I finished. I’ll start there, because at least there’s that 😉 It’s taken me a few months to post this (o.k., so I actually wrote this back in August and now am getting to publish it in December….), but even so, thought it would be good to do so. My first (and second!) half marathon is behind me – I feel so very blessed to have crossed the finish line, and with the support of amazing family and friends, raised close to $2500 to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. My coaches, my mentors, my teammates – Lorelle – we all rode this journey together.
For those who follow me on Facebook, you’ve likely seen countless posts through Spring that chronicled my early Saturday walks, blistered toes, new shoe purchases and a few beauty shots of the fun places we went. It really has been an amazing experience. For anyone who is thinking of trying this at home, Team In Training is absolutely the best way to go.
My first race. Well, let’s not call it a race. Race implies I was doing something quickly to get to the end, and truth be told, there was nothing quick about what I did. Going into this experience I had full intention of joining the run team, learning to run with walk intervals. Apparently, running, if you have spinal stenosis and herniated disks is not the best thing to do (who knew?!), so I joined the AMAZING walk team with my dearest friend Lorelle – and I’m so glad I did. We trained and learned how to pace ourselves and to walk properly – and quickly! I wasn’t breaking any records, but I was doing pretty well. Up to the week before the race, I was averaging about 16:22 for 11 miles. Not too bad for a walker.
The week before the event, all three east bay teams (runners and walkers) training for the See Jane Run 1/2 marathon, gathered for a celebratory inspirational dinner. I have to say it was nice to see everyone dressed in something other than running shoes and spandex! We cleaned up nice 🙂 We met with our coaches who gave us final instructions for the week: stay hydrated, no alcohol, get plenty of rest, don’t try any new foods, etc. Did I listen? Well, almost.
I met up with the mentors on Saturday (day be fore the event) for an easy 30 minute walk, listening to their own stories again, and soaking in all the excitement. As we always did, we stopped at Starbucks for our celebratory lattes – to which I added a fateful spinach wrap 😦 Had I had one before? Never. Had I thought it would be a big deal? Nope. I was wrong. Food poisoning is definitely not the way to go into an endurance event. In hindsight, maybe I shouldn’t have participated in the race (or yet, eaten that wrap!), but I did. I didn’t want to let my family and friends down! 5 months of training to end with food poisoning?! No way. Not keepin’ me down (or anything else, for that matter). I tried to stay as hydrated as I could, but definitely struggled. I didn’t think I was doing that bad on race morning. I put on a smile and posed with my mighty team, ready to face the day!
The coaches told us that a lot of people will have moments where they ‘hit the wall’ and gave us advice and tips on how to push through. Of course, they said it typically happens around mile 10 or 11 – mine happened at mile 3. So, I pushed through…… for 10 more miles. A highlight during the low time was when Wayne and the boys drove up the street yelling “go mommy!” out the window, waving their signs! Miles 4-7 were down a very dry, boring stretch of road. There was no parking, so although my guys thought they’d stop there and do some cheering from the side of the road, they couldn’t – the drive by was awesome though!
The coaches were also all amazing. It didn’t matter whose team you were on – if you had on the purple shirt, you were one of them. TNT coaches all wear green, and anytime I saw one on the course, I got a high five (and sometimes a sweaty hug!). One of my coaches stayed with me for about 3 miles, which was amazing she would do that, as she had other folks she needed to watch out for (‘cuz that’s just how awesome they are!). While I wasn’t the last one to cross the finish line, the event organizers all but tore down the finish line, leaving me to grab my own champagne glass out of a box, shoved under a table. The TNT folks were all still there, smiles, water, and the requisite pb&j sandwiches on hand! My boys stayed with me, held my hands, gave me hugs and found me a chair to sit on so I wouldn’t fall over from exhaustion 😉
So, it’s now December and I realize I never published the blog above! YIKES! Since then, I have actually completed a SECOND 1/2 marathon…. and although I wish I could say I finished stronger than before, I can’t 😦 However, I still had a blast! On September 25th, I joined some of my TNT alum, plus an additional new friend (Seta), in completing the San Jose 1/2 Rock ‘n Roll! What an amazing time – other than it being 95 degree and getting completely dehydrated – um, I’m thinking there’s a pattern here! The point is, I finished, I wasn’t last (35 people behind me!), and I got a metal!
AND…. I’ve signed up to participate again next year. Yep, I’m a bit crazy 🙂