Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Run, Walk, Crawl, Finish

You only get to run your first ½ marathon once, and this is my experience.  It’s a LONG post, but enjoy!

On Sunday, December 4th, 2011 I finished the La Porte by the Bay Half Marathon over and back the Fred Hartman Bridge in La Porte, TX.  You will remember my first 5k that I ran the entire way (I had always walked before) on my 29th B-Day.  So only 5 months later I completed a ½ marathon. If I can do it, so can you!  One of my friends Krista ran it with me (she also ran my first 5K with me). I completed a ½ marathon and I ran the entire time except at water stations and once on top of the bridge for less than 100 feet. 

Let’s back up to the day before:

I wanted to make sure I didn’t forget anything so I made a checklist.  (Yes, I am O.C.D., how did you know?).  It was filled with the things I needed to bring like my bib, body glide (love that stuff), iPod, fuel, etc.  I am glad I made it because I needed all that stuff to succeed! J

My friend Shannon made me a shirt that said I <3 Sweat and blinged it out for me with my name on the back. I loved it!

My original plan for dinner was to make pasta with tomato sauce and chicken.  I made it for lunch and it didn’t turn out very well so we decided to go to CiCi’s pizza and carbo-load.  I ate lots of pizza!

For breakfast I ate my usual bagel with sunflower seed butter and a banana. 

When Mandy got to my house she made me a glitter sign and I made a sign for Krista and Nicky (who was unable to race do to illness-get well Nicky!)

Krista texted me these signs that she made.  Love them!

Me and Krista before the race.  We look determined to finish! 

Mandy, Brooklyn, Ginger, and Tyler all left to go to mile 3 and Krista and I went to the starting area where it started sprinkling.  They sang the national anthem and counted down.  We were off!

Miles 1- 3-Nothing to spectacular happened in miles 1-2, but each mile I started to chant only 12 miles to go, only 11 miles to go, only 10 miles to go! I saw Mandy, Brooklyn, Tyler, and Ginger at Mile 3 and took a Gu and some of my Nuun from my water bottle.  I loved my signs!  I really need to work on how to take good race photos…I looked horrible and this was only at mile 3! 

Mile 4 and 5-Mile 4 was right before the bridge and guess what?  It started raining!  Yep, rain.  Boo!  Mile 5 began the ascent onto the bridge.  It was a climb!   Yes, I did get out my phone and took a pic. J

Mile 8(ish)-After one side of the bridge you went around a loop and you go back up the bridge. On the loop I ate a pack of sports beans and had some water. At the end of the loop, guess who I saw?  Santa!!!! 

Mile 10-By Mile 10 I was soooo ready to be done.  I saw the sign right after I finished the bridge and told myself it’s only a 5k, you’ve done a ton of those!  At the water station I refilled two of my water bottles with Gatorade and kept going.  I also met someone that looked like she was about to pass out.  I chatted with her a bit and asked if she needed some Gu.  I was planning on taking it myself at around mile 11, but she looked like she needed it more.  I told myself that there were pickles and oranges in my bag at the finish line, in addition to other food, and to just wait.  It started raining again about this time…hard! 

Mile 12-Mile 12 is when it hit me that I was about to finish my first ½ marathon.  Wow!  You make a goal for yourself on a list months ago and you train (and train, and train) for this one goal for months and finally you get to see it happen.  It was emotional (I’m a nerd!) and I kind of got choked up. Makes you wonder what all you can accomplish if you work on it.

Mile 13.1-I turned the corner and could see that big green inflatable finish line and I was so excited.  WOW!  Mile 12 I knew I was going to finish, but I was secretly hoping that I wouldn’t trip or something (which happens a lot), but I knew if I did I would CRAWL to that finish line.  I didn’t have to though because I saw Mandy, Brooklyn, Ginger, and Tyler about 100 feet in front of the finish line holding the signs up for me and cheering me on.  A little bit further I saw Oscar and Erika cheering, and then I saw my Dad and Pie.  I heard the announcer call my name and city as I crossed the finish line and a volunteer placed my medal in my hand.  I earned that sucker!

