Saturday morning I ran my first half marathon, DesPlaines River Half Marathon. Went to bed at 11:30pm and was up bright and early 6:00am.
I had some wheat toast with peanut butter and a bowl of cinnamon oatmeal. We were a little late leaving in the morning, for I had wanted to be out the door by 6:45-6:50am, however, we were on our way by 7:05am. We arrived around 7:45am. Parking was not a problem. We were a little concerned on the drive there that we would have to pay for parking.
Went to pick up the packet, they only had race-day pick up (strange, but probably because it was a smaller race.) As they looked up my long and unpronounceable name, the two young ladies said, “Yep, 69.” Guess what bib # I had? I turn and look at Tom who laughs and says “You would get that number.” lol.
That's me and my stupid #
I noticed shortly after that there was No Timing Chip! and no Goodies in the bag. I didn’t plan far enough in advance and didn’t have any energy bars, so, my cheap ass was hoping they would have something for the runners-even a banana wouldn’t of hurt. So no other fuel other than the breakfast that was consumed at 6:05am.
I think the shirts look hideous. They are an ugly green- I call it glow in the dark green. It’s way too big for me (size S) but, it’s made of good quality material.
Close up of the front
Back- close up
I invited my family and my boyfriends family to support me while I ran my first half. My mom and Tom were the only ones that I knew for sure would be there. His mom and dad came out for the entire race and my dad ended up showing up right before the race started. (It was a chilly March morning for the spectators.)
Mom on the left- Me- Dad on the right
It was wonderful knowing that I had my own little cheer squad. I also ran into a friend from NikeTown Run Club. I introduced him to my cheer squad and then we originally went our own ways. However, I found him at the start line, where we wished each other good luck. We ended up running the entire race together, unintentionally. He is an experienced runner who has logged a 3:02 Marathon time. So, it was nice having my own little coach for the entire thing. The only thing I really knew about running my first half was to pace myself and to not go out too fast.
We are actually on the cover of the free event photo album-
I'm the one wearing the white hat and he is the first one of the pack.
Yep- that’s right, FREE EVENT PHOTO.
Me before the race
The start was rather disorganized, I couldn’t really tell where the start line was. Regardless, I started off my first half in the middle of the group.
Here we are again- this one taken by Tom (much clearer than the event camera). This was taken at about mile 2 which is why I am flashing the Peace sign
Both of my shoes became untied at about mile 1, which never happens. I must have just slipped them on and never went back to really tie them. My hands were numb so it felt like it took me forever to get them tied. As I watched everyone pass me, I wouldn’t help but wonder if I would be able to gain my spot back. I knew that I would have to sprint up, but I had my running buddy as a marker. So, I knew how much distance I would have to make up. I was able to catch up without a problem.
Saw my family at mile 2 as you can see from the picture above. I only saw the guys (Tom, Dad, and his Dad) at about mile 6.5 unintentionally. I guess they were taking a 4 mile walk around the lake. Once I saw them I waved and waved until they finally notices me. This took some energy out of me which left me panting.
Shortly after mile 2 they had a hydration station, which we opted not to drink anything. The next one was at maybe mile 3.5 and 6 (there was a turn around which brought us back to the same hydration station). My first hydration was red Gatorade which I spilled all over myself. I didn’t know that people actually wasted their precious time stopping to drink. I learn from my mistakes, so on our way back to the lake path at mile 6 we stopped and had water for a second. Then went on. The next hydration station was mile 9 (another turn around point)- had some water. Then that was all for the rest of the race.
I am proud of myself for not walking or giving up- even though I wanted to. I don’t count stopping to tie my shoes or hydration stations because, those were necessary stops not because, I was too tiered.
Miles 7.5-11 were hilly. About three hills. This sucked because, I was already worried since I had only run 8 miles prior to the race, I didn’t know how I would do after that point. But, I did just fine. My running coach/friend explained that he likes to lean into the hills which helps push you forward and through the hill. I did this for 2 of the 3 hills. They still sucked. I live in Chicago, there are not hills accessible for me to train on.
For the rest of the race I had to coach myself to the end. Repeated in my mind, “You made it this far, you can do just two more. Thats nothing. You got this.” My running partner mentioned at mile 12 that if we picked it up just a hair that we could finish in a sub 1:50. My goal was to run it in 2 hours. No complaints here. So, we pushed till the end. I wanted to die and stop but I didn’t. I slowed down for a second until I knew that I would soon see my loved ones and didn’t want them to see me going slow because, that is not at all how the rest of the race was. I wanted to impress them. We finished at 1:50:56. Which I hear isn’t bad for a first half.
Look what my love had for me at the finish line. I think I was the only one there who got flowers. They even took a picture of us at the finish for their website.
He's so sweet
I came in 2nd in my age group- so I got two medals.
Proud runner and now an addicted race runner
Close up of the medals
Videos to come- I have 2 but I don’t know yet how to post them.
Seems like 2 was my lucky number during this race.
Not bad for a first race- to kick off my running/racing season.
Since the Race-
I couldn’t barely walk Saturday night. Had to manually lift my legs to where I wanted them. My knees killed the most.
By Sunday- My legs felt sore and tight but much better than Saturday.
Monday- wasn’t bad walked a little stiff but, nothing like Saturday night. Went for my first run- did an easy 3 miles- tried out my new hot pink nike shoes that I have chosen to keep. Gave the Saucony’s to mom- she was due for a new pair.
Today (Tuesday)- Back to my old self.