew that and said "no we're doing great, we should just keep running". But I'd made up my mind and my body knew that and I looked forward to that 20minutes so much. At about 1.5miles or 15min in, my left knee started to hurt. Like that IT band pain I'd been having and that had kept me from running for the last 2-3weeks. Not good. At 3.5miles it side lined me. It was this curl your shoulders jab of a pain that stopped me in my tracks. Poor running buddy ran ahead. During this race, for once in our lives, running buddy and I had nothing to say. Nothing. We caught back up when I could breathe and hobbled my way back to running again. I told her I guess it would be okay for her to go on without me. And like that, no more running buddy. I tried to keep her in my sights but I had decided to walk the downhills cause that also gave my knee pain and I lost her.

I knew that the hubbys and chitlins were waiting about mile 6, so that thought really pushed me again from about 4.5-7.0. That's right, didn't see them till 7 ish. I was sad cause I thought that maybe they had seen Tiffany and then gone back to their cars to leave for the finish. Maybe I really was too slow for them. I was teary eyed and said "I lost Tiffany". Tiffany's husband was so nice he said "She's just 5minutes ahead, not too far ahead of you, don't worry". My husband yelled "Are you okay?" I looked over my shoulder and gave him the so so hand motion. I kept running till maybe 7.2 when I thought I'd stop at some trees and stretch my IT and my quads. Bad idea! My left leg hurt SO bad. Again with the searing pain. I walked to the next water station getting passed along the way. Took my shot block (chocolate of course) and a full cup of water. This was the first time I'd taken a whole cup of water, which maybe why I felt so bad later in the day. But I was too nauseous earlier on to drink any more. I walked off and on till the 10mile mark. When I started saying "I can run 3miles, I can run 3miles". But I couldn't. At mile 11-12 I had to power walk it. I couldn't go two steps without the really bad pain. When I tried, I had some guy step out and say "Are you going to be okay?" I must have showed the pain on my face, a lot. I badly wanted to run past Tiffany and the hubbys to show them I was strong, but no. Power walked it through the growing crowd near the finish. People were yelling "Go Kelly! You've got this finish strong!". I decided when I could see the finish line, that I'd try to run again. And I did. Surprisingly, without that much pain. I nearly sprinted to the end. I was shocked, I shed a few tears.

Along the way there were signs and supporters the entire way. Cried when I saw the sign "Your reason to run is better than anyone else's" or something like that. Without my running buddy, I closed my eyes and I imagined I was running back home towards the lake with my mom. I imagined telling her all about finishing my first half. I won't tell her, and I can't run with her, but ... ack, I don't know where I was going with this and now I'm a mess...

Around miles 11-12 I thought, "Even if I'm walking, I'm still out here doing this". I still signed up and I'm run/walking a 1/2 marathon. Most people I talk to who aren't runners can't imagine running a mile. I'm so proud. Even if I had to walk and even if I didn't have the strongest finish time. The miles really flew by, even though I was walking some of them. The first 4miles were tough getting my head in the game but miles 6-13 really were faster than I expected.

When we got back to the hotel I hobbled into the shower and layed down in bed. After the race I had 1/2 banana and a full cup of gatorade. Drank some water on the way home, but I knew I wasn't feeling well. I sipped on gatorade and had a few m&ms which were the only thing in the apartment, and conveniently the only thing that sounded digestible at that moment. Then, as running buddy and her family left, I spent the next hour, hour and a half dry heaving in our suite bathroom. ew. After finally finishing whole gatorade and resting. I felt a bit better, I think I was just dehydrated. I polished off another shot and we hit the Wendy's on the way out of town.

Sore today, but the knee doesn't really hurt.

I can not wait to race this distance again.


Jogger said...

I just cried as I read this post. I guess because my 1/2 was yesterday, and the mixed emotions surrounding my run are still very fresh. I'm feeling your pain. Although I wasn't in agony the entire time, I did have some moments where I mind-fuc%ed myself. I set off with the plan of only walking through water stations, and knew that if I didn't stick with that plan, I would be toast. I think that we have a lot more practice. In my opinion, part of race performance is experience. I mean, seriously, I had no idea how to even put my timing tag on my shoe. I put the damn thing on wrong, and ended up scotch taping it. Then I obsessed the entire 13.1 miles about whether it was going to fall off.

Part of this crazy journey is going to be about learning. We'll learn about ourselves, our bodies, the things that we need and don't need. We'll figure it out...and have some setbacks along the way.

You did a great job, and I know that you've learned a lot from the experience.

Now go to the doctor.

RazZDoodle said...

NICE JOB!!!!!!! Half marathons are the best. Congratulations on your finish!

Anonymous said...

Awesome job! You did great sticking with it - many people would have given up, but you hung in there and FINISHED!

jen said...

Oh, Kelly. Congratulations on your amazing and courageous half marathon finish!! What an epic day. I can't believe you pushed through so much pain and kept your focus even without your running buddy. You truly persevered and should be very very proud of yourself. I am really impressed and proud of you. :) Congrats on finishing something most people can't even imagine. You rest up and enjoy the recovery period before moving into anything else too soon. I would love to get together this week (I'm really sore too so I might not run either).. just email me with the day and we'll pick a spot.

Congrats again!! :)

Anonymous said...

So sorry you got sick.
But, great job for finishing. Its all down hill from here. Congrats.

teacherwoman said...

Great race report. I remember completing my first half marathon almost a year ago, in pain, but thinking as soon as I crossed the finish line that I was definitely going to do that one again!

Congrats, again! :)

X-Country2 said...

What a great race report. Fast or slow you DID IT!!! Congrats.

M*J*C said...

Sorry I'm late getting in here!
First of all, congratulations on your first 1/2!!!!
Second, there is no shame in running/walking. When I started my training I SO BADLY wanted to be able to RUN the whole time, but as I got to know myself better I realized that wasn't going to be best for me, and it was actually at my first 1/2 marathon that I came up with and committed to my "run 2 songs walk 1 minute" strategy, and I LOVED IT!
Be willing to try different things and run YOUR race!
Hope your IT band is feeling better, and glad that it sounds like the rest of you is feeling better too!