Immediately after I crossed my legs and knees started hurting and cramping.  Pie kept telling me to keep walking and stretch my legs, but all I wanted was water, food and to see my friends/family.  Erika and Oscar came and said congrats then had to leave pretty much right after so Erika could finish some work stuff ß I am sad that I didn’t get a picture with them. L

Then we met back up with Mandy, Brooklyn, Tyler, Krista and Ginger and found food.  At first the line was too long so I ate one of my pickles (Brooklyn ate the other one!) and Pie got me a sausage on a stick. (Super yummy!).  Then the line got shorter and I had 2 pieces of pizza and another ½ of the sausage on a stick.  I tried to eat the rice and beans but they were not good.

My official time 2:53:29, a 13:08 minute per mile average.

Pie, Dad, Me.

The after…

The medal is now hanging up on my racing bulletin board.  I need more race stuff because it looks bare. 

The Recovery Process-How do you recover from a ½ Marathon?  Take the next day off to have a Massage, eat Mexican food, and drink margaritas of course!

I had bought a Groupon for a massage a few months ago and I used it on Monday.  It felt soooo nice, afterwards I went to a Mexican food restaurant and filed up on carbs Mexican food and a margarita.  Yummy.

Final Thoughts:  I cannot wait to run another one, they are addicting!  Yes, my legs hurt, and sometimes I complained that I didn’t want to do a long run on a Saturday morning, but nothing beats the feeling of finishing a huge race.  I did run the entire way except at water stops where I didn’t wan to choke on the water or get an air bubble in my stomach and once on the bridge for less than 100 feet. 

I want to say a HUGE THANK YOU to these people for supporting me at the race:

Krista-OMG girl, you are awesome!  You have completed TWO big 30 under 30 items with me and I cannot be more grateful.  You are a ROCKSTAR my friend.  I loved <3ing Sweat with you and can’t wait to get our FULL marathon’ing on.  I will see you next at your 3rd half marathon next month…you want a GLITTER sign right?

Ginger & Tyler-I know you mainly went support Krista, but it still means a lot to me that you cheered me on as well!  I can’t wait to cheer for YOU at the Houston ½ next month and I know you will do fantastic. 

Mandy and Brooklyn-I am so glad you came to stay with me on Saturday night and helped calm my nerves.  I loved the shopping, pizza eating, talking, and sign making that we got to do!  I know it was raining, but I hope you both had fun.  Next time I will choose one with no rain. J  Jabba says hello and can’t wait for you two to come back and visit with him (he says he promises not to be so crabby next time).

Dad and Pie-I loved seeing you out of the blue on mile 4 and mile 6.  I was expecting to see you on the other side of the bridge so it was a very nice surprise to see you when I did!  I still can’t believe that you got out of the car to cheer for me on TOP of the bridge with cars whizzing by. Lol.  Awesome.  Oh, and I loved the sign too and can’t wait to see the videos that you took.  It means the world to me that you were there!  Start planning a trip to NYC or Philly. 

Erika and Oscar-You are awesome for coming out to my first 5K and my first ½!  You guys are an awesome couple and I can’t wait to hear about your trip!  Dinner next week right?  Oh, and I forgot to order that soap!

Facebook friends-Thank you for all of your encouragement before/during/after the race.  I kept looking at my phone on the way seeking your kind words to give me encouragement before the race.  You all rock!

What’s next? Marathon baby!  That’s right!  I am going to start training for a marathon early next year and I have chosen either the Philadelphia Marathon or the New York City Marathon which are both in November of 2012.  The Philly marathon runs by some really cool landmarks including the Rocky steps (and his statue), but the NYC marathon is an epic marathon that would be awesome to race at.  The Philly marathon is where my heart is set at, but I can’t seem to get away from thinking about doing NYC.  My Aunt Tracy will be able to come to either of them (she lives in the Philly area) and my cousin Steven wants to do one with me also.  Only time will tell which one I get into!  Wish me luck. ;)


  1. Congratulations from a random guy in Ireland who runs marathons and halfs! brilliant!