I completed my first half marathon on Sunday and it was great until it was horrible. I felt great through mile 8, good through mile 10 and then it started going downhill from there. My hips started to really hurt around mile 10, so I stopped to stretch them out and then I realized just how tight my entire body was. I started walking intermittently and then jogging, but it was too late. I passed the mile 12 marker and was so happy, but then a shooting pain went through my knee and I was done. I hobbled the last mile and was cursing my brains out on the inside. It was so disheartening to get hurt so close to the finish line and only three weeks before my dance competition. Oh heavens, I was an emotional mess on the inside, but I held it together fairly good…at least I thought I did until I saw the pictures. My face says it loud and clear that I was about to burst into tears because my knee hurt and my dancing was going to be put on hold. I’m still not dealing with it well.
My best friend, Sarah, and I made this half marathon a goal for this year…a new year’s resolution in my book. We went to bed around 11 the night before and I laid there wide eyed. I was so nervous about the half and I was kicking myself for not falling asleep. My brain would not turn off. It was so annoying. By the time I fell asleep, I felt as if the alarm was going off. 5AM came fast and so did this half. I got up, splashed water on my face, changed into my running clothing, cooked some eggs and spinach, drank some coconut water, stretched and headed out the door. We were met with a big old smack of humidity in our faces. I believe we both moaned in disappointment at the same time. We could literally feel the humidity on our skin. It wasn’t good. The 20 minute ride to the start was easy, parking was found quickly and we felt good about time. That was until we saw the LONG bathroom lines. We stood in line for 50+ minutes. I will say that was the best 50 minute port-a-potty wait I ever decided to endure because if I hadn’t gone #2, I would have pooped my pants during this race. Yes, it happens to runners, but I sure as heck didn’t want it happening to me. We jogged over to corral 8 right before the Start Spangled Banner was beautifully sung and the race began.
As I said, this was my first half marathon and by far my longest race ever. I’ve only ever raced an 8k distance before and all my 8ks were either on trails or on sand, so the impact of the pavement was never an issue. Granted, I had trained for this, but the slant in the road and the constant pounding was not to my benefit. The first 8 miles were great! I felt fresh. I was excited. The trees shading the road were a pleasant surprise. The spectators were energetic and amazing. The bands were entertaining and put a little pep in my step. The water stations were frequent enough and I was feeling optimistic. My doubts of my ability were fading with each step. We were going a nice 10/10:15 minute/mile pace. It was great!
Mile 9-10 slowed for me. I was feeling a little sick to my stomach and I thought that if I slowed a bit, I’d be able to recover and get rid of that nauseating feeling. I slowed to about an 11/11:30 minute mile and it help my stomach, but by mile 10 I was starting to cramp. I started chanting inside my head…
Mind over Matter.Focus on your form.
You Got This Girl!
Breathe in for Three and Out for Three.
Don’t focus on your hip pain.
It didn’t work. My hips were killing me. I had to stop to stretch. It was at that moment that I realized just how tight my entire body was. Wow. I’ve been tight before, but I don’t think I’ve ever felt as tight as I did in that moment. I stretched and was back to pounding the pavement very slowly. From mile 10 on in to the finish I felt pretty crappy, but it was mile 13 that killed me. I passed the 12 mile marker and felt this sense of determination to run this thing out and finish it because there was no way I was ever running another half marathon. About 12.25 miles, a shooting pain drove through my knee and I knew I was done. The running was no longer a viable option. I walked, jogged and had a look of disgust on my face as I finished that last mile and crossed the finish line. Cross the finish line did feel amazing. It was a flooding sense of THIS IS OVER! PRAISE THE LORD! I DID IT! That feeling was fleeting because I took one look at Sarah and knew she wasn’t doing well. She finished ahead of me, but apparently had some issues of her own. She was light headed and felt sick to her stomach. We grabbed some waters and were corralled down the boardwalk…that was part of the problem. Sarah needed space. We finally sat down, drank some water and both agreed we were never doing this again, but were glad we did it and we did it together. I can officially check off “Complete a Half Marathon” from my Bucket List! Yippy! I love crossing things off lists!
I think I have an IT band injury, but that’s for another post. This is a half marathon post, not an injury post. I am on crutches though. Pictures will be taken. Memories baby, memories.
SPIL+Crossing items off your bucket list (especially hard ones)
+The connection of best friends
+Feeling like you can conquer the world
+Cold towels after a long run
+Music. It moves me.
+Loving, Caring, Unique, Amazing friends
+Breakfast in bed
So, I totally need to add a little shout out to my hubby because he has been rocking it since I’ve been laid up. I woke up to breakfast in bed after 10am! That means I slept in and was fed without lifting a finger! Oh have I died and gone to heaven! He has been quite a stud mowing the lawn (which is my chore of choice), making dinners, buying me crutches, getting random things that I need, buying me chocolate. Yup, he’s been sweet! Thanks Baby! Love you!