Sunday, September 5, 2010

Rock n' Roll Half Marathon

Today I completed my first ever half-marathon. What an experience!

First, I want to thank the ladies who helped me train... Sarah, Hannah, Nicki, and Jessamyn. You ladies did a lot of runs with me, encouraged me, and helped me become a runner. Thanks GYRO! :)

A special shout-out also goes to Sarah who loaned me her Garmin Forerunner 405 on several occasions. It was a huge help and it turns out David surprised me for my birthday with my own Garmin! Yay! I can't tell you how much having a gps watch helps when you are tracking distances... and it helps you stay on pace, which is crucial for a newbie runner like me.

Anyway, back to the race! Lisa and I were both running, and David and Daisy drove us to the Va Beach Ampitheater lot to catch the shuttle to the convention center. We left Mike & Bertie's house a little after 5:00am. After some traffic back-ups and our car overheating (yes, seriously), we finally got parked and got in line for the shuttles. They were backed up, too, but we were with thousands of other runners. We got to the start line in time to find our corrals and get ready.

Here's Lisa and I before the race:

Lisa was way ahead of me in corral #10, and I started in #24. Although the race started at 7:00am, my corral wasn't released until about 7:35.

Here I am just after the start... David's brother Mike took this picture.

My race number was 24466. That is an amazing coincidence... because if you spell it out on a phone, it's C-H-I-N-N. How cool is that? My number was my last name. And it was totally random. I was assigned to corral #24 (hence my number being in the 24,000's) because of my own suggested start time. Pretty cool, huh? That gave me a cool feeling about the race. :)

I took this picture during mile #2... there were so many people running and on the race course cheering us on. It was a great atmosphere. I had plenty to look at while I ran.

The run itself was good but hard. I felt good for the first few miles, but I started cramping around mile 6. I took a short 20-second break to stretch at mile 7ish and that helped. I stopped once to use the bathroom at a port-o-john and that helped, too. I was on a great pace for the first half (2:30 pace) but I started to slow down in the second half. The longest I ever had run before was 10 miles, so when I hit mile 10, every step forward was longer than I've ever run in my life. That's a cool feeling but also a crazy one when you know you still have several miles to go!

David, Daisy and the whole family were at mile 11, and I couldn't get there fast enough. It was so good to see them, I gave David and Daisy a quick kiss. Then I was off. The last 2 miles were tough. Really tough. My legs were heavy and tired. I was trying to push harder but I was just slowing down. Miles 12-13 took it to me. But I finished. 2 hours and 48 minutes after I started, I crossed the finish line. And that was the best feeling!

Here I am after the finish in front of the water.

With David and Daisy... Daisy was having a rough day.

It was such a neat accomplishment and I hope to do it again. I'm not sure I could do a full marathon, but that's okay. I am proud of my half-marathon and now I know I'm more of a runner than I ever thought!


blaireruch said...

wendy, that is so awesome! i am so proud of you! and wow about the number/name coincidence!

Nicki said...

GREAT recap, Wendy!!!!!!!! Congrats again on such a great accomplishment!!! :)