Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I DID IT!!!!

I did it. It is over!!! The Austin Half Marathon is now a thing of the past. I had an absolute blast. I had so many people there supporting me and running with me. A little background on this thing. Last summer, Ami, my Stroller Strides instructor (and friend) came up with this "great idea" to train for the Austin Half Marathon. She was pregnant and I wanted to get pregnant so I thought "sure!" thinking it would never happen. Somewhere along the way I told Mel (Clay's sister in law) about this race. She has run a half and two full marathons before. She said she would run this one with me. Awesome! I started training in August with Ami and Kristy and found out how freaking HARD this was. I had so many talks with Clay telling him that I just don't think I can do this. He is such a huge supporter and told me that I set a goal, so just do it. It is that simple. Ha! Ami and Kristy would have to keep my spirits up too. They were the best running partners and supporters. So fine, I'm going to do this.
I had my 10 year high school reunion in October and I told a few of my old friends (Laura, Jessica, Anna, and Yvonne) about it and they said they would run it too. Awesome! In the beginning I had some of the worst shin splits I have ever felt. I was in tears on some of our runs. I also got bronchitis along the way and pretty much had to start my training over, but I caught back up! And here we are race day.
I had this confidence that I hadn't had all training. I just knew I could do this. I had a really good pace (for me) in the beginning. In the first 5 miles we got a little taste of some hills. I had a game I would play with myself while on those hills. As I was running up them and thinking, crap, this is hard, I would tell myself after this there will be a downhill. That helped a lot. Melissa also gave me a trick to just focus on the current mile. So after mile 4 or so I would just tell myself, "I'm looking for that mile 5 sign" then after I saw that sign I would just be looking for the mile 6 sign. That helped a lot too. Clay and is brother Brett were hanging out at mile 6 to cheer us on. It was so great to see them and I felt so good at that point. But things really started hurting during that mile. So I had to take a little walk break during mile 7. I was ok with that, I made it 7 miles without walking. So then I would run 3 minutes and walk 1. I felt awesome about it because that was what everyone around me was doing too. I had to walk up all the crazy hills, then I would run down them. Let me just tell you about these hills. Seriously, I mean at some point I would just say, you've got to be kidding me. The biggest one was at mile 10 and GOOD LORD! It was just mean. At some point I looked down at my Garmin and started doing some calculations in my head and I thought, Oh My Gosh!! I might be able to finish this thing in under 3 hours. Based on my training I really thought I would finish at 3 and a half hours. So I started to book it (as much as you can book it after 10 miles). I crossed that finish line and I was so pumped. I FINISHED A HALF MARATHON. I really thought I would cry. I didn't (at the finish line). I did cry in mile 1 and somewhere in mile 12 or so. I just couldn't believe I was actually doing this.
So anyway, I freaking did it. I still can't believe it. Here are a ton of pictures from the big day.

The basket Mel gave me before the race. She is so awesome!
Here I am with Grant (Ami's hubby), Ami (the one who started all of this), and Kristy before the race. My awesome running buddies.
Here I am with Melissa. I am so thankful for her. She helped me so much with her information and support. Love her!!
Here are my high school girls (Laura, Yvonne, Me, Jessica, and Anna). These girls blew me away. To just kind of sign up for this thing on a whim and they all came out and rocked this thing.
Start line!!
Melissa, Ami, and Kristy can be seen in this photo. Can you find them??? Grant and I are in there too just hidden.

Feeling good at mile 6.


I almost finished under 3 hours. Oh well, next time.
My Stroller Strides girls after the race.
Me and Mel after the race. (she had time to go back to the hotel and shower before I finished, she rocked this race)
Laura and Anna after the race.
Aaahhhh! The reward after the race!!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Can't Sleep

I am sitting here in my hotel room with Clay, Melissa, and Brett all sound asleep. It is almost 1:00 in the morning, our alarms are set for 4:30 a.m. I am so nervous for this big race. I have been training since the middle of August. Six months of hard work and the end is only a few hours away. How am I supposed to sleep???

Maybe I can get 2 or so hours of sleep. Full report of the race to come.